The Way We Hear It: Laremy Tunsil could fall in the NFL Draft

The Rams-Titans trade cost Tunsil millions, at least a few draft positions

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Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil watches players participate in drills at the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil watches players participate in drills at the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) — L.G. Patterson

Lost in all the analysis of the Rams trade with the Titans for the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft and which quarterback the Rams will use the pick on is what a bad day it was for Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

There was little question Tunsil was going to be the first player chosen this year had the Titans retained the pick.

Florida St. cornerback/safety Jalen Ramsey was a possibility, but a real long shot.

Even if the Rams now make another trade, no team is dealing back up to No. 1 to take an offensive tackle in a first round that is rich with them.

Tunsil also won’t be going second to the Browns – that could be a blessing we suppose – as Joe Thomas is the franchise in Cleveland.

While the Chargers offensive line has been wanting in recent seasons, having just re-signed King Dunlap with a $13 million guaranteed to keep him under control through the 2019 season, the Chargers will almost certainly look at either Ramsey or DeForest Buckner at three.

The Cowboys won’t be drafting another offensive lineman at four, which brings us to Jacksonville in the five hole.

The Jags are a possibility, but they just used the second overall pick three drafts ago on Luke Joeckel and last month signed Kelvin Beachum to a five-year, $45 million deal.

While Joeckel has under-performed due in part to injury problems, Tunsil would be a real luxury pick for Jacksonville.

That brings us to the Ravens at six, 49ers at seven and Eagles at eight. The Ravens could absolutely go OT at six and the 49ers and Eagles might just be thinking tackles as well assuming Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are both gone.

Let’s assume Tunsil goes to the Ravens at six.

Although they are not always technically fully guaranteed, realistically first round picks almost always last at least four years, so we can just talk total value of contracts for purposes of this conversation.

Last season, Jameis Winston got $23.5 million at one and Marcus Mariota got $24 million at two. Third pick Dante Fowler, Jr. signed for $23.5 million, at four Amari Cooper got $22.7 million and the first offensive lineman off the board, Brandon Scherff, got $21.2 million at five.

Ironically last years presumed sure-fire third pick, Leonard Williams – everybody knew Winston and Mariota were going one and two – went sixth to the Jets and signed for $18.6 million.

Should Tunsil go sixth to the Ravens it will mean the Rams trade most likely cost him about $5 million, and if the Ravens pass him it falls off the edge of the table fast.

2015 number seven pick Kevin White got $16.56 million from the Bears and at number eight, Vic Beasley got $12.9 million with Atlanta.

The Rams trade with the Titans cost Tunsil a fortune and the news may be worse than that.

We’re hearing from a number of sources that as Pro Days and visits have gone on, more than a few NFL clubs – including at least one among the Ravens, 49ers and Eagles and possible two – are starting to lean towards Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley as the better choice slightly ahead of Tunsil.

Both are phenomenal athletes but Stanley’s intangibles may be superior to Tunsil’s. And while both appear to have bright futures in the league, Stanley may prove to be the safer and more rewarding pick.

This much is not in doubt, it’s been a really difficult week for Tunsil.