3-Round mock draft for the Tennessee Titans
To call the Titans’ 2014 season troublesome might be an understatement. A team doesn’t win just twice and score a paltry 15.9 points per game when things are close to OK.
Tennessee has some work to do to get back to when trips to the playoffs were the norm and the "Music City Miracle" was a fond sidebar and not a distant memory.
Better days could be near. Especially if the second overall pick in the draft — and selecting near the top of every subsequent round — is put to good use. To pull off a first-round win, though, the Titans have a huge decision to make prior to the draft.
Is Zach Mettenberger the quarterback of the future?
If Mettenberger isn’t the guy, Tennessee at least has to consider taking a quarterback with the No. 2 pick. If the Titans want to see more of Mettenberger, they can grab the best player available in the first round — or even trade out of the pick — and rebuild elsewhere.
With 91 days remaining until the 2015 NFL draft, it’s still a bit too early to fully run a seven-round mock draft. But pondering the first three picks from the Titans could be a lot of fun.
Here’s a mocked version of the first pick:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Jameis Winston, QB — Florida State
Instead of grabbing Marcus Mariota, the Titans are going to avoid the potential quarterback trap and enhance their defensive line.
2. Tennessee Titans — Leonard Williams, DT — USC
Williams is typically thought of as the No. 1 player on most draft boards. His seven sacks and nine tackles for loss only tell a portion of the story about his potential.
At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Williams is a terror in the pass rush and can fully stop the run. Think about Gerald McCoy as an interior lineman comparison and J.J. Watt as an outside likeness. His upside is that high.
Williams is ready to step away from the draft and onto the football field immediately. He’s that good. And he should be a force in the NFL for many years.
After the Titans take Williams, here’s a look at how the rest of the first round could play out:
3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Randy Gregory, DE — Nebraska
4. Oakland Raiders — Amari Cooper, WR — Alabama
5. Washington Redskins — Shane Ray, DE — Missouri
6. New York Jets — Marcus Mariota, QB — Oregon
7. Chicago Bears — Landon Collins, S — Alabama
8. Atlanta Falcons — Dante Fowler, Jr., OLB — Florida
9. New York Giants — Brandon Scherff, OT — Iowa
10. St. Louis Rams — Andrus Peat, OT — Stanford
11. Minnesota Vikings — DeVante Parker, WR — Louisville
12. Cleveland Browns — Danny Shelton, DT — Washington
13. New Orleans Saints — Vic Beasley, DE — Clemson
14. Miami Dolphins — Shaq Thompson, OLB — Washington
15. San Francisco 49ers — Kevin White, WR — West Virginia
16. Houston Texans — Trae Waynes, CB — Michigan State
17. San Diego Chargers — Ereck Flowers, OT — Miami
18. Kansas City Chiefs — La’ el Collins, OT — LSU
19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo) — Devin Funchess, WR — Michigan
20. Philadelphia Eagles — Marcus Peters, CB — Washington
21. Cincinnati Bengals — Bud Dupree, DE/OLB — Kentucky
22. Pittsburgh Steelers — Malcom Brown, DT — Texas
23. Detroit Lions — Eddie Goldman, DT — Florida State
24. Arizona Cardinals — Benardrick McKinney, ILB — Mississippi State
25. Carolina Panthers — Dorial Green Beckham, WR — Oklahoma
26. Baltimore Ravens — Jaelen Strong, WR — Arizona State
27. Dallas Cowboys — Carl Davis, DT — Iowa
28. Denver Broncos — Maxx Williams, TE — Minnesota
29. Indianapolis Colts — Sammie Coates, WR — Auburn
30. Green Bay Packers — Jordan Phillips, DT — Oklahoma
31. New England Patriots — Arik Armstead, DE — Oregon
32. Seattle Seahawks — Devin Smith, WR — Ohio State
2.1. (33rd overall) Tennessee Titans — T.J. Clemmings, OT — Pittsburgh
Even though the Titans chose not to address the quarterback position in Round 1, they still need to think about protecting their guy. Tennessee gave up 50 sacks — the sixth worse figure in the league — and if you consider passers who dropped back to pass at least 150 times in 2014, all three quarterbacks in Nashville were harassed.
According to Pro Football Focus, Charlie Whitehurst ranked third in the NFL as 44 percent of his passing attempts were made while under pressure. Jake Locker was under pressure 40.7 percent of the time (seventh in the league) and Mettenberger ranked 12th at 37.2 percent.
Titans’ quarterbacks need more time to throw and better pockets in which to throw from.
Clemmings’ stock has definitely dropped since his less-than-stellar showing at the Senior Bowl. But he’s still got a ton of upside. The Titans would love to find him available with this pick.
3.2. (66th overall) Tennessee Titans — Gerod Holliman, FS — Louisville
The Titans had massive trouble in the secondary, proof is in the 28 touchdowns through the air the team gave up and the fact that opposing quarterbacks enjoyed a 93.6 passer rating while playing Tennessee.
The need might be there to grab two safeties in the draft. So the Titans are going to start early.
Holliman is known as a true ballhawk, and evaluates passing routes quickly and gets to the football. His coverage skills are extremely impressive. He’s not much of a hitter, but as a center fielder — a position that’s growing in popularity in the NFL — Holliman can be deadly.