Titans Closing in on Being Contenders?

There has been the anticipation of something great coming from the Tennessee Titans ever since they drafted Marcus Mariota second overall in 2015. Then the Titans gave the reigns to new general manager Jon Robinson in 2016. Robinson has been a very active GM, making trades and acquiring picks to get the players the team needs to become a contender again.

In his first season at the helm, the Titans rose from fourth to second in the AFC South and were very unfortunate to miss out on the postseason with a 9-7 record. Finally, for the first time in nine years, 2017 saw the Titans return to the playoffs, losing to the eventual finalists, the New England Patriots, in the divisional playoffs.

Now the Tennessee Titans look to enter the 2018 season with a very strong crop of experienced, but young players as well as some fresh faces from the latest draft to patch their greatest needs. With so much talent in almost every position, the Titans could soon fulfill the destiny penciled for them just a couple of years ago.

Trading Up For a Quality Player

At the 2018 NFL Draft, the standout school was, without a doubt, Alabama. The Crimson Tide saw 12 players picked in the draft, surpassing a record that the team had set just the season prior. Four of those 12 Alabama players were taken in the first round, one of which was linebacker Rashaan Evans by the Tennessee Titans.

Year after year, Alabama manages to produce top-class talent that's set to play in the NFL. This year, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Da'Ron Payne, Calvin Ridley, and Rashaan Evans were selected in the first round from the team that won the 2018 National Championship. Expect something similar next year, as well, with Alabama favored in the American football odds to win the NCAAF Championship at +225.

Their players are so coveted that teams will trade up to select them, which is exactly what Robinson decided to do to grab Evans. To move up from 25th, the Titans GM engineered a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to receive the 22nd and 215th picks in exchange for the 25th and 125th picks. The Titans filled their primary need with Evans, who is expected to come in at inside linebacker from Week 1.

Fulfilling Their Destiny

Following a now trademark spree of trades from Jon Robinson, the Tennessee Titans were set to have six draft selections within the first 76 picks of the 2016 NFL Draft. As every team since 1975 with that many picks so high up has gone on to win the Super Bowl within the next five years, a lot of hype has gathered around the Titans. They did decide to trade to finish with only five picks in the first 76, but had three selections within that range -- two first-rounders -- in the following year.

The Titans have built a very strong team through the draft, and they look to be heading towards the destined Super Bowl despite not using all six high selections themselves. By adding Rashaan Evans as well as Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis for the 2018 season, the Titans look set to claim a place in the postseason and improve on their 2017 showing. Their young and talented core may even be able to push all the way to Super Bowl LIII.

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