It’s silly season in the draft process which means there will be all sorts of rumors that don’t come to fruition. With that said, the old saying of where there’s smoke there’s fire still applies. There has been a lot of smoke about the Titans trading up for a QB dating back to when the Bears had the first pick.
Since the Bears traded the pick to the Panthers, talk of the Titans looking to move up has only gotten louder. That is coming from local and national media outlets. Not many reporters have Intel regarding the Titans like they do other teams. When reporters are saying things about the Titans especially from a national level, history shows you should listen. There is a clear trade partner in the Arizona Cardinals who currently hold the #3 pick. The Cardinals have a lot of needs not at the QB position and are likely looking to pick up more draft capital to move down in the first round. The Cardinals will get a good trade package as teams will be looking to jump the QB needy Colts who pick #4. Let’s get into the fun part and discuss why the Titans should indeed trade up.
End The Long Search of a Franchise QB.
The Titans have been looking for a franchise QB since Steve McNair was traded to the Ravens in 2006. Not to say the Titans haven’t had QB’s with successful seasons, because they have. They have been looking for a young QB they can draft and develop as their franchise QB. Whether that was drafting Vince Young #3, Marcus Mariota #2 or Malik Willis in the third round last year. It just hasn’t panned out like the Titans would like and they have another opportunity this year to find that franchise QB.
New GM Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel have been doing their homework on the top QB prospects this draft season. That is a sign the Titans are serious about the possibility of taking one of the top QB’s at #11 or trading up if they think he’s the one.
Best Position Titans Will Be in to Trade Up
The Titans will never tank as long as Mike Vrabel is the Head Coach. It doesn’t take a genius to know that and Carthon along with Vrabel have said so. They currently are picking #11 following a seven game losing streak to end the season. It took a ridiculous amount of injuries and bad luck for that to happen. That’s unlikely to happen again and even with that bad luck the Titans still nearly won the division.
With that said, it’s severely unlikely to see a Mike Vrabel team picking top 11 in the draft again. Without a pick in the top half of the first round it becomes harder to make that trade up to select a QB. It’s expensive to begin with but when your trade assets aren’t great it becomes harder. That is one large reason why if they believe CJ Stroud, Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson are can’t miss QB prospects, they need to make the deal.
Contention Moving Forward
Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon are obviously looking forward and trying to develop a contender as soon as possible. History shows that with exception of Patrick Mahomes, Super Bowl Champions are quarterbacked by someone on their rookie contract or someone underpaid like Tom Brady. Having a QB on a rookie contract is such a bargain and allows teams to bolster their roster around the QB. Without a high cap number being held by your QB it allows free agency spending to be significantly higher. Even with Jeffrey Simmons extension the Titans will have over 100 million in cap space following the 2023 season. That will allow for high spending on the OL and WR group if they don’t find adequate pieces in the draft.
The bottom line is this will be the Titans best and cheapest chance to trade up and get a franchise QB. If Vrabel and Carthon feel the QB available at #3 is a franchise QB they should do what it takes to go get him. The return on investment of a franchise QB is much greater than the loss of giving up a couple firsts. Sometimes in life you have to take a risk to get what you want and if the Titans want that franchise QB, this is a risk to seriously consider.