NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans have traded the No. 1 overall selection in this month’s NFL draft to the Los Angeles Rams for a collection of picks in one of the biggest deals in league history.
In a deal agreed to Wednesday night and announced Thursday, Tennessee swaps the top pick to the Rams along with its choices in the fourth and sixth rounds. The Rams will give the Titans their first-round pick (No. 15 overall) along with two second-round selections and their third-round pick in the draft starting April 28. The Titans also will receive the Rams’ first- and third-round round picks in the 2017 draft.
With the trade, the Rams now have the ability to draft the quarterback of their choice and make a splash as they return to Los Angeles after leaving St. Louis this year. Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Jared Goff of California are considered the top QB prospects.
"Our philosophy has always been to build through the draft," Rams general manager Les Snead said in a statement. "This trade is a reflection of that goal and Mr. Kroenke’s dedication to assembling a winning team on the field. We appreciate his commitment as we continue to improve our roster and lay the foundation for our future through this year’s draft."
Rams coach Jeff Fisher coached the Titans from 1994-2010, including three seasons when they were the Houston Oilers.
Tennessee now has six of this draft’s first 76 picks. General manager Jon Robinson, hired in January, is looking to rebuild a franchise that has gone 5-27 the past two seasons.
"It is not often that you have the No. 1 overall pick and we hope to not be in this position again, but we tried to use that pick as currency to work the draft and maximize player acquisition," Robinson said in a statement.
Robinson said the addition of draft picks for this year and next gives the Titans flexibility. So Tennessee might not be staying at No. 15.
"I would say it doesn’t knock us out of any player except one," Robinson said. "We now have the ammunition to work the draft and acquire players that are good for this football team. In terms of timing, it made sense for us to do this now as it gives us time to adjust and make sure we target more players."
This is just the seventh trade involving the top overall pick since 1990, and the first since 2004. That was when San Diego drafted Eli Manning and traded his rights to the New York Giants, with the Chargers winding up with Philip Rivers.
The details of the deal: The Titans send their No. 1 pick to the Rams for LA’s No. 1 (15th overall), two second-rounders (No. 43, No. 45), and a third-rounder (No. 76). Tennessee also gets the Rams’ first- and third-round picks in the 2017 draft. The Rams also get the Titans’ fourth-round (No. 113) and sixth-round (No. 177) selections this year.