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ESPN's Todd McShay Weighs in on the Buzz Surrounding the Titans, and the 11th Overall Pick


NASHVILLE – We're still weeks before the NFL Draft, and already there's plenty of buzz surrounding the Titans and the 11th overall pick.

This after NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah suggested to "keep an eye" on Tennessee moving up to No.3 in a potential trade with the Cardinals.

On a Wednesday morning conference call, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay was asked about the subject.

"I haven't heard anything on it to be honest with you," McShay said. "It's more speculation, seeing (Mike) Vrabel at three of the top pro days … and seeing the staff they sent and knowing that (Ryan) Tannehill and the cap number he has, one of the highest cap numbers of the quarterbacks."

In his most recent mock draft, McShay has the Titans using the 11th overall pick in the first round to select Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and then using the No. 41 pick in the second round to select Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders.

McShay, however, said he understands why a team like the Titans might be interested in picking a young quarterback in the draft.

"Because of the collective bargaining agreement, you are no longer doling out $75 (million) for a rookie contract and guaranteed money," McShay said. "You are in the $25-$30 million range, so you get these guys on the cheap."

McShay pointed to Philadelphia's history at the quarterback position, and landing on Jalen Hurts after trying multiple other QBs in the past. He named the 49ers as a team that's tried a similar approach.

"To me, if you can get a quarterback on the cheap and develop him for a year behind a veteran, and if you wind up hitting," McShay said. "Even if he's a good quarterback and not great, even if he is average for a few years, think about how much they can do with the rest of their roster (if it works).

"If they bring in Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, whether they're trading up or staying at 11, what they can do for the rest of their roster if in 2024, that quarterback shows that he can be a solid starter for you and has upside and can continue to develop. Now you have four years with him as the starter at no money … it frees up so much money to get better everywhere else. And I think that's going to be a trend that we see more and more.

"And that's why you keep hearing about teams like Tennessee and like Seattle, like Las Vegas … teams that have veterans they are paying too much for, looking to bring in a young quarterback and develop them on the back end for a year or two, and if you hit on even an average starter for a few years, you get so much better everywhere else that you still have a chance to make a deep playoff run like San Francisco has done."

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