What would the ideal 2017 NFL Draft look like for the Tennessee Titans across all seven rounds?
With the 2017 NFL Draft right around the corner, the time to take a shot at an ideal weekend for the Tennessee Titans is upon us. Coming off a 9-7 season and a couple of solid free agent pickups, the Titans could be on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2008. This draft can only help that process.
So who will the Titans come away with in this draft? Let’s take an educated guess.
For sanity’s sake, we won’t deal with any trade possibilities. We’ll assume the Titans make their eight picks in their allotted slots.
Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; LSU Tigers safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts after they they stopped Louisville Cardinals on 4th down during the second half at Camping World Stadium. LSU Tigers defeated the Louisville Cardinals 29-9. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
First Round Double Down
With the fifth pick in the first round, the Titans select strong safety Jamal Adams of LSU. The Titans have their two starters at safety, but teams play so much sub-package now it doesn’t hurt to have another talented defensive back in the system, and Adams might be the best defensive back in the draft.
With the 18th pick in the first round, the Titans select wide receiver John Ross from Washington. Speed to burn and keep opponents from sliding a safety into the box. If all Ross does as a rookie is run go routes — and he’s better than that — he’s worth the pick. This assumes both Howard and Mike Williams are off the board.
With the 83rd pick in the draft, the Titans select cornerback Sidney Jones, also out of Washington. Doubling up on Huskies would be a good move. Jones suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon at his on-campus workout but could be ready at the start of the season. The draft is deep in corners, which could cause Jones to fall into the top of the third round. The Titans would be wise to grab a first-round talent in the third round, despite the injury.
With the 100th pick in the draft, the Titans select Alabama defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson can play nose or end, which makes him a nice pickup here. Dick LeBeau always values guys who have the ability to do both in his 3-4 defense.
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida International tight end Jonnu Smith goes through workout drills during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Middle Of The Road (And Draft)
In the fourth round with the 124th pick in the draft, the Titans select tight end Jonnu Smith of Florida International. At 6-3, 248 pounds, Smith ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s a down the seam threat. He’ll need to improve as a blocker, but his speed down the middle is enticing.
Heading into the fifth round, the Titans select Wisconsin outside linebacker Vince Biegel with the 164th overall pick. He’s a little undersized and needs to get stronger, but Biegel’s a football player. He’ll star right away on special teams before heading onto a long NFL career, possibly working his way into the starting lineup down the road.
In Round 6, with the 214th selection, the Titans select quarterback Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee. It’s never a bad thing to have a young quarterback in the system and Dobbs has a lot of the intangibles you look for in a developmental QB. He needs to get better with his mechanics. But he’s got a similar skill set to starter Marcus Mariota, without the polish.
Finally, in the seventh round, with the 236th selection, the Titans select Darrell Williams Jr., an offensive lineman with versatility out of Western Kentucky. Teams have begun to warm on Williams after seeing him while checking out talented teammate Forrest Lamp. Williams is a developmental swing lineman, which is what you’re looking for at this point in the draft.