Marcus Mariota is the only top NFL draft pick still un-signed. If he signs with the Tennessee Titans, should we consider backing them with NFL picks? Let's analyze their future odds now.
There was a lot of drama and commotion surrounding the Titans ahead of draft day, as they held the number two pick and therefore were assured of the chance to nab either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.
Would Tennessee draft one of the top quarterbacks? Maybe the Titans would trade away the pick in order to get some more talent and re-stock for the rebuild. Or perhaps Ken Whisenhunt and company were going to shock everyone and look at another position with the number two pick.
When the moment came, however, the Titans felt they had no choice but to draft Mariota, the Heisman winner, in hopes he could bring the franchise back to relevance in the National Football Association.
Setting the Scene
Let's not forget just how bad Tennessee has been recently. The Titans have been one of the whipping boys in the NFL, and the lack of a true franchise QB has been one of their biggest downfalls. Things reached an all-time low last season, when the team could only muster up two wins in a forgettable 2-14 season.
The quarterback situation was a mess, as Jake Locker (now retired), Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger were unable to guide the franchise to any kind of sustainable success. The offense was terrible throughout the season, and it's not like the Titans were any better defensively. The 2014 season was certainly one to forget for Tennessee fans.
A New Savior, Assuming He Signs
Mariota has quickly become the posterchild for Tennessee's rebuilding process, and it's clear that the city is excited about what's to come. At the very least, Mariota's presence will at least liven up the Titans' games and make them more enjoyable to watch.
Thing is, the former Oregon star has yet to sign his rookie deal, and that's obviously a big hurdle that the franchise will have to push through in order to lock up the services of the young quarterback.
There have been rumblings that the Titans may still be leaving the door open for a potential trade, but the more likely scenario is that the negotations will be wrapped up and that one or two unsettled clauses simply need to be resolved.
We're going to assume that the deal will be finalized sooner rather than later, as the longer this goes on, the worse it'll be for all those involved. From what we've been hearing, however, the franchise is extremely excited about Mariota's prospects, as he's been as advertised and more in training camp so far. There has been high praise for the rookie.
Looking at Tennessee's Chances
Listen, just because you draft a top QB prospect like Mariota doesn't mean your team is going to win all of a sudden compete.
Let's be real here. The Titans still have a lot of holes to plug within their roster, and it's going to take time for the pieces to come together and for this team to start challenging in the AFC South again. In order to keep up with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee needed a reliable quarterback, and they hope to have that now in Mariota.
That being said, the NFL odds are suggesting we're going to see another disappointing season out of the Titans in 2015. They're priced out at 200/1 to win the Super Bowl, which puts them tied for dead last on the NFL futures odds betting board alongside division foe Jacksonville. Tennesee meanwhile is listed at 75/1 to win the AFC and 14/1 to win the AFC South, behind both Indianapolis (1/4) and Houston (9/2) but ahead of the Jaguars.
It's clearly going to be a long road. The Titans' future will rest on Mariota's shoulders for now, but first the two sides must reach a deal.