Over the past year, the Tennessee Titans have completely flipped their image. Led by their General Manager, Jon Robinson, the Titans have gone from one of the worst teams in the league to now a team on the verge of making the playoffs and on the top of everyone sleeper lists. Robinson has used his 12 years of experience of working with the New England Patriots organization to not only develop an identity for the Titans but also change the way they are looked at around the league.
After a multitude of trades last year, the Titans are going into this year’s draft with two 1st round picks and two 3rd round picks, thanks to the trade they made with the Rams so that they could move up to select QB Jared Goff #1 overall. The Titans will not have their 2nd round pick due to them trading up to select their RT Jack Conklin, a trade with seemed to work out very good for them. With eight picks in the draft, let’s go over what I think could be the best players to select when their pick comes up.
1st Round – 5th Overall – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Wide Receiver is by far the biggest hole on the Tennessee Titans roster. Rishard Matthews ad Tajae Sharpe are the only ones on the current roster who appear to be safe. This pick will be debated all the way up to the pick between Davis and Mike Williams of Clemson. Both are worthy of being the 1st WR taken and both are great at what they do.
Williams is bigger, better at the jump ball downfield, and has played against better competition. Davis is faster, a better route runner and extremely dynamic with the ball after the catch. Williams may be better for the Titans run game. Moreover, with the type of ball QB Marcus Mariota throws, Davis would be the perfect pick for him.
1st Round – 18th Overall – Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Sidney Jones is arguably the best CB in the entire draft. Unfortunately, he was badly injured in the Washington Pro Day. He has surgery on his Achilles and will be out for about 4-6 months. Because of that, I think it could push him back from being picked in the high teens to the low teens. This would be a steal for the Titans who currently have the newly signed Ryan Logan to go with Devin McCourty and last year’s 5th round pick, LeShaun Sims. Jones has not allowed a TD all year and Washington secondary was considered one of the best groups in the nation.
3rd Round – 83rd Overall – Fabian Moreau, S, UCLA
Even though the Tennessee Titans went out and signed Johnathan Cyprien to tag up with their 3rd round pick last year, Kevin Byard, Cyprien is more of an “in the box” Safety. I fully expect that on 3rd downs, Cyprien will move down into the LB spot and Moreau could then come in as a 2nd FS. Moreau can play both S and CB and has the speed to create a 2nd centerfielder with Byard at the back of the Titans defense. Cyprien can cover most RBs and TEs, but when someone like Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson lines up in the slot, Moreau would be able to line up in the slot with them due to his CB experience.
3rd Round – 100th Overall – Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
Delanie Walker is still very effective. He one of the best TEs in the league. But Leggett helps them two-fold. One, Walker is going to be 33 on opening day. The Titans don’t have much depth behind him currently if he breaks down or gets hurt. Two, with the Titans power running game, it would make sense that they could run a lot of 2 TE sets and run play action off it with those 2 as dynamic weapons. This year is a very deep year for TEs and this would be the perfect situation to replace Anthony Fasano, who left in free agency back to the Miami Dolphins.
4th Round – 124th Overall – KD Cannon, WR, Baylor
Tajae Sharpe was the Titans 5th round pick last year. He had a solid year, but in reality, Sharpe is a hard worker that probably fits better as a 4th WR. Also, with the lack of depth and talent at the WR position, I fully expect the Titans to double dip here. 3 productive years at Baylor, Cannon is an explosive slot receiver. With a top 4 of Davis, Matthews, Cannon, and Sharpe, with Weems as the 5th WR, while he handles PR/KR duties, the Titans go from one of the weakest to one of the most talented WR groups. Very much like what they did to their offensive line last year.
5th Round – 164th Overall – Jayon Brown, ILB, UCLA
Last week the Titans gave their ILB, Wesley Woodyard, a 2-year extension. However, one could argue that at worst, they need to add depth behind him and defensive play caller, Avery Williamson. Brown may be a bit smallish, but he is very athletic and good in coverage. One of the biggest weaknesses this defense had was covering TEs and RBs. Brown is someone that had 3 INTs as a senior and had 12 passes defended over the past 2 years. He is always around the ball and those are the type of guys that are good for any football team.
6th Round – 214th Overall – Stevie Tuikolovatu, NT, USC
For years, I’ve been saying that the Tennessee Titans need to add a space eater at NT. Over the past couple years, Al Woods has done an okay job. Considering he is in the 305 to 310-pound range. For this defense, I think it’s best to get one of those mammoth 330+ pound guys. Tuikolovatu is 6’1 331 pounds and was hell to move in the middle of that USC Trojan defense. The Titans did sign NT Sylvester Williams. He will go with current NTs, last year’s 2nd round pick, Austin Johnson, and undrafted free agent, Antwon Woods. The Titans have a lot of beef on their roster. At this point, adding a late round NT would just add to the depth.
7th Round – 236th Overall – Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
The Titans recently added 2 WRs and a TE to their arsenal. The only thing missing from the Tennessee Titans offense is a 3rd down scat back. Pumphrey was a workhorse for San Diego State, piling up 7444 yards and 67 TDs in his college career. Pumphrey is small at 5’8 176 pounds and ran a 4.48 forty at the Combine. He won’t get too many touches. However, he can take the role of Antonio Andrews and fill in behind Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry. He would be a nice change up of lightning to the thunder/thunder combo of Murray/Henry.
With the level of the players above, the Titans will likely be the favorites to win the AFC South. They may even be one of the contenders to get to the AFC Championship game. Fourteen months ago, the Tennessee Titans were one of the laughingstocks of the NFL. At this point, behind the strong leadership of Jon Robinson and franchise QB Marcus Mariota, they seem ready to take the next step. A step towards filling one of the top spots in the AFC. A draft like the one above gets them there. Now, the only thing left to do is stay tunedvfor April 27th.