How the Titans traded up to get Marcus Mariota
The Tennessee Titans traded down from No. 1 to No. 2 in the first round to select Marcus Mariotti.
Here’s what they have to do now: 1.
Make Mariotti available for a trade.
This is probably the biggest story in the NFL draft, and for good reason.
Tennessee traded up from No .
1 to get Mariota, a highly-ranked quarterback prospect who was the No. 4 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.
It’s one of the most controversial moves of the offseason.
Mariotti was projected to go in the second round.
He has played in all 16 games in his career, but hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass.
Injuries have limited him to a handful of starts, including two in 2015.
Mariota had a career-high 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2016, but his overall production fell to 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2017.
Mariotta has struggled with the pocket in 2017 and the Titans are hoping to get him more comfortable with the offense.
That could be the key to Mariota’s long-term success.
Get him a better supporting cast.
Tennessee made a lot of changes this offseason.
General manager Jon Robinson has made it clear the Titans will be a run-heavy offense with a lot more passing in 2018.
Robinson also signed veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin to a three-year deal worth $15 million, bringing in veteran slotback Justin Hunter, who has been with the team since 2014.
Hunter has started every game for Tennessee since 2013, and the team signed former Arizona Cardinals running back Todd Gurley to a five-year, $80 million contract last offseason.
Hunter and Gurley combined for 561 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground in 2016.
The Titans are counting on Hunter and Hunter’s explosive speed and quickness to take Mariota to the next level.
Get a better quarterback.
The best way to get a quarterback is to draft one.
Marioto is a big-armed passer who can run the ball with power and burst.
He’s also an elite athlete, able to play either safety or cornerback.
He is also an outstanding leader and has a strong demeanor.
This could be Mariota and the Raiders’ answer to Carson Palmer.
That’s why the Titans made a trade for Carson Wentz, a quarterback from South Dakota State who had just three starts in his first two seasons.
He could have been the next Palmer, and that could make it a different story.
The Raiders are building their offense around Carr and they have no plans to use the No 1 pick to acquire a quarterback.
Get the best receiver on the board.
There is no question Mariota is the best wide receiver in this class, but the Titans need a wide receiver to complement rookie slotback Jalen Ramsey.
The team could use another receiver to give a bigger presence in the slot, something Ramsey has struggled to do.
The Bills have the third-best receiver in the draft, with Marqise Lee.
But it’s worth noting that the Titans also have a wealth of other weapons at the position.
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a strong tackler, while wide receiver Jabrill Peppers is a speedy slot receiver with excellent speed.
There are also other young, talented players in the secondary.
The offensive line and running back need help, and Murray’s size and athletic ability make him a strong option to fill out a big receiving corps.
Get rid of another veteran quarterback.
While Mariota was expected to be a franchise quarterback, the Titans signed Brock Osweiler to a six-year contract last season.
It cost them a quarterback with experience.
But Osweizer was injured for the majority of the season and played just three games.
He was one of only three quarterbacks to throw a touchdown or less in each of his first three seasons.
That doesn’t mean the Titans aren’t interested in bringing back their franchise quarterback.
They might have to go elsewhere to find a replacement.
Trade for a veteran wide receiver.
The Tennessee offense was ranked 23rd in yards per play last season, but it ranked 31st in yards after the catch.
The defense was ranked 15th, and they allowed more touchdowns than any other team in the league.
They also gave up more fantasy points per game than any team in their division.
The key for the Titans this offseason is finding a wideout to compliment their running backs.
They could trade for DeAndre Hopkins or DeAndre Washington, who have combined for seven touchdowns in the past two seasons, or a cornerback with a ton of experience.
Re-sign cornerback Kendall Fuller.
Fuller is a solid safety who has spent time at safety and cornerback in college.
The biggest question mark at cornerback is returning safety Tre’Davious White.
Fuller played just six games for the Bengals in 2017, and White is now with the New England Patriots.
He’ll likely have a larger role in the Titans’ secondary, so the team will have to trade Fuller if they want