According to various reports, as the clock ticks closer to the start of the 2015 NFL draft, what the Titans will do with the second overall pick provides the biggest intrigue. The assumed prize is the right to select Oregon’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The interest for Mariota is so strong that rumors persist that former Oregon and current Eagle head coach Chip Kelly is now talking with Tampa about trading for the top pick in the draft so Philly can acquire Mariota because Tennessee has become unreasonable with its demands for the second pick now that three-to-four other teams looking to enter the Mariota sweepstakes.
Per ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, the Jets, Browns and Rams have contacted the Titans about what it will take to get that No. 2 pick. Titans GM Ruston Webster says the trade talks have become substantial but not to the point of specifics.
Most of those reporting on the Titans trade rumors believe Tennessee wants at least a “Top 16” pick as part of any deal. (Who holds the 16th pick…? Oh yeah that’s right, the “franchise QB” starved Texans.)
While form may ultimately hold when the draft commences at 7:00 CT on SportsRadio 610, it would appear that Tennessee would rather trade the pick then select Mariota but that their asking price – perhaps based on the Rams-Redskins RG3 trade in 2012, in which Washington sent three first-round picks plus a second-rounder to St. Louis – is too rich for now.
The Titans were originally looking to use the pick to acquire Chargers QB Philip Rivers, who has no interest in following the Bolts from San Diego to Los Angeles. It would appear that Tennessee’s demand for the Chargers to send their #17 pick this year (plus a 2nd in ’16?) along with Rivers for the second pick this year was too rich for SD.
Considering that Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt is 28-21 with Kurt Warner as his starting quarterback, and 19-44 without a potential Hall of Fame QB, it makes sense to trade the pick and collect as many “assets” as possible. Mariota seems an odd fit for Whisenhunt’s offense and developing the position doesn’t appear to be his strong suit based on his previous seven seasons as head coach.
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