Tennessee Titans 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
Tennessee Titans 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
After showing some early season promise, the Titans fell off last season finishing with a 7-9 record. They came up short in several respects on both sides of the ball and the draft this season provides them with an excellent chance to fill up a couple of holes that kept them from contending last season. They will have to compliment all of their moves in free agency, but they know that the best way to build a winning franchise is through the draft. That being said, they have plenty of holes to fill.
Specifically, this team needs more of a presence on the perimeter of the defense. They need more overall speed on the outside, which means they need quick and athletic outside linebackers and edge pass rushers. There are plenty of those in the draft and that's why that's the likely direction the Titans will go in the early rounds. Since they don't have a third round pick this season, they will have to make the most out of their top two picks in the draft, they could be crucial to the overall success of the draft.
In addition to their defensive front, the Titans need to add a couple of offensive lineman to challenge for spots in training camp. Competition will make everyone better and it will help them add depth to the unit that wasn't great last season. Beyond that, they just need more talent on the offensive line to give quarterback Jake Locker, or whoever gets the ball, more time in the pocket. This need isn't as pressing as adding speed on the outsides of the defense, but it's still something that needs to be addressed. After having such a solid running back for so many seasons, it's weird to say it, but the Titans are going to have to add another back after Chris Johnson will likely be leaving this offseason.
There are a few intriguing options at running back, but all the Titans really need for now is someone to compliment Shonn Greene, who is likely to be the team's starting back to start next season. Greene is a punishing rusher and someone who provides a change from that pace might be the best option. Regardless, the Titans are going to have to address several of these issues if they have any hope of competing in 2014 or the near future. Without a solid draft, they will find themselves muddling around .500 for the foreseeable future and that's not where they want to be.
Should the Titans have a solid draft, there's no reason to think they can't at least challenge for a wild card in 2014. How well they draft will obviously be determined in April, but here's a look at how they should go if everything falls into place.
Round 1 (11th overall): LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr is the consensus pick for the Titans to take 11th in the draft and for good reason. He has great size for an outside linebacker, especially one that will be playing in the Titans' defensive system. He's a sure tackler and will provide them with a pass rushing presence from the perimeter of the defense, which is exactly what this team needs. He's a perfect fit in Tennessee.
Round 2 (42nd overall): DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State
To compliment Barr, the Titans can add Crichton to the outside on the defensive line and suddenly turn their pass rush from a weakness to a strength. Like Barr, Crichton can start right away and be an impact player. He's got a large frame and could stand to improve his athleticism, but he can get to the edge and contain running backs within the tackles. If the team is able to land Barr in the first round, Crichton would be a great follow up in round two.
Round 4 (108th overall): HB Andre Williams, Boston College
This Heisman finalist isn't viewed as an elite NFL prospect, but he is still very capable of being a solid contributor. He could also develop into a very solid back over time if given the opportunity to see consistent snaps as he progresses. Playing behind Greene, Williams actually plays with the same bruiser mentality. He has more breakaway speed than Greene, so that will provide a change of pace. Taking Williams will allow the Titans to have a solid tandem in the back field to lean on.
Round 5 (139th overall): OT Charles Leno, Boise State
Leno is a huge body to add to the offensive line, which is what the Titans need to add to their roster. The use of his hands when pass blocking needs to improve and his footwork is still a little raw, but if he's given a chance to work with the coaching staff, then he can start to get rid of those problems. It might take a year before he's ready to be a starter, but he can learn during training camp this season and possibly even surprise some people with his improvement.
Round 6 (170th overall): DE Brent Urban, Virginia
No team can ever have enough depth on the defensive line and that's why Urban makes sense here. Even if the Titans add Crichton in the second round, taking Urban will give them even more chances at hitting a home run with a pick on the defensive line. This move would give them more depth at front as well as a better chance of getting a high quality player at a position of need.
Round 7 (205th overall): QB Tajh Boyd
With Jake Locker consistently injured and Ryan Fitzpatrick playing inconsistently, it's time the team took out an insurance policy at quarterback. Boyd is very raw, but he's a proven winner from his college days and he has an NFL body already. It's doubtful that Boyd will ever be a starter in the league, but if he's taken late and turned into a project, he could either be a solid career back up or turn into a mid-level starter a couple of years down the line.
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