With the NFL draft inching closer, the Tennessee Titans still don't have a quarterback they can be confident in for the long term.
Whether or not that's enough for them to warrant spending the No. 2 overall pick on Marcus Mariota remains to be seen. With Jameis Winston a lock to go No. 1 to Tampa Bay, Mariota is the next best QB in this draft, but Tennessee appears willing to settle on Zach Mettenberger for one more season. Ken Whisenhunt has made QBs worse than Mettenberger look competent, so he might think it's best to address another position of need rather than take a gamble so high.
However, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora still believes Mariota is going No. 2 overall, whether it's Tennessee or a team that trades up to the No. 2 spot.
And the more the draft comes into play and the more quarterback-needy teams study the available talent, the more I become convinced that Marcus Mariota is going second overall. I remain in the camp that says this isn't a Tampa smokescreen – the Bucs brass is increasingly sold on Jameis Winston with the first-overall pick – and while Mariota's Pro Day was far from convincing and several teams still harbor doubts about how pro-ready he is, the old rules of supply and demand will apply.
It's a two quarterback draft and a good quarter of the league is at least uncertain about its present and/or future at this position. Mariota has more than enough supporters among NFL coaches and decisions makers to end up going with the second pick, whether to the Titans, who the pick, or another team via trade.
Some who know Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt well figure in the end, barring him being blown out of the water with a trade offer, he goes ahead and drafts the kid. "If there are three or four teams trying to trade up for him, then there's going to be a lot of pressure on Ken to take him if they keep the pick," as one source put it.
It's probably not Washington though that's looking to move up, even though recent reports have suggested otherwise. Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson reports that Washington's supposed interest in Mariota at No. 5 overall. Instead, he reports the Redskins are trying to "simulate a trade ahead of No. 5," sending another player farther down the board.
What about the Chargers? According to the Union-Tribune San Diego, there's been league-wide speculation that the Chargers "could be serious" about going after Mariota. This speculation comes as Philip Rivers' Chargers future is up in the air. Rivers intends to play out the final year of his deal without an extension.