The Tennessee Titans have been one of the most surprising teams this season.
After finishing 3-13, and securing the first-overall draft pick, the Tennessee Titans are now 9-7 just a hair out of the playoffs. They ended up trading last years top pick to the Rams for a king’s ransom so they could take Jared Goff. Now they own two first round picks in this year’s draft, and as of now seven confirmed picks.
They Titans are well on their way to contention after drafting their franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota, in 2015 and adding DeMarco Murray to their offense. These two additions have sparked the Titans’ run this year, and their eighth ranked offense, but in order to continue they’ll need to add more talent at receiver to help Mariota out more, and on defense.
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The Titans rank 21st in total defense, 5th in rushing defense, and 31st in passing defense, so it’s evident what needs to be done. The Titans need help at cornerback, wide receiver, and tight end the most, and there are plenty of options at each position in this draft to fill their needs.
Nov 12, 2016; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Teez Tabor (31) works out prior to the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Titans need a corner to help their 31st ranked passing attack improve, and drafting a top ranked cornerback prospect will help them with that. Jalen Tabor is a shutdown corner from Florida and is an improvement over any of their in house options. With no names set to hit free agency that are stars, the Titans should look to add a long term cornerback, and the best one in the draft while they can. With a high enough pick to warrant considerable trade value, they could always trade back and stockpile more picks if none of these prospects fit their liking.
Nov 27, 2015; Toledo, OH, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) smiles after the game against the Toledo Rockets at Glass Bowl. Broncos win 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
The Titans receivers weren’t supposed to be this good. Rishard Matthews has played like a No. 1 receiver all year long and Tajae Sharp has started to come into his own. However, neither are premier targets in the NFL, and could benefit from the Titans bringing in another top talent at the position. Western Michigan’s Corey Davis is a big play boundary threat who caught 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He’s a solid route runner, and would be their biggest receiver target at 6’3″ and 218 lbs. which they need a size upgrade.
Oct 8, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Daeshon Hall (10) in action during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Kyle Field. The Aggies defeat the Volunteers 45-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
EDGE, Texas A&M
Adding guys who can get after the passer is never a bad thing, and it will help improve the Titans’ 31st ranked passing defense if they can put some pressure on the quarterback, and give their corners some help. Daeshon Hall is an edge guy that could really help their pass rush. Often overshadowed by the consensus top prospect, Myles Garrett, Hall’s had a solid career at Texas A&M totaling 14 sacks, and 33 tackles for loss in 41 games, he’s also forced four fumbles, and recovered two. At 6’6″ and 260lbs. he’s big enough to play end, but is athletic enough to play outside linebacker. His combination of length, height, speed, and ability make him a prime mid round target for team’s in need of a pure pass rusher off the edge.
Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku (86) hauls in a touchdown catch in front of Duke Blue Devils cornerback Mark Gilbert (28) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami won 40-21. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Tight End, Miami (FL)
Delanie Walker and Marcus Mariota have formed quite the connection this past year, Walker has 60 catches for 765 yards and seven scores, but after Walker the tight end situation goes downhill. David Njoku had similar production, 38 catches for 654 yards and seven scores, is younger than Walker, and provides pass catching and blocking abilities moving forward. With Walker sitting at 32 years old, and a contract expiring in 2018, have move forward written all over it. Njoku is big enough to block on the inside, and athletic enough to line up on the outside and make plays in the passing game, as he showed at Miami.
Sep 17, 2016; Stanford, CA, USA; USC Trojans offensive tackle Zach Banner (73) prepares to enter the field prior to a NCAA football game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Offensive Guard, USC
The Titans’ offensive line has vastly improved between this and last season, and the drafting of Jack Conklin last year is really paying off. Adding depth and a talent that can come in and compete is never a bad thing, and USC’s Zach Banner is a huge lineman at 6’8″ and 375 lbs. who can pave holes you could fit a semi truck through. Banner’s versatile and can play either right guard or right tackle wherever he goes at the next level, and will be sought after mostly for his run blocking skills, which is perfect for Tennessee and their power running game with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry at tailback.
Oct 8, 2016; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons linebacker Marquel Lee (8) stands on the field during a timeout in the first quarter against the Syracuse Orange at BB&T Field. Wake defeated Syracuse 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Inside Linebacker, Wake Forest
The Titans still need to bolster their inside linebacking corps, and adding a playmaking inside linebacker can be a useful tool for them. Marquel Lee tallied 20 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks with three forced fumbles from the inside. At 6’3″ and 240 lbs. he has the ideal size to play linebacker at the next level. With one year left on Avery Williamson and Justin Woodyard’s contracts and Sean Spence’s expiring this year, it makes sense to add some depth and free up some cap room by letting one of them walk.
Sep 5, 2015; Pullman, WA, USA; Portland State Vikings defensive back Xavier Coleman (38) looks to the crowd after a Washington State Cougars turnover during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Vikings won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Cornerback, Portland State
Xavier Coleman is a widely unknown prospect from a small school, and was named to the first team All Big Sky team this season. With seven interceptions and 18 pass breakups in the past two years, Coleman has proven he has ball skills. He was targeted less times this year than in previous years, and has shown off improved coverage skills that have drawn the interest of NFL teams. The Titans need some help at cornerback and taking a corner like Coleman late round is a low risk, potentially high reward selection.