The Tennessee Titans parted ways with the playoffs amidst a weekend of outstanding drama in the NFL. They’re one of four teams whose attention is now turned towards the 2022 NFL Draft rather than Super Bowl 56. Can they retool and rebound next season? This Titans 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft aims to do just that.
Tennessee Titans 7-Round NFL Mock Draft
For the purposes of this Titans 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we’ve allowed PFN’s free Mock Draft Simulator with trades (equipped with the latest NFL Draft order) to work its magic on the selections. They’re based on the projected needs for the Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft, where they currently only have six picks. Let’s break down how this haul improves Tennessee’s future fortunes.
Round 1, Pick 26: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
After throwing 3 interceptions in the Divisional Round defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was vilified across social media. Large swathes of fans, analysts, and basically anyone with an opinion and the means to voice it directed their disappointment in the direction of the ninth-year passer.
Don’t expect the Titans to be dragged into the murky waters that are the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class, however. The Titans are a team without a multitude of draft needs. Yet, a lack of salary cap space and some impending free agents will shape their draft class. That starts at linebacker, where Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans are both due for a raise.
You want your first-round pick to have immediate impact potential. There may not be a player in this class who has “impact” woven into his fabric more than Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd. He’s a hard-hitting destroyer in the run game. Additionally, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is a next-level athlete with the football intelligence to enable excellent coverage ability.
Round 3, Pick 90: Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech
As a result of the Julio Jones trade, the Titans don’t have a second-round pick in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. With an average of just 43.4 yards per game across his 10-game tenure for the Titans, Jones has hardly provided an exceptional return on investment. You also can’t avoid the fact that Julio will be 33 years old at the start of next season. So, finding a long-term option alongside A.J. Brown figures to be a pressing need this offseason.
It’s a deep class of pass catchers in the 2022 NFL Draft. As a result, Erik Ezukanma is flying under the radar in it. A firm favorite of PFN Draft Analyst Ian Cummings, the Texas Tech receiver possesses many of the qualities that are seeing Treylon Burks earn WR1 discussion. A big-bodied boundary threat, Ezukanma is also a magnificent after-the-catch threat. His ludicrous athleticism-to-size ratio makes him a versatile weapon.
Round 4, Pick 129: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
Tight end Jonnu Smith had been a pivotal part of this Titans offense prior to his departure to the New England Patriots. Although a change of offensive coordinator was a contributory factor, it’s taken the tight end trio of Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt, and Geoff Swaim to replicate Smith’s 8 touchdowns.
It would be a surprise if Tennessee doesn’t add a tight end this offseason. The Titans do just that in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft with Ohio State tight end Jeremy Ruckert. A deceptive athlete with route-running savvy and excellent catching ability, Ruckert also uses his football intelligence and a surprisingly nasty demeanor as a blocker.
Round 4, Pick 140: Amaré Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
After Harold Landry posted an outstanding season, the Titans will want to prevent the young pass rusher from hitting free agency. However, finding someone to play opposite him will be a potential need come April. Bud Dupree hasn’t lived up to his free-agent billing. He contributed just 3 sacks and 2 tackles for loss in a campaign where he’s only made six starts.
With the second of their fourth-round picks in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Titans add a potent pass rusher in the form of Amaré Barno. The Virginia Tech outside linebacker showcases explosive ability and has impressive flexibility to be a force around the outside track. Barno has the length to be a disruptive force in multiple phases of the game.
Other alternatives at No. 140: James Empey, C, BYU; Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin; Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
Round 5, Pick 168: Justin Shaffer, G, Georgia
While statistics don’t tell the full story, the Titans gave up the seventh-most sacks in the NFL this season. Tennessee allowed a sack on 8.1% of their passing plays. The Titans selected Dillon Radunz in the second round of last year’s draft. Yet, I would expect Tennessee to make additions in free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft at potentially multiple positions across the line.
Here, they land title-winning left guard Justin Shaffer in the fifth round. A sizeable roadblock at 6’4″ and 330 pounds, Shaffer is a powerful people mover. His experience in a run-heavy Bulldogs offense makes him the perfect fit to lead the way for Derrick Henry in Tennessee.
Round 6, Pick 206: Vincent Gray, CB, Michigan
The Titans finish off this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft by adding depth to the cornerback room. Although we still saw some moments where he was caught out of position this season, Michigan CB Vincent Gray improved his stock this year. He’s shown impressive awareness, improved in run support, and has ball-hawking tendencies. In the sixth round, you’re not looking for Day 1 starters, and Gray could develop into a nice depth piece.
Other alternatives at No. 206: Emeka Emezie, WR, NC State; Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech; Jeremiah Gemmel, LB, North Carolina