If the Tennessee Titans want David DeCastro, really want him, they’ll have to trade up in the draft to get him. DeCastro, who’s regarded as the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, is projected to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round, perhaps as early as eleventh. I don’t see any way he gets past the Chargers at #18, and he will most likely be drafted much earlier than that.
The teams who hold the top ten draft picks all have multiple needs, major ones, and are all expected to draft impact players. After we get past #10, there are six teams ahead of the Titans which have a strong need for a guard. One of those six will almost certainly select DeCastro unless the Titans are able to trade up in front of them.
Those six teams and the positions they are scheduled to draft in are:
(Note: the Cowboys addressed the guard position in free agency, but DeCastro would still be an upgrade for them.)
So do the Titans try to trade up to ninth or tenth, to make absolutely sure they get DeCastro? Or do they gamble that he’s not taken in the top 14 and then try to move up to 15 or 16, ahead of the Bengals and Chargers?
Here’s what it would cost to move up to each of those spots.
The Panthers, who draft ninth, might be a willing trade partner. 18 of 20 mock drafts I recently surveyed had Carolina taking a d-lineman with the ninth overall pick. With all the good d-linemen who have first-round grades, the Panthers could conceivably trade down to 20, still get a good d-lineman they like, and acquire extra picks. According to the draft trade value chart, if you believe in it, the ninth pick is worth 1,350 points. The Titans would need to trade their first, second, third and fifth round picks (1,439 points) for the Panthers first and fourth rounders (1,436 points), or something comparable, to move up to ninth.
Buffalo has the tenth pick and their biggest need is a left tackle. They’re expected to draft Riley Reiff, who was projected to go to the Bills in 10 of 20 mock drafts surveyed, and if they really like Reiff, they may not want to trade down. In that case, the Titans might need to trade up to ninth instead. If the Titans were able to trade with the Bills at #10, it would still be expensive, though not quite as much as ninth. The tenth pick is worth 1,300 points, so Tennessee would need to give their first, second, fourth and sixth picks (1,309 points) for the Bills’ first and seventh round picks (1,305 points.)
If the cost of either of those moves is too high, the Titans could seek to trade with the Eagles at #15 or Jets at #16, to get ahead of the Bengals and Chargers, assuming DeCastro hadn’t already been taken by the Chiefs, Seahawks, Cardinals or Cowboys.
The Eagles’ 15th overall pick is worth 1,050 points. It would cost the Titans their first, third, fifth and seventh round picks (1,060 points) to get Philly’s first-rounder and the third of their sixth-round picks (1,061 points.)
To trade with the Jets at #16, the Titans would have to give their first and third picks (1,030 points) for the Jets’ first and fifth-rounders (1,030 points.) I would be all for that and would hope the Jets would be for it as well. (Note: I just heard a rumor on the radio that the Jets inquired about Trent Richardson, to verify his contact info was correct. Could they trade up into the top five, and if so, who would take over their #16 spot?)
You may not agree with the draft value chart and that’s fine; simply adjust the values according to what you think they should be.
My question for you is, should the Titans trade up for DeCastro, and if so, how much should they give up to get in position to draft him? For that matter, is there anyone else (Cox, Ingram, et al) you’d like for the Titans to trade up for, and if so, how much should the Titans give up for them?