Tennessee Titans Draft Forecast

Story posted April 27, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio, NFL Draft by George Stockburger

In his first few months as the Tennessee Titan’s General Manager, Jon Robinson has completed more to finally alter the course of history than any of his predecessors combined. By trading the first overall pick, Robinson acquired a treasure trove of draft picks to help rebuild a franchise desperate to reclaim legitimacy.

Thanks to the afore-mentioned trade with the Rams, the Titans hold six of the top 76 draft picks in this year’s class.

When they held the first overall pick, the consensus was Robinson would draft Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil to protect quarterback Marcus Mariota. The former second overall pick missed several games last season after playing behind an offensive line which allowed the more sacks than any other team in 2015.

Since trading back to the 15th overall selection with the Los Angeles Rams, the choice is not as clear-cut. Many would still expect Tennessee to draft an offensive tackle such as Michigan State’s Jack Conklin or Ohio State’s Taylor Decker. If the scouts in the room are not satisfied with either of those two Big Ten alums, trading back into the top 10 for Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley is not out of the question. 

If Tennessee holds tight at the 15th overall pick and goes with an offensive lineman, they can focus on either defense or receivers with three second round picks. Tyler Boyd, Will Fuller, and Sterling Shepard are three wide receivers worthy of a second round pick. While Mariota has Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker already, the depth of Dorial Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas cannot be relied on long-term. 

Defensive backs Keanu Neal and Artie Burns are also names to watch for in the second round.

To close out the second day of the draft, the Titans have two third round picks. I would anticipate them to continue their focus on defense by looking at a pass rusher such as Chris Jones. Carl Nassib may also be an option with the first pick of third round.

Protecting Mariota will be another recurring theme for John Robinson. Guards such as Landon Turner, Christian Westerman, and Connor McGovern can also be worthy options for the third round. Pro Football Focus ranked starters Chance Warmack and Quinton Spain as the 40th and 54th best guards respectively. An asset like Mariota cannot be protected enough.

With only three picks remaining in the draft, the Titans will be searching for diamonds in the rough. Defensive back depth is key in the NFL, so drafting a versatile player such as Sean Davis out of Maryland or Boston College’s Justin Simmons would be wise.

Despite having DeMarco Murray, drafting a low-risk high reward running back would not hurt in the later rounds. Kelvin Taylor, son of former NFLer Fred Taylor, is coming out of Florida with a lot of hype to his name. Look for him to be available in the sixth round or later.

 

George Stockburger is a junior majoring in journalism with a focus in broadcasting. He can be reached at gos5187@psu.edu