With the 10th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans should select defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from the University of Missouri. Last season the Titans defense struggled to apply pressure to the opposing quarterback which frequently left their secondary vulnerable to big plays.
During the offseason Titans general manager Ruston Webster has upgraded the offensive line and added much needed depth along the defensive line and secondary. Unable to afford to pay for a big name pass rusher the Titans will have to rely on the NFL Draft to find a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.
For some odd reason, Richardson has failed to generate the buzz of other defensive tackles despite him having more impressive statistics and little injury concerns. Last season against the University of Alabama, which had the best offensive line in the country, he was clearly a man among boys recording 14 tackles and a sack. Week in and week out, Richardson dominated the competition in the nation’s premiere conference, the SEC.
The last time the Titans drafted a premiere rusher in the first round was nearly a decade ago when they selected Jevon Kearse. The Titans were a perennial playoff contender when Kearse (aka the Freak) terrorized quarterbacks and gave opposing offensive coordinators nightmares.
The Titans can address their offensive and secondary concerns in the later rounds. There is tremendous value available at the offensive tackle position like University of Alabama center/guard, Barrett Jones who is a hometown kid. And the Titans can select from a bevy of talented defensive backs who could be difference makers in the Music City like Robert Alford from Southeastern Louisiana State.
When the Titans were a perennial playoff contender their defensive line sent chills down the backs of the opposition, drafting Richardson will provide the disruption that the Titans so desperately need.