It’s February. The first round of the 2016 NFL draft isn’t until April 28.
But as fans of the Tennessee Titans know, it’s never too early to start talking about the draft. Especially when you have the No. 1 overall pick.
The Titans will set the tone in this year’s draft in Chicago, as their decision as to what to do with the first pick will affect every other team behind them.
Will the Titans keep the pick? Will they trade it for more picks? That’s what everyone wants to know.
New Titans general manager Jon Robinson certainly has options with what he will do with the pick, and it will be a choice that defines the start of a new era for this franchise.
If Tennessee does decide to stay at No. 1, there seems to be little doubt which direction the team will head in. Offensive line was a huge concern last season, and the top priority going forward is protecting quarterback Marcus Mariota.
According to most draft experts, Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil would be the likely choice for Robinson and company should they decide to go offensive line with the pick. Draft analysts are very high on Tunsil’s footwork, and also love his body control and technique.
Taking Tunsil would allow the Titans to move Taylor Lewan to the right side of the line, an area where he’s more likely to succeed after struggling this past season. And again, selecting Tunsil would give the team another asset in trying to keep Mariota upright.
Other potential selections at No. 1 include Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa and Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Bosa certainly has a quick first step and knows how to get to the quarterback. Ramsey is an all-around fantastic player in the secondary, and the former Brentwood Academy star would make more sense than Bosa if the Titans don’t go offensive line.
Of course, there’s also the possibility of trading down and capturing more picks.
For a team with so many holes in its roster, perhaps this option makes the most sense. It’s going to be nearly impossible for the Titans to address all of their needs in one offseason, but racking up extra picks would at least allow them to tackle multiple issues.
As most fans of this franchise know, the draft hasn’t turned out to be a strong suit for this team. Former GM Ruston Webster had a lot of draft choices that simply didn’t pan out, and it’s one of the main reasons why he’s no longer in charge in the front office.
But Robinson does give the Titans hope. Although fans may not still be sold on Mike Mularkey as the team’s new head coach, Robinson has proven that he’s the right fit in the GM role.
Free agency begins in several weeks, and that’s where Robinson will really start to make his presence felt in this organization. How he decides to address certain needs in free agency will ultimately determine where the Titans choose to go with the No. 1 pick.
Yes, a new era is definitely here for the Titans.
And Robinson and Mularkey are both on the clock.