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Marcus Mariota drafted by Tennessee Titans at No. 2

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Despite a near constant stream of trade rumors, the Titans held onto their No. 2 pick and landed Marcus Mariota.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner was thought to be coveted by his former college coach, Chip Kelly, as well as higherups from the Browns, Bears and Jets.

In the end, though, the Titans liked him enough to decline any and all offers that headlined one of the busier pre-draft periods in recent memory. 

Titans general manager Ruston Webster immediately went on the record and said "we're not trading him," per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the plan is for Mariota to start Day 1.

NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon spoke with Mariota, who said he had no indication that the Titans would draft him. He spoke with Whisenhunt and Webster on the phone ... but they initally hung up on him by accident. Once the connection was re-established, the Titans had their guy. 

Mariota will provide a challenge for Whisenhunt, who will need to strike a balance between Mariota's unique skillset and the traditional demands of a pro-style offense.

Though the lines between college and pro have never been blurrier, Whisenhunt talked at length about working Mariota out under center.

If the pick works out, alleviating some of the "system quarterback" concerns that have dogged Mariota throughout the draft, this will be a coup in Nashville. Mariota was the cleaner prospect, he turned the ball over far less and he was more accurate during his time at Oregon.

If Whisenhunt cannot find a way to properly use him, though, questions about what he could have gotten for the pick may consume him. By the time the Titans were on the clock, the Eagles' offer was ballooning rapidly and included multiple first round picks atop their star defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox.

We'll find out soon enough, as the last two Heisman Trophy winners -- the first time in league history that the award winners have gone back to back atop the draft -- will likely square off in the opener.

The Titans had a lot of us fooled. Mariota was their guy all along. 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the first round of the NFL Draft. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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