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Tennessee Titans talk up Marcus Mariota before draft

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It's smokescreen season in the NFL, and the Tennessee Titans are at the center of it all. General manager Ruston Webster and coach Ken Whisenhunt laid it on thick at their Tuesday predraft press conference, talking up Oregon prospect Marcus Mariota as a possibility for the No. 2 overall pick.

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Webster said that Mariota and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston are clearly the best two quarterbacks in the draft, which isn't a controversial statement. But Webster strained credulity when he said he appreciates both quarterbacks so much that Tampa's decision at No. 1 will have no impact on the Titans.

"If you think a player is a franchise quarterback, then that supersedes everything else," Webster said.

Whisenhunt added that the Titans would likely incorporate spread concepts into their offense if the team drafted Mariota. Our NFL Network reporter Jeff Darlington called Whisenhunt almost "comically transparent" when the coach talked up Mariota's ability to attend the team's veteran minicamp.

The most telling moment of the press conference came when Webster talked about what it would take for the Titans to trade their pick.

"Because of players that are there, we'd need to get value that will help our team now and in future," Webster said.

Translation: You will have to pony up a lot to get up to No. 2. Some other nuggets from the Titans:

» Webster said he's had trade talks with some teams, but not the San Diego Chargers. That confirms a report from NFL Network's Alex Flanagan. Webster said he hasn't had any serious trade talks. The possibility of Philip Rivers getting dealt looks awfully slim. 

» The Titans believe the wide receiver draft is very deep. Webster talked up possibly getting a lot of trade action on the No. 33 overall pick, which opens the second round.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the 2015 NFL Draft and breaks down the biggest rumors and storylines. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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