The Tennessee Titans haven't settled on a player to take with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and that makes the possibility of a trade back in the order an attractive option.
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King says he believes the chances are "50-50" that the Titans trade away the top pick in the draft. He also says the team is giving "serious consideration" to a few players other than just Ole Miss offensive tackle or Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, although those two players are the most logical.
An SB Nation survey of 89 mock drafts has 77 projecting the Titans to take Tunsil and 12 predicting it will be Ramsey. However, a trade down could jeopardize Tennessee's chances at landing either one of the players. Via King:
"I believe it is now 50-50 whether Tennessee will trade it or keep it. Rookie GM Jon Robinson is going to have to decide whether to accept an offer -- presumably by a team that wants one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State or Cal's Jared Goff -- or to stay at number one and pick a player the Titans believe will be a cornerstone for years to come."
The chances of the Titans pulling the trigger on a trade depends plenty on the amount of compensation a team is willing to offer and how far down the order Tennessee would be willing to slide.
Why trading the No. 1 pick makes sense
Giving up the No. 1 pick would likely mean a quarterback gets taken at the top, and with the second pick, Cleveland Browns could make it two quarterbacks off the board. That means even trading a few picks back doesn't necessarily guarantee the Titans miss out on the team's top two targets.
But even if Tunsil or Ramsey are gone, it's not as though the Titans are a single player away from being a Super Bowl contender. Robinson has a ways to go in his rebuild of the Tennessee roster and racking up top draft picks is always a good way to fill a roster with talent.
The Titans reportedly like more players than just Tunsil and Ramsey, so going down the draft order could net the franchise some big-time draft capital, but also land the team a top prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Why trading the No. 1 pick doesn't make sense
The obvious downside of trading down is that if the Titans trade too far down, the team could end up missing out on Tunsil and Ramsey, a pair of players considered to be the best of the draft class and potential cornerstones to build around.
Marcus Mariota dealt with injuries to both knees as a rookie and the Titans need to upgrade the offensive line protecting the franchise's most valuable asset. Grabbing Tunsil to pair with Taylor Lewan would shore up the Titans offensive line for the long term.
But even passing on Tunsil to grab Ramsey would give the Titans a uniquely athletic defensive back to help a team that allowed 34 touchdown passes in 2015. Teams are passing and scoring more than ever, so grabbing a defense-changing defensive back like Ramsey is another tremendously attractive option for the Titans.
The question is really whether or not a team is willing to offer a king's ransom to jump the Browns. While some have praised the quarterbacks at the top of class, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, the pair haven't garnered the hype that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, or Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota did in 2012 and 2015, respectively. That likely means an offer made to the Titans won't be lucrative enough to pull the team out of the top pick and risk missing out on Tunsil or Ramsey.
Rumors of a trade involving the top pick swirl every year, but they simply don't happen. The price tag is just too high and it hasn't happened in the last 15 years. The St. Louis Rams jumped up to grab Orlando Pace in the 1997 NFL Draft and the Atlanta Falcons moved up to grab Michael Vick in the 2001 NFL Draft, but there hasn't been a trade for the top pick since.
It's fun to imagine the shake-up that would result from a trade for the top pick, but "50-50" seems like a stretch in a draft class that doesn't have a sure-thing quarterback recruit like Luck.