Skip to main content

Titans, Rams have brightest futures of teams involved in blockbuster trades

In a seven-day span, we saw a pair of blockbuster trades -- first between the Titans and Rams, then between the Browns and Eagles -- completely shake up the 2016 NFL Draft. Here is what each team came away with:


Titans receive from Rams: First-rounder (No. 15 overall), second-rounder (43), second-rounder (45), third-rounder (76), first-rounder in 2017, third-rounder in 2017.

Rams receive from Titans: First-rounder (No. 1 overall), fourth-rounder (113), sixth-rounder (177).


Browns receive from Eagles: First-rounder (No. 8 overall), third-rounder (77), fourth-rounder (100), first-rounder in 2017, second-rounder in 2018.

Eagles receive from Browns: First-rounder (No. 2 overall), fourth-rounder in 2017.

Taking all of that into account -- as well as the current state of each team's roster and coaching staff -- which franchise has the most compelling five-year outlook?

There is only one team among these four that should be extremely excited about its future, and it's the one that already has a franchise quarterback in place: Tennessee. Marcus Mariota may still be learning but he should have plenty of help around him.

If the Titans hit on a majority of the five picks they received from the Rams, Tennessee should be able to improve their offensive line, receiving corps and defense in this draft. Adding a first- and third-round pick next year gives them more shots at adding depth and playmakers to their roster. There certainly are no guarantees in life but this much we do know: The more opportunities you have to achieve something, the greater the chances that you'll get it right in the end. The Rams have the best chance to win right now with stud running back Todd Gurley and a good defense. They have proven they can beat good teams when they get winning QB play. Whoever they select as the No. 1 pick, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, will be an upgrade for them at the quarterback position.

The team that has the best upside down the road is Tennessee. The Titans have a good, young and talented quarterback in Marcus Mariota and a LOT in offensive tackle Taylor Lewan -- and those are two of the hardest positions to find. With the draft selections they acquired in the recent trade, the Titans have a chance to make a major jump in the AFC South in the future. The Eagles are headed in the right direction. This is a team that should have won 11 or 12 games last season and didn't because of their head coach (Chip Kelly). They have a talented roster, are strong in the trenches and should add more talent at QB and in the backfield in the draft.

When answering this question, you have to take each team's division into account. The Eagles have the best shot at winning their division in the next five seasons. The Titans have a ton of holes that can't be filled overnight. The Rams are playing in one of the toughest, if not the toughest, division in football. And the Browns haven't made me believe for decades. The Titans are the team with the best future. They already have a franchise quarterback in place with Marcus Mariota, and they have six of the first 76 picks in this year's draft. With those, they can rebuild the defense and continue to surround Mariota with talented playmakers. Given Mike Mularkey's history when working with young quarterbacks, the system should be in place to allow Mariota to grow and thrive, alongside an improving run game -- with the addition of DeMarco Murray -- and Dick LaBeau leading the defense. The Rams are the obvious choice here for several reasons. The team will be highly followed because of its move to Los Angeles. Also, the Rams will have a new starting quarterback for the third year in a row. Ownership must believe in the system GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher have in place to make a blockbuster trade like they did. The Rams have slowly built a defense over the past couple of seasons and are ready to take a big gamble on a quarterback. Everyone keeps waiting for the Rams to turn the corner, and maybe this is the move that will get them there. The Titans would be my choice. Forget for a moment the draft haul they received from Les Snead and Co. Any time an organization doesn't have a need for the top overall pick, and can fill its roster holes with a lower choice, adding draft currency is the best thing it can do. If a franchise had a void at quarterback, then that would not be the best move ... yet that's not the case in Tennessee.

OK, now we can talk about the actual haul. The fact the Titans got as much as they did and already have a franchise QB in place, they're in a better position long-term than any of the four teams. Did the Browns pick up a slew of selections in their move? Yes. But ask yourself, if you're starting a team tomorrow, would you rather have Marcus Mariota or RGIII under center?

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.