The NFL doesn't have a draft lottery like the NBA, but in many ways the Tennessee Titans must have felt like they hit the jackpot when the 2015 season came to a close.
Their dismal season was mercifully over, but silver linings were clearly visible in the dark clouds; their 3-13 record not only earned them the No. 1 selection in the 2016 draft, but Cleveland -- with the same record but a Week 2 loss in the head-to-head competition -- was sitting at No. 2.
The value of the No. 1 pick had just multiplied 10-fold. The Browns needed a quarterback and the Titans held all the cards. Quarterback-needy teams were sitting down at the table, chips in hand, taking aim at leap-frogging the Browns, whom many league insiders believe had their sights set on North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.
"It was a chance for us to really bolster the depth of our football team," Titans GM Jon Robinson said Thursday morning, shortly after the trade was announced.
The haul now gives Tennessee six of the top 76 picks in this year's draft (including the second pick in the second round, No. 33 overall), and enough selections in 2017 to control that one as well. And the dealing might not be done, as Robinson kept referring to his team's "options" on Thursday.
"I would say my phone is still working, so feel free to call," he said.
Robinson certainly has the ammunition now to do just about anything he wants. Sitting tight and selecting with the picks he currently owns might be the prudent thing to do for a team coming off a 3-13 season. It would allow the Titans to add to a talent-poor roster and build around some of the their most important assets, like QB Marcus Mariota and RB DeMarco Murray, whom Tennessee acquired in a trade this offseason.
One of the team's biggest needs is along the offensive line. The team has stated on several occasions that protecting Mariota is a high priority. At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Titans coach Mike Mularkey indicated that Jeremiah Poutasi is likely to see a move from right tackle to guard, and that tackle Taylor Lewan could play either side.
Interestingly, Conklin was asked Wednesday during his visit to NFL Media in Culver City, Calif., which NFL head coach intrigued him the most. The only name he brought up was Mularkey's.
"I really liked him because I see a lot of similarities between him and (MSU coach Mark Dantonio)," Conklin said as part of a Q&A published Thursday on NFL.com. "That really intrigues me because (Dantonio) is somebody that I trust and thrived under."