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NFL Draft Primer: Tennessee Titans

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Team needs: Quarterback, Offensive line, Cornerback, Pass rusher, Wide receiver and Outside linebacker.

Titans’ selections:

Round 1 – 2nd overall

Round 2 – 33rd overall

Round 3 – 66th overall

Round 4 – 100th overall

Round 5 – 138th overall

Round 6 -177th overall

Round 6 – 208th overall

Good fits early:

Marcus Mariota: Everyone and their mother believes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, which puts the Tennessee Titans on the clock. The Titans could go in so many different directions here. Some have even suggested they trade down to get more draft picks, but in this scenario, that will not be the case.

As it currently stands, Zach Mettenberger, Charlie Whitehurst and Jordan Palmer are the quarterbacks on the Titans roster. Do any of those names sound appealing to you?

Well, hopefully your answer is no, which is why Marcus Mariota would be the ideal selection here. Mariota brings a winning pedigree and certain swagger to him that’s unmatched. Selecting Mariota would not only be beneficial on the field, but off it as well.

Dante Fowler, Jr.: Besides quarterback, having an elite pass rusher is probably the second most important thing to have. In today’s NFL, its all about the aerial attack because the rules are meant to give offenses an unfair advantage.

If Tennessee were to grab Fowler Jr., they give themselves a legit chance of having a dynamic pass rusher. The Florida Gator product is as athletic as they come on the defensive side of the ball. He boasted an impressive 40-time of 4.60.

Some may believe Fowler Jr. would be a reach at No. 2 overall, but if Tennessee feels he’s their guy, then I see no problem with this pick.

Jalen Collins: The Titans’ pass defense ranked in the middle of the pack last year, which isn’t terrible, but depth at the corner position is something Tennessee must address. If Collins were to be available in the early second round, it’ll be hard to pass him up.

Collins has an unique combination of speed, weight and height. During his tenure at LSU, he only started in 10 games, but this past season, he led the team in passes defended. With Blidi Wreh-Wilson being prone to injury and Coty Sensabaugh struggling to be consistent, selecting Collins here would be a wise decision.

Dorial Green-Beckham: Don’t be surprised if teams are gunshy to pull the trigger on Dorial Green-Beckham in the first round. The talented receiver was dismissed from the Mizzou football program after multiple run-ins with the law. If it weren’t for his off the field issues, he may have been considered a top 10 pick.

However, this could be a blessing in disguise because he may free fall to a team like Tennessee. Their leading receiver last year was Delanie Walker, who only caught 63 passes.

Potential late-round targets: 

Tyrus Thompson: This is a very deep draft class when it comes to offensive linemen. The Titans released veteran right tackle Michael Oher, which leaves a question of depth at the position. Reserve Byron Stingily re-signed, but it would be smart to get somebody to push him for the starting job in training camp.

Oklahoma Sooner product Tyrus Thompson could be a viable option in the middle rounds. He’s massive, at 6-foot-5, 324 pounds. For a guy of his stature, he’s pretty athletic and light on his feet. With that being said, he could use some more grooming at the next level.

Obum Gwacham: Converting from receiver to defensive end was one of the best things to ever happen to Gwacham. As you could imagine, Gwacham has superb athleticism for his size, standing at 6-foot-5, 246 pounds. When he’s able to get into opposing backfields, quarterbacks better just fall down.

However, Gwacham is a project and that’s understandable since he only has one year of experience at the position. If Tennessee is willing to be patient, this could be a guy who helps their pass rush immensely down the road.

Matt Jones: While everyone in Nashville is talking about quarterback play, the running game deserves to get some attention as well. Their leading rusher, Bishop Sankey, only rushed for 569 yards in 2014. Taking a guy like Matt Jones late wouldn’t hurt at all.

Jones is a big physical back that’s capable of moving the chains and he has enough quickness to get on the edge. This is not to say Jones is an every down back, but he’s somone who can be apart of a running back by committee system.

The Titans haven’t reached the playoffs in seven years and it’ll take a miracle for that to change this upcoming season. This team still has plenty of flaws and obviously it begins at the quarterback position.

Tennessee must figure out quickly who their franchise quarterback will be to completely move forward.

 


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.