How the Tennessee-Los Angeles trade could impact B1G draft prospects
Go figure that after a night when the talk of the sports world was the NBA, football found a way to steal the spotlight.
The Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams announced one of the biggest blockbuster deals in draft history on Thursday morning. The Titans traded their No. 1 overall pick, as well as a fourth and a sixth-round pick in exchange for four picks in the first three rounds this year, and a first and third-round pick in 2017.
This explains that better:
Let’s break down that trade: pic.twitter.com/RU4luOUQDc
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) April 14, 2016
The forgone conclusion was that Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, previously believed by everyone to be the No. 1 overall pick, will no longer be in that spot. Instead, one would assume the Rams traded from No. 15 to No. 1 to nab their quarterback of the future. The new debate, of course, is whether that’s Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
But the fallout of such a move at the top of the draft will likely have a major ripple effect. B1G players, specifically, could now have different suitors.
Here’s how this blockbuster could impact different B1G players:
Jack Conklin, Michigan State OT — Conklin is considered by many as either the second or third-best offensive tackle in this draft, behind Tunsil and possibly Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley. Some even have a better grade on Taylor Decker than they do on Conklin. Either way, there’s a chance Tennessee pulled the trigger on this move because of how they had those two graded.
It’s possible that the grades for Tunsil and Conklin/Decker weren’t that different. Trading down and getting a boatload of picks like what Tennessee got, while still likely being in position to grab Conklin or Decker, makes perfect sense. The chances of four tackles being off the board by No. 15 is highly unlikely, which meant that Tennessee could still end up with the first-round protector it was looking to get for Marcus Mariotta.
Taylor Decker, Ohio State OT — For all the reasons Conklin’s grade could’ve forced Tennessee’s hand, so could’ve Decker’s. Both are willing to play right tackle as potential as Day 1 starters. Tunsil projects as a Day 1 left tackle, but the Titans already have that spot solidified by Taylor Lewan.
@Tradition Both I think. Didn't want to force Lewan to move and got too many picks to trade back
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 14, 2016
Now, the Titans could potentially draft a tackle like Conklin or Decker and not worry about moving somebody to an unfamiliar position. Decker played right tackle as an underclassman at Ohio State and wouldn’t be against making the switch back if it meant a starting role. The versatility he and Conklin have could’ve easily contributed to the Titans trading back.
Christian Hackenberg, Penn State QB — There was certainly a possibility that Hackenberg could’ve wound up in Los Angeles. But this deal all but ended that likelihood for a few reasons.
For starters, it would be shocking if the Rams didn’t draft either Goff or Wentz at No. 1. Could they try and pull off what the Washington Redskins did in 2012 when they drafted Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins? Most likely not, considering the fact that they traded away the two second-round picks and the third-round pick they likely could’ve used on Hackenberg. Spending two of their limited picks on quarterbacks like the Redskins did might not make much sense.
Also, Cousins was an established, successful college quarterback who was more of a backup option if and when Griffin got hurt. Hackenberg is a project and doesn’t exactly fit that mold. That would also involve him slipping to the fourth round. Somebody will still roll the dice on him on Day 2.
Connor Cook, Michigan State QB — Conventional wisdom would suggest that Cook is in a similar position as Hackenberg. Cook could’ve been high on the Rams’ board, but even if he was, they wouldn’t have to trade up to get him.
Cook does still have a workout scheduled with the Rams next week, according to mlive.com’s Mike Griffith. That, however, was likely in place well before the move was decided. Telling a draft prospect you no longer want to host him would be wrong.
The deal, could however, mean that Goff and Wentz are off the board in the first two picks. If that was the case, the chances of Cook going in the first round would definitely go up. Teams like Denver, New York (NYJ), Philadelphia and San Francisco could go after a quarterback in the first round, as could Buffalo, Dallas and Chicago.
Even if Cook feels that he’s the best quarterback in the draft, he certainly would benefit from Goff and Wentz going off the board in the first two picks.
Joey Bosa, Ohio State DE — Despite his Nick Bosa’s marketing campaign for his brother to the Titans, he likely wasn’t going No. 1 anyway. But he still gets an ‘A’ for effort.
— Saturday Tradition (@Tradition) April 14, 2016