The Titans have been stuck at 9-7 for the past three seasons, only making the playoffs once. Tennessee’s goal this year is to take the next step into contention in the AFC and GM Jon Robinson is trying to set the roster up for success. He was very active in free agency, bringing in players to fill key positions for the team.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries adds a consistent slot receiver to the mix for Marcus Mariota to use. Guard Rodger Saffold solidifies the left side of the offensive line with tackle Taylor Lewan. Finally, Cameron Wake brings in a good situational pass-rusher who can help out on third downs. However, there are still some places Tennessee needs help and they will attempt to address those through the Draft. Their first four picks will be crucial as they are just a few pieces away from being a top team in the AFC.
Round 1, Pick 19: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
The Titans have a big need at pass-rusher, but the top EDGE players will most likely be gone by the 19th pick. This is where Robinson will turn to the offensive line. Guard Josh Kline was cut earlier in the offseason leaving a large hole at right guard. The Titans experimented last season with sliding their Center, Ben Jones, over to guard. This pick would most likely move Jones over to right guard for good. Bradbury would be a plug and play type of player on the offensive line and immediately shore up the interior of the Titans’ group.
Tennessee struggled to protect Mariota for most of the year, leading to multiple injuries. In his contract year, the Titans will be looking to give him the best chance to succeed and earn an extension. This means keeping him on the field. Bradbury would give the Titans one of the best offensive lines in the league and keep Mariota upright more often. Bradbury may not be the most exciting pick, but he would be a great selection with the 19th pick and could be their starting center for a decade.
Round 2, Pick 51: EDGE Chase Winovich, Michigan
As I mentioned earlier, EDGE is probably the largest position of need for Tennessee. Harold Landry looks like a starting caliber player on one side, but Wake can’t be expected to be an every down player. Winovich would be a fantastic running partner for Landry for years to come. He ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash and had a sub-7.00 second 3-cone drill at the combine. His athleticism is unquestioned and he would immediately improve the Titans’ pass rush that struggled most of last season.
Robinson also likes to see production in college from his draft picks. Winovich had 8.5 sacks two seasons ago and has 18.5 throughout his entire college career. He may not be an elite prospect in this draft with pass-rushers like Josh Allen, Nick Bosa, Montez Sweat, and Brian Burns at the top of the draft. However, in a deep class, getting Winovich in the late second round would be great for Tennessee. They have the secondary to cover any receiving corps, but they need to impact the passer with such great quarterbacks in their division. Expect a pass-rusher to be selected in the first two rounds and Winovich would be a great fit in the second.
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Round 3, Pick 82: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Tennessee’s offense has needed one thing for the last few years. They have their hopeful future #1 receiver in Corey Davis. They have their tight end in Delanie Walker back from injury. Now, they have a productive slot receiver in Humphries. However, they haven’t had a guy who can go up and make contested catches in the red zone. Arcega-Whiteside specialized in making these type of catches at Stanford.
Mariota has not had sufficient weapons throughout his career. However, with the addition of Humphries and Arcega-Whiteside, he wouldn’t have much of an excuse. The Titans improved their receiving corps with Humphries, but they’re still missing someone who can play opposite Corey Davis. Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe both had struggles in 2018. Arcega-Whiteside is sure-handed and led the PAC-12 in touchdowns with 14 last season. He may not slip to the Titans in the third round, but if he does, he would be a fantastic pick for Robinson and company.
Round 4, Pick 121: DT Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
Tennessee hasn’t been able to find a solid defensive tackle in years. They’ve rotated in free agents including Bennie Logan last year and Sly Williams the year before. However, neither panned out. They still have former second-round pick Austin Johnson, who as of today would be the starter in the middle of the defensive line. However, bringing in competition in Buggs would only help the Titans’ defensive front. Buggs swallows up ball-carriers and would give some assistance stopping the run for the Titans’ defense.
Tennessee has three solid inside linebackers with Rashaan Evans, Wesley Woodyard, and Jayon Brown. Adding a big 300 pound nose tackle who can take up blocks would only improve their game. They can roam and hit as well as blitz more effectively. If the Titans can put together this draft, they would have a pretty solid roster without too many obvious holes. The roster would look good enough to contend in a much tougher AFC South.
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