Posted on: April 5, 2023, 12:32h.
Last updated on: April 5, 2023, 01:08h.
The Tennessee Titans need a new quarterback, and they’re considering a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to secure the #3 pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
The Titans have the #11 pick but will have to make a bold move to trade up if they expect to find a potential franchise quarterback in the draft like Anthony Richardson from the Florida Gators.
With only a handful of elite quarterback prospects in this draft class, teams like the Titans are feeling the pressure to move up in the draft via a trade.
Four Elite QBs, Then a Dropoff
The Carolina Panthers pulled the trigger on a trade for the #1 pick, which previously belonged to the Chicago Bears. The Panthers jumped from #9 to the first pick, and they’re leaning toward selecting Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud.
With the #2 pick, the Houston Texans will select either Alabama quarterback Bryce Young or Stroud, depending on who the Panthers choose with the first pick.
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson are the other two coveted prospects. Richardson saw his draft stock soar in recent weeks after a stellar performance at the NFL combine.
Richardson is considered a late bloomer. He only went 6-6 as the starting quarterback of the Florida Gators. Scouts have an affinity for SEC quarterbacks because they compete against some of the top defenses in college. They liked what they saw on his game film as a dual-threat athlete with a strong arm for a mobile quarterback.
Levis is more of a traditional passer. Before last season began, the Kentucky signal caller was ranked #1 as the top quarterback on the board. His draft stock slowly dipped through the season because of the rise of Stroud, Young, and Richardson.
Stroud is the betting favorite at -300 odds to become the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, according to DraftKings. Young is second at +200 odds, and Richardson is at +1000 odds.
DraftKings has another prop bet on who will become the third quarterback selected in the draft. Richardson is that betting favorite at -275 odds, and Levis is +220.
Titans Eyeing Richardson or Levis
The Titans missed the playoffs last season with a 7-10 record. Head coach Mike Vrabel had led the Titans to three straight playoff berths before he posted his first and only losing season with Tennessee.
The Titans are looking to shake things up at quarterback after they lost faith in Ryan Tannehill. Just four seasons ago, Tannehill led the Titans to a trip to the AFC championship before they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Tannehill went 0-2 in the playoffs in subsequent seasons. He battled injuries last season and went 6-6 in 12 games as a starter.
Rookie backup Malik Willis, the third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, went 1-2 during his three games as a starter replacing Tannehill. The Titans are undecided about sticking with Willis as their future quarterback.
If the Titans trade up to grab the #3 pick, they’ll target either Richardson or Levis.
General manager Ran Carthon recently shot down rumors that the Titans want to trade running back Derrick Henry before the upcoming NFL Draft. However, he was vague about their intentions to move up in the draft to pursue a quarterback.
Oddsmakers don’t have any faith in the Titans to make a Super Bowl run. The Titans have a projected win total of 7.5 over/under wins in this upcoming season, and they’re +8000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII.
The Titans are +350 odds to win the AFC South as the second favorite on the futures board behind the Jacksonville Jaguars at -130 odds, but ahead of the Colts (+500), and Texans (+1000).
Cardinals Trading Down in a Rebuild Year
The Cardinals already have a quarterback with Kyler Murray, so they’re not interested in using the third-overall pick in the draft to pursue either Richardson or Levis. They know they could net multiple future first-round picks if they trade the third pick, which is why they fielded calls from the Titans, Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Las Vegas Raiders.
The Cardinals are at the start of a rebuild, so they welcome the additional draft capital. They recently fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury after a 4-13 season. Jonathan Gannon, the Philadelphia Eagles’ former defensive coordinator, replaced Kingsbury as the head coach. Plus, Murray sustained a torn ACL late last season and he’s expected to miss the majority of the 2023 season while recovering from surgery.
The Cardinals are the biggest long shot on the board to win Super Bowl LVIII, and are currently +20000 odds a DraftKings.
The Cardinals have a projected win total of 5.5 over/under games for next season. It’s no surprise to see that they’re the long shot to win the NFC West. The 49ers are the betting favorite to win the division at -140 odds, ahead of the Seattle Seahawks (+240), Los Angeles Rams (+475), and Cardinals (+2000).
Colts, Raiders, Falcons in Play for #3?
The Colts have the #4 pick, but they’ve been mentioned in multiple trade rumors with the Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. The Colts were outbid by the Panthers and missed out on securing the #1 pick from the Bears. If they have strong feelings about Richardson, then they’ll make the jump to #3. Otherwise, they can stand pat and potentially grab Levis with the fourth-overall pick.
The Colts considered a trade with the Ravens to acquire quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens and Jackson had been negotiating a contract extension, but Jackson wants a 100% guarantee. The Ravens balked, leading Jackson to ask for a trade. The Colts would love to add Jackson, but like the Ravens, they’re not interested in a fully guaranteed contract.
The Raiders recently signed Jimmy Garoppolo, a former starter with the San Francisco 49ers, to a multiyear deal. They seem set at quarterback, but the Raiders are an unpredictable franchise and could take a risky shot at trading up from the #7 pick to the #3.
The Falcons have the #8 pick, but there are mixed messages coming out of Atlanta because they’re mentioned in potential trade rumors with the Cardinals. Head coach Arthur Smith said he has confidence in second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, but the Falcons added Taylor Heinicke in free agency. Heinicke was a backup with the Washington Commanders last season and now will serve as a backup behind Ridder.