The Tennessee Titans are ready to win. Their progression and success under Mike Vrabel has been inspiring and feels different from years past. The Titans are in their best position to succeed in years. This updated 7-round NFL mock draft helps to build upon the foundation already in place.
The Titans weren’t particularly active in free agency but they didn’t necessarily need to be. While many armchair general managers were quick to call the extension of Ryan Tannehill a gross overpayment, extending him beats the other alternatives. The Titans have a strong roster with a promising young core that was able to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions and the 14-2 top-seeded Ravens. Why would you jeopardize that success with gambling on a rookie quarterback or aging veteran free agent?
They could have opted to franchise tag Tannehill. However, that would have forced either a massive extension for Derrick Henry or his release. Henry is the engine of the Titans’ offense that carried them to the playoffs and practically single-handedly knocked out the Patriots. A strong run-game is a quarterback’s best friend, and the return of Henry and Tannehill creates both excitement and a sense of urgency to draft well and carry the momentum from the 2019 playoffs into the 2020 season.
The Titans enter the 2020 season as favorites to win the AFC South, which they haven’t won since 2008. A solid 2020 NFL Draft could propel them to just that and more. Using PFN’s mock draft simulator, I went through several simulations for the Titans, and chose the players which I deemed the best values and fits, and also have received some interest from the Titans.
Before mocking the Titans’ 2020 draft, let’s breakdown the teams’ biggest needs to find where they could add players in the remainder of free agency or the draft to fill out the roster, which lost Jurrell Casey, Logan Ryan, and Jack Conklin in the free agency period.
Cornerback: Vrabel has done an incredible job building his front seven. However, there is room for improvement on the back end, especially after the departure of Ryan. Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler are talented defensive backs but aren’t sufficient enough alone to roll into 2020 with, given the aspirations of the Titans this season.
Outside linebacker: The Titans needed an EDGE opposite Harold Landry, and they signed Vic Beasley to a one year deal. They still need another EDGE for rotation, depth, and the future, as pass rushers are one of the most important positions in football.
Interior defensive line: I figured the Casey trade was made to make way to sign Jadeveon Clowney. However, that is looking less and less likely, given Clowney’s lucrative price tag. The Titans need a big body in the middle of their defensive line to allow Jeffery Simmons to play 3-4 DE.
Interior offensive line: The Titans 2019 season was nearly derailed with their horrid display of protection early on in the season. The lack of depth showed itself in an ugly way, and if Tannehill is to perform at a 2019-like level, the Titans will need better insurance in the interior, and offer competition for Nate Davis.
Other needs: wide receiver, running back, quarterback, kicker
Round 1, Pick 29: Trade
Trade Details: Tennessee trades the 29th overall pick to Jacksonville for the 42nd overall and 73rd overall picks
The end of the first round is a hot spot for teams to trade up into. The Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback, and maybe they, or another team, jump up to grab a QB like Jacob Eason or a WR like Denzel Mims or Justin Jefferson. The Titans don’t have an urgent need to pick at 29 given the amount of quality options still on the board at positions like cornerback and defensive tackle, so trading down and acquiring more draft capital makes sense.
Round 2, Pick 42 (via Jacksonville): Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
Noah Igbinoghene converted to cornerback from wide receiver after his freshman season. He has only spent two years truly playing cornerback, yet is considered a borderline first-round pick!? How freakish is that? Igbinoghene, also a track star, flashes his athleticism at the line of scrimmage, and has the instincts, speed, and agility to stay with guys downfield. Having only spent two seasons at cornerback, his upside is off the charts.
Round 2, Pick 61: Josh Uche, OLB, Michigan
Vrabel loves explosive and athletic linebackers. That is exactly who Josh Uche is. The Titans need more pass-rush help from the outside, and Uche could immediately contribute in a rotational role with Landry and Beasley. The fit is great and Vrabel is the type of coach who can maximize Uche’s abilities.
Round 3, Pick 73 (via Jacksonville): Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Dion Lewis was an underwhelming RB2 to Henry during his time with the Titans, and for as much as Henry brings to the offense, the complementary role is an important one. The Titans also applied the franchise tag to Henry, so his future with the team after this season is not guaranteed. Cam Akers offers a great blend of agility and power, and had remarkable production at Florida State given horrible offensive line play in front of him.
Round 3, Pick 93: Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Logan Ryan was one of the best slot cornerbacks in the business. The Titans have to find a way to replace what Ryan brought to the secondary, or they will again be no match for the Kansas City Chiefs. Amik Robertson has all of the talent and ability to become a Pro Bowl-level slot cornerback in the NFL. Robertson was an absolute baller at Louisiana Tech, amassing 14 interceptions in his three seasons there, displaying natural, NFL-caliber ball skills and play-making ability. The Titans reportedly had a formal interview with Robertson at the NFL Combine, so both the fit, interest, and upside are all there.
Round 5, Pick 174: Kevin Dotson, G, Louisiana
How can you snub a first-team All-American from the NFL Combine? Somehow, Kevin Dotson didn’t receive an invite and therefore is a tremendously underrated prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. He can compete for the starting right guard spot in training camp, and at least offer quality interior offensive line depth that the Titans need.
Round 6, Pick 200 (via Chicago): Bravvion Roy, DT, Baylor
Trade Details: Tennessee trades picks 224 and 243 to Chicago for pick 200
The Titans fill one of their last remaining needs by trading up late to land Bravvion Roy, a true nose tackle that could help compete for snaps following the strange departure of Casey.