TitanInsider will keep a close eye on the off-season happenings with the Tennessee Titans. And so TI contributor Greg Arias has chipped in with a very early mock draft, making all the Titans selections. Take a look:
By Greg Arias
Now that the college football season has ended, many top prospects are now readying for the next prize that awaits them – the NFL Draft.
It’s no secret that the Tennessee Titans, who have the fifth and 18th picks in the draft, have needs in the secondary, in other areas of the defense and at wide receiver.
So, here it is the first TitanInsider way early mock draft. This will probably change many times before April, and there is always the possibility that GM Jon Robinson will do some wheeling and dealing leading up to – and certainly during – the draft.
To that end, our mock draft will only go with the picks as they currently stand, without any trades.
While the NFL will go through another free-agency period before the draft, and hopefully the Titans will be able to fill some needs with veteran players who can step in and upgrade the team immediately, it’s never too early to take a fun look to the future for new talent from the college ranks.
So without further delay, here is our first look at a Titans seven round mock draft.
1-1: RUEBEN FOSTER- ILB, ALABAMA: Foster, the Butkus Award winner is a three down linebacker who plays sideline to sideline and brings a big pop with him. He is the unquestioned leader of one of the top defenses in college football. The Titans have many needs and this might be a bit of a luxury pick, it is a definite upgrade to the Titans front seven, and a position that can use the help.
For the season, Foster has led the Crimson Tide in tackles with 94, including 12 for loss (-56 yards) and four sacks for -33 yards. He also recorded eight QB hurries and two pass breakups for the unit ranked first in the nation in total defense, rush defense and scoring defense.
1-2: DESMOND KING- CB, IOWA: There are other first round corners who are rated higher by some “experts” but King is a personal favorite and would have been a player I rated highly last season had he decided to have come out early. At 5-11, 200, King is strong, physical and is not afraid to play the run. He is as good as any in this draft class, if his one negative has improved.
King won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top corner as a junior. However, he decided to return for his senior season because an NFL evaluation questioned his speed. According to a source close to the Hawkeye program, King spent the offseason improving his speed and has reportedly increased his 40 time, though there has not been anything official to that point.
The Titans do not currently have a second round selection.
3-1: BUDDA BAKER- S, WASHINGTON: At 5-10, 180, the Huskies’ junior safety is as physical as they come. He played a big part in the Huskies blowout of Colorado to win the Pac-12 title. He is considered one of the top defensive playmakers in the country and Bakers coverage skills are exceptional. There is no doubt about his physical skill and the fact that he comes to play and approaches the game as if his hair were on fire.
He and Kevin Byard could become a top tandem for years to come.
3-2: ISAIAH FORD- WR, VIRGINIA TECH: A big receiver (6-2, 190) with 4.49 speed and good ball skills. Ford is a developing talent who has tremendous upside that would be a nice addition to the current group of Titans wide outs.
After the first ever 1,000 yard receiving season in school history in 2015, Ford followed that up with 69 receptions for 949 yards and seven touchdowns this year.
Though not a burner, he certainly has enough speed to gain separation and is physical and uses his body to gain position. He plays the ball well in the air and is not afraid of contact.
4-1: JORDAN LEGGETT- TE, CLEMSON: There are other tight ends who are better receivers perhaps than Leggett in this draft, but the 6-5, 250-pounder does enough of the dirty work blocking that to get him here would be a nice fit and a good value. With so much emphasis on the run, the Titans need their tight ends to block. It’s why guys like Phillip Supernaw, Anthony Fasano and the recently retired Craig Stevens were considered valuable far beyond their receiving totals.
5-1: FORREST LAMP- T-G, WESTERN KENTUCKY: A left tackle by trade, Lamp is a big (6-4 ,305) physical, mauler who is very capable of getting to the second level and battering linebackers. While he was a tackle in college, after seeing him play in person in the C-USA championship game, I believe he is capable of playing guard as well as be a swing tackle at the next level.
He plays with a nasty disposition and is a smart player who would bring versatility to the Titans offensive line and could compete right away for the right guard spot, while being a valuable backup if not a starter at guard.
The Titans currently do not have a Sixth Round selection.
7-1: JALEN REEVES-MAYBIN- LB, TENNESSEE: Reeves-Maybin missed the majority of his final season at UT with a shoulder injury. That injury caused his stock to drop after a breakout junior season in which he collected 105 tackles with six sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and four passes batted down.
Reeves-Maybin has good size (6-0, 230) and speed (4.6) and would be a nice situational inside linebacker who can play in passing situations with the physical ability to cover tight end along with playing the run, and has the potential to transition to a safety because of his athletic ability.
There you have it, our first mock draft of the 2017 draft season. Of course, it is subject to change, and likely will, but this is a good primer for things to come as the draft season will get into full swing soon enough.