COMMENTARY | The Tennessee Titans are stuck in no-man's-land right now in terms of the NFL Draft. On one hand, they were not bad enough to be in the top-10 like the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Oakland Raiders. On the other hand, they weren't good enough to be in the 14-20 range where they would be considered "just one piece away" like the Chicago Bears or the Baltimore Ravens.
One way the Titans can push themselves out of the doldrums of mediocrity is to make a splashy move. General Manager Ruston Webster showed last year that he isn't afraid to make a trade to get one of the top guys on his board (Justin Hunter) if he can. So what splashy trade could the Titans make this year to push themselves into playoff conversations?
Why this makes sense for the Rams: The Rams have three outstanding pieces in their front four, and Jeff Fisher loves to set the tone with a strong defense and a good running game. Taking Clowney with the second overall pick would be a waste to a team that already has two All-Pro defensive ends, so what makes the most sense?
Well, here the Rams get their "elite" interior pass rusher to go with their bookend edge players, and their run stuffing defensive tackle.
Casey is still very cheap, and current Rams defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, made him a 11-sack player last year. Fisher and Williams may see the next Albert Haynesworth in Jurrell Casey, and they may be willing to pay a premium for him.
Why this makes sense for the Titans: Jurrell Casey is great, but the Tennessee defense is getting an overhaul and his value may never be higher. If Horton thinks that the defense would be better served to move Casey now in order to build for the long-term then this move makes a ton of sense.
Notice that this does not say that the Titans will be giving up their 11th overall pick in the 2014 draft. That means that the Titans will have two picks in the top 11, giving them a lot of freedom to draft the best player available.
Who would the Titans draft: If this deal gets done, then there are three realistic ways this could go down.
Clowney is an athletic freak that Ray Horton could coach into a matchup nightmare, while Mack and Barr both have massive potential. With this draft, the Titans could have their new bookend OLBs for the next decade.
2. Titans draft Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater and either Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack
Here the Titans get the best quarterback in the draft, and a player that could make a major impact on the defensive side of the ball. Behind the play of Teddy Bridgewater, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter would have outstanding years and that surge could see the Titans repeat the success that the Kansas City Chiefs had last year.
3. Titans draft either Teddy Bridgewater or Jadeveon Clowney, and either Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews or Auburn OT Greg Robinson.
The Titans need a new right tackle, and with their second round pick gone they may want to pull the trigger here. In this scenario the Titans take Bridgewater or Clowney (whichever is available with the edge going to Clowney) and then the best available tackle. It is hard for me to believe that both of those tackles will be gone by 11, and if they are then the Titans can look at taking one of the pass rushers. However if the stars lined up, the Titans could get the best offensive and defensive lineman in the last few years. Mirroring how I said they should focus on the trenches here.
More from this contributor:
Will Lomas is a lead blogger for draftseason.com and a staff writer for SBNation's Tennessee Titans website Music City Miracles. Will is also the sports editor for the Tennessee Journalist, the University of Tennessee's online news source.
- American Football
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- Tennessee Titans
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- Jurrell Casey
- Anthony Barr
- St. Louis Rams