- Chris Kaklamanis/ Brian Petocz
The View on #2: A Titans Fan Perspective
Chris Kaklamanis with his View on #2
It seems in every NFL Draft there is a proverbial pivot point that dictates the way the entire first round plays out. While we football fans and NFL analysts alike have seemingly come to the consensus that Tampa Bay is ready to sprint to the podium and make Jameis Winston their guy, the exact opposite holds true when analyzing what the Tennessee Titans will do at #2. Ah, and so we have found the 2015 NFL Draft’s pivot point. Once Winston (presumably) goes to the Bucs the Titans are on the clock the drama is on. What they do literal determines how everything that follows will play out.
Do they draft a quarterback? Trade the #2 pick for more picks to a team like the Jets…or maybe even, gasp, reunite Marcus Mariota with Chip Kelly and the Eagles? Trade it to San Diego for Phillip Rivers? Draft Leonard Williams or another defensive player? Thursday night at about 8:15 things are going to get interesting.
It’s Thursday night, Jameis is gone. The Titans have more options than Russell Wilson does while looking for his new girlfriend. I’m bringing you the inside goods Jets and Eagles fans. Why? Because I am a Titans fan and I’ve done more research on this topic than I did in 4 years of college and graduate school combined.
Scenario #1- Tennessee wants to trade the pick and chooses the Jets. Jets fans that despise Geno, this is a particularly good scenario for you.
The Jets #6 will be very enticing to Titans GM Ruston Webster. In this draft there seem to be a lot of players that are borderline first round prospects or have a significant question. So if the Titans are determined to use #2 pick to acquire more picks, the #6 pick has to be one helluva good looking starting point for the Titans. I think it costs the Jets #6, their second rounder, and their fourth. The Eagles #20 pick cannot be all that interesting for the Titans. One could draft a player at 20 and the odds of seeing him bust as exponentially higher. If they Jets move up to #2 Mariota immediately becomes the centerpiece of their team, and in my eyes, he makes them immediately AFC East contenders. It won’t cost the Jets anything ridiculous or potentially set the franchise back for years to make the move. Jets fans, I see this as a pretty likely scenario for you. Knowing the Titans like I do, if the team is determined to reload the roster and is not in love with Mariota or Leonard Williams, one very high pick plus a few more is what they want. I believe the odds of this scenario unfolding are very very high, 30%. Would that be a positive or a negative Jets fans? That’s for you to decide.
Scenario #2- Tennessee wants multiple first round picks or players. They can perhaps make a move with the Browns but let’s say they go with the Eagles.
Let’s say Chip Kelly and the Eagles want to be extremely aggressive and they really want Mariota. Well Eagles fans be prepared for it to cost you all a lot. If it’s strictly draft choices moving to Tennessee it will be 3 or 4 primo picks, I could see 2 or 3 firsts and a few mid round picks. If it’s picks and players, I hope you Eagles fans would be okay with watching some starters relocate to Tennessee. Fletcher Cox is one guy I think Ruston Webster, Ken Whisenhunt, and the Titans defensive staff would love to get their hands on. Mychal Kendricks is mildly enticing, he’s quick, gets some sacks, makes plays, but he got hurt last year and the Titans have 2 starting pass rushers for their 3-4 defense. There are no offensive players I think the Titans would want to get their hands on. Sam Bradford doesn’t do it for me and from what I’ve read the Titans aren’t enamored with him and his knees. I’m putting the odds for this Eagles trade scenario at 5%. Odds they make a move with the Browns are 10%. If the Eagles moved the moon and the sky to pick Mariota how will you feel, Birds fans?
Scenario #3- Tennessee trades the #2 overall pick for another QB: Philip Rivers.
There are a lot of moving parts here, and from all the sources I’ve read this is not something that can simply be done on the clock. The Titans will require a contract extension to be negotiated and nearly be signed before they’ll pull the trigger. The two sources I’ve read are steadfast in this, and neither really believe this San Diego-Tennessee trade will come to fruition. There’s a chance, it’s very slim..10% in my eyes.
So in summary I believe there is a 50% chance Tennessee moves their 2nd overall pick, but what about the other 50%, what if they’ve just drummed up the drama and the Titans keep it and make the pick? Even if they don’t make a trade and decide to take a player, what the Titans do has a huge impact on what all the other 31 teams do including the Jets and Eagles.
Scenario #4- Tennessee doesn’t love Marcus Mariota and selects a defensive player.
Another interesting scenario for you Jets and Eagles fans. If they Titans make the pick and it’s not a QB either Leonard Williams, an EDGE rusher, or a WR are now off the board as the Jags come on the clock. Jets fans, that could leave Mariota to drop right into your laps. Yet it could also provides Jacksonville, Oakland, and Washington opportunities to hit up the phone lines and see what other team loves Mariota enough to move up for him. Perhaps Jets GM Mike Mccagganan would be much more enticed to move up to #4 if he likes Mariota but doesn’t like the cost of moving all the way up to #2, I won’t pretend to know his thinking.
What I do know is that I believe this is what the Titans will end up doing. I think all the Mariota stuff is a smokescreen in order to get a high bid from a potential Mariota suitor so the Titans have a higher chance to acquire more draft picks and build a better team that way. I’m putting the odds the Titans pass up on Mariota and take another player at 35%.
Scenario #5- Tennessee selects with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft Marcus Mariota.
I’m not on board with this as a fan. I wholeheartedly feel they have a quarterback that deserves a shot with a better supporting cast and that guy is Zach Mettenberger. There have been a lot of league sources that say the Titans will take Mariota. I don’t believe it but we shall see…I’m putting it at 15%. If the Titans sink another high pick on a quarterback that is not a guarantee and he bombs (like VY and Jake Locker did) the franchise is set back another 4 years. This is a living hell scenario for me and so why I’m so leery about seeing Mariota in two tone Titans blue. My ideal pick would be Leonard Williams for what it’s worth. I love the kid, he’s got game. Mark my words Leonard Williams will be a pro bowler.
With whatever unfolds, there’s only one thing that is certain, the Titans hold ALL the cards in this fast approaching years draft. Happy draft week NFL fans! It’s almost here.
Brian Petocz with his View on #2
As a lifelong, die-hard Tennessee Titans fan, many things come to mind when I think of what are team should do with the second overall pick in this year’s draft. The NFL is a Quarterback driven league (just ask the Houston Texans, who have the best player at any position in JJ Watt). I am very perplexed as to what my Titans should do with this pick and even though my opinion doesn’t matter to them, I will offer what I think is best.
I have seen the Titans struggle for the majority of the years I have been a fan (of course we have the exceptions of a few good seasons). The only constant is that our team has not been very good without a franchise quarterback which we haven’t had since Steve McNair left after the 2003 season. We also have in mind the past 2 recent first round quarterback selections that are both no longer in the league (epic fail). For this reason I am super hesitant to endorse the Titans taking Jameis Winston (if the Buccaneers do not select him) or Marcus Mariota. My gut tells me that the Bucs will take Jameis but nothing is a sure thing.
I am even more torn as to who I think is a better pure player (aside from off the field issues). I think Jameis is a better football player but I have heard comparisons that range from Big Ben, to Cam 2.0, to VY and to JaMarcus Russell. I think Jameis is a better fit for the Titans than Marcus Mariota. I get nervous of the spread system that Mariota came from and feel more comfortable with the pro-style offense Jameis was in at college. The issue that concerns me and everyone else with Jameis is his off the field issues. Historically, players who have struggled with off the field issues continue to have them linger into their NFL careers. The Titans historically have had an issue with players on their team having character issues (Pacman Jones, Albert Haynesworth, Vince Young) and because of this I am not sure if the structure in Tennessee would support Jameis enough to keep him on the right path.
When it comes to taking a defensive player at 2, I believe it would be Leonard Williams with the possibility of Dante Fowler Jr. I like this avenue because they seem more of a sure bet but again this doesn’t solve the dilemma of needing a franchise QB.
I am not opposed to taking Amari Cooper or Kevin White either. I would prefer Cooper because he seems like more of a sure thing who is NFL ready and bust proof. Kevin White seems to have more upside but seems a little rawer of a talent.
I would also be in support of trading our pick to a team like the Browns who has 2 first round selections and get their second round pick as well. If the Eagles want to move and trade us a ton of picks (as the Redskins did for RG3) that would also do the trick.
The ideal situation for me is a trade to the Chargers for Phillip Rivers. I understand he is old and may have health concerns but he is the closest thing we will get to a franchise QB. If we traded for him with a 4 year guaranteed extension and also an option for a 5th plus received their first round pick I would be satisfied. It has been so bleak and miserable to be a Titans fan for the past few years that I think this would energize us and give us the best chance to contend.
I ultimately think we do not trade the pick and take Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston if he is still on the board. If we do not go QB, I expect the Titans to take Leonard Williams.