Ranking Tennessee Titans’ Top 5 Needs In 2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft Ranking the Tennessee Titans’ Top 5 Needs
We know that the Tennessee Titans have many needs in the draft this year. They were considered a sleeper to contend for the playoffs last year by some, but once again failed to meet expectations and find themselves drafting in the top-10 of the first round. A team that isn't sure whether they’re closer to another top pick next season or a spot in the playoffs, they need to work on plenty this offseason.
The thing is, they aren't that far away from being a winning team. They haven’t had double-digit wins since 2008, but they also haven’t had less than six in that span either. Constantly kind of good, but not good enough, they have to figure out which direction they want to go in.
And that all starts with the draft this year. The majority of their needs are on the defensive side of the ball. They finished a respectable 11th in the league against the pass, but a disappointing 20th against the run. They need to get tougher on the line of scrimmage, and they need more playmakers behind them.
The offense also has issues, but most of that revolves around the up-and-down development of possible franchise quarterback Jake Locker. If Locker can finally put together a full season of solid play next year, the wins will follow.
Tennessee needs a good draft this year if they want to avoid finally falling off the cliff and becoming one of the worst teams in the league. Then again, if they draft well, they just might finally shock the world and wind up in the playoffs next year.
Either way they go, these are the top five needs they have in the draft this year.
With Alterraun Verner likely to be overpaid by someone else in free agency, the Titans will have a gaping hole to fill in the secondary. Even if they are able to keep him around, they could still use some depth at the important position.
4. Outside Linebacker
With the hiring of new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Titans are likely to switch from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4. Whisenhunt has used the 3-4 in the past, and is expected to transition to the defense right away. Tennessee hasn't had much production from their outside linebackers recently, especially in the pass rush department. With the switch to a 3-4 they need someone who can get after the quarterback from the edges.
3. Defensive End
Another issue with moving to the 3-4 will be finding the right defensive ends. The new scheme requires a bigger body who can take up blocks and open space for the linebackers to run around and make plays. Even more important, and harder to find, than the athletic playmakers behind them that get all the headlines, having the right defensive ends makes all the difference in the 3-4.
Jake Locker may or may not be a true franchise quarterback. We have no idea at this point. He's shown some signs that he can be the guy to get them back to the playoffs, but he hasn't been able to do it consistently enough to keep Tennessee from using a mid-round pick on someone who can come in and give him some competition for the starting job.
1. Inside Linebacker
Again, this all goes back to the expected switch to the 3-4. The Titans have a lackluster group of inside linebackers that include Colin McCarthy and Moise Fokou. If they want to have a successful 3-4 defense they need athletic inside linebackers who can make plays.
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