Titans Open To Trade On Eve Of Draft

Posted at 3:10 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 18:10:41-04

"Fifty-Fifty." That's the response Titans General Manager Jon Robinson gave when asked the chances the Titans will stay put and select at no. 5 and no. 18 when the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night.

With reports swirling Wednesday that multiple teams have reached out to the Titans about acquiring the number five pick, the odds Robinson trading the pick may be increasing.

A deal would be no surprise coming from Robinson, the same G.M. that pulled off a blockbuster trade a year ago, sending the no. 1 overall selection to the Rams in exchange for six picks.

One of those picks was the Rams' first round choice this year, giving the Titans the rare two first round selections. The fact Los Angeles's pick ended up fifth is even more advantageous for a Titans team that finished last season 9-7, narrowly missing the playoffs.

"I don't know if I'd say we're one or two pieces away," Robinson told reporters this week at his pre-draft availability. "We're just trying to get better every day. Hopefully we can get some players to help us win more football games."

So now Robinson has a choice to make. Does he stay with his two picks in the first round and draft two good football players or does he try to use his great position to strike another deal that can land him even more picks as he continues to build the Titans' roster?

"Our goal is to get good players that fit us and can help us win," Robinson said. "Any decision to trade down certainly depends on who you hope to get and whether you think you can still get him by moving down versus the value you can pick up by adding a pick."

The fact that the Titans' eight selections in this year's draft does not currently include a second round pick might entice Robinson a little bit more to make a trade, but only if he sees good value in the deal.

If a team wants to move up to no. 5 to take a guy they really covet, Robinson will listen. But it will cost them, likely their first round pick and a second at a minimum.

"There are different ways to add currency in the draft," Robinson said. "Whether that's adding a pick for next year or adding multiple picks for this year's draft. There's different ways of finding value for moving down."

A year ago, Robinson made the trade with the Rams two weeks before the draft. Sitting at no. 5 this year, any deal likely will come on draft day or maybe even with the Titans on the clock as teams watch players they desire come off the board.

Robinson will be ready with an asking price in mind. He also will have a plan if no deal comes through.

Part of the Titans' pre-draft process is coming up with their own mock draft of what they think the teams around them will do. Asked if he feels he has a pretty good idea of how the first five picks will shake out already, Robinson said, "it's getting clearer."

For the rest of us, the Robinson draft blueprint will become clear over the next three days even if it's anything but clear right now.