The Tennessee Titans currently pick 19th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Here are three possible prospects that Tennessee could draft in the first round.
The Titans are in a peculiar position in the upcoming draft. With the 19th overall pick, they will likely be just out of range to draft a blue chip talent that slips out of the top 10. The Titans will need to make sure they get the best value possible in the first round. Unless a player Tennessee covets is available, the Titans should consider trading down.
Before NFL free agency, I identified the secondary, outside linebackers and interior offensive line as key needs. In the last week, Tennessee signed Cameron Wake, Rodger Saffold and traded for QB Ryan Tannehill to alleviate those needs. Wake is 37-years-old and Saffold is 31, so I expect the Titans to further address those needs in the draft. Below are three of the top prospects I see the Tennessee Titans targeting at 19th overall. They are in no particular order.
1. Garrett Bradbury, OL North Carolina State
The former tight end had an outstanding combine and as a result climbed draft boards. Bradbury’s tape confirms his combine – he can flat out play. Bradbury totaled 34 reps bench pressing to accompany a 4.92 forty-yard dash. Not bad for a 6-foot-3, 306 pound lineman. The four-year starter can play guard or center, and would start day one on a Titans offense that needs a guard opposite of Saffold.
Bradbury is a physical mauler in the rushing game, and drops the anchor with ease in pass protection. The Titans spent considerable money in free agency surrounding Marcus Mariota with more talent. By drafting Bradbury, the Titans would help solidify their offensive line for the next decade, and would draft the best player available. This would not be a flashy pick, but the Titans would be getting a day-one starter at a position of need.
2. Christian Wilkins, DL Clemson
As of now, the jury is still out on whether or not the Tennessee Titans will bring back Bennie Logan. Regardless of how that plays out, Wilkins would be a fantastic pick for the Titans at 19th overall. Over four seasons at Clemson, Wilkins at 40.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. He forced two fumbles, recovered four, and batted down 15 passes.
That is incredible production, and exemplifies his diverse skill set. Wilkins plays with good leverage and uses his powerful hands to move offensive linemen. Wilkins displayed his athleticism at the combine, running just over five seconds in the forty-yard dash. He coupled that with 28 reps on the bench and a 107 inch broad jump. Wilkins will have the ability to learn behind one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen.
Jurrell Casey has been the heart of Tennessee’s defense since 2011. Wilkins can enter the defensive line rotation early, and benefit from the Casey’s veteran presence. Like Bradbury, Wilkins would be great value and also fill a need.
3. T.J. Hockenson, TE Iowa
As I mentioned earlier, Hockenson is one of those blue chip prospects that could fall if a run on quarterbacks materializes. After I released my first Tennessee Titans mock draft, I got some push-back from Titans Twitter (@Roddyfootball). Multiple fans told me the Titans don’t have a tight end problem. For the most part, I agree. Delanie Waker and Jonnu Smith form a fantastic duo. However, Walker is 34 and missed all of 2018 with a gruesome leg injury.
Jonnu Smith excels in the passing game, but leaves much to be desired as a blocker. Hockenson is arguably the best tight end prospect since Rob Gronkowski. He would be the best player available if he drops to 19th overall. New Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith was promoted as the tight ends coach. Adding a tremendous blocker like Hockenson would not only boost the tight end position, but enhance the offensive line. The Titans could kill two birds with one pick, giving Mariota another weapon and helping Derrick Henry on the ground.