The Tennessee Titans were one of the more surprising teams of the past season. They went from 3-13 in 2015 to 9-7 in 2016 showing dramatic signs of improvement. They have a young roster with a quarterback on the rise and physical run offensive scheme. The routes they could go vary depending on how they want to build the team. The main positions in question are wide receiver, defensive backfield (particularly CB), and defensive line. They have the 5th overall pick and 18th pick providing many options for moving around the board. There have been rumors stating they would like to trade one of the picks while looking to add a second round pick, that as of now are lacking. GM Jon Robinson likes physical players as you can see with how the offense was built. We’ll look at a few prospects that could fit at their current draft positions.
Fits for 5th pick:
- Marshon Lattimore (OSU) CB – With a defensive backfield that was underwhelmed in terms of talent this seems like a great pick. Lattimore is widely considered the top cornerback in this draft due to his size, speed, and natural athleticism. He could be a top tier corner in a pass happy league and help a pass defense that finished 30th in total yards allowed. Lattimore would be a plug and play corner capable of matching up against the top wideout week to week if it were needed. With the signing of Logan Ryan the Titans would be able to let Lattimore learn from an experienced player while taking on the opposing teams second wideout for the majority of his rookie year. If Lattimore is here at five the front office would have a hard time passing up a player that fits a major team need and would be one of the better players left on the board.
- Jamal Adams (LSU) SS– If Jamal Adams falls to five I think Jon Robinson would be looking at the player of his dreams. Finding athletic physical back end players is easier said than done, but with Adams that’s exactly what you get. The Titans did sign SS Jonathan Cyprien who is somewhat of similar player to Adams in terms of play style. The difference is that Adams has proven to be a capable cover man which is where Cyprien has struggled thus far into his career. Adams would be great in new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 scheme. While having a good combine some were worried about his 4.57 40 time, but at his pro day he ran a 4.33 40 which definitely solidified his spot in the top 10 in my mind. I think he has the potential to be a game changing talent who enforces the back end of a defense.
3. Jonathan Allen (Alabama) D-Line – With the switch to a 3-4 defense this pick seems to make a lot of sense. The Titans are a physical team on the offensive line with some of the best young talent in the whole league. With the pick of Allen they would be trying to duplicate on the defensive line. Allen is a solid all around player that would provide physicality to a defense with no identity. The defensive front currently only has one player that would be deemed above average in Jurrell Casey and adding Allen would provide a good young talent group. Some have been worried about Allen’s red flags of shoulders, but he played throughout college with the same worries and was very productive and durable. This pairing would also be very good during obvious passing downs when they bump inside due to both being above average interior pass rushers. Playing in the SEC Allen has shown his strength while also being a very good athlete ask Trevor Knight.
Fits for 18th pick:
- OJ Howard (Alabama) TE– This is a bit of stretch because I think Howard could go way earlier. Out of all the prospects in this draft this could be the most ideal fit for a team that bases it’s offense around a power run game. Howard is a conventional tight end that exceeds in blocking while still being a great athlete and above average receiver. Adding him would give Mariota another weapon and continue to help him through his development. Not to mention a two tight end set of Howard and Delanie Walker would provide major mismatches to most if not all defenses. I would say they should draft him at five, but it would be somewhat of a reach at that point. This would be dream scenario for the Titans in adding a defensive player with their first pick while still being able to find a scheme fit to help offense.
- Corey Davis (WMU) WR– Davis has lost some of the hype he had leading up to the combine. It is rather hard to evaluate him against his competition in the MAC and his ankle injury that has kept him out of the combine and pro day. He has incredible athleticism that allows him to out muscle and out run defenders. he does have occasional concentration drops that hopefully will be remedied in the NFL. His physical play and speed would give Mariota a legit #1 option that has not been available in his first two years. Davis would allow the field to be stretched like never before for the Titans, which would only enhance the effectiveness of their running game. The running game by itself provide man coverage for the rookie making the task of getting open much easier.
- John Ross (Wash) WR– Adding John Ross would be interesting and could provide major benefits in terms of stretching the field. He has the capability to be the next Desean Jackson barring injury. His vertical ability is hard to match and would force the defense to leave a safety over top, making the run game once again a heck of a more dangerous. Ross does have injury concerns that would need to be approved by the medical staff. Also, he doesn’t seem to fit the team identity of physical play making this the least likely option in my opinion. If the Titans already had an established #1 receiver this would be more likely, but expect to see Davis over Ross in this situation.