Well, this is going to be a chore.
The Tennessee Titans had one of the best, most efficient approaches to the NFL Draft in the entire league. One of the clear “winners” of the event, they had talented prospects fall to them at each spot. That makes the task of assigning them a draft “mulligan” a difficult one.
Let’s take a look at their complete draft haul:
Round 1, Pick 19: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Round 2, Pick 51: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Round 3, Pick 82: Nate Davis, G, Charlotte
Round 4, Pick 116: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
Round 5, Pick 168: D'Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Round 6, Pick 188: David Long, LB, West Virginia
Looking at their selections against my personal big board, I had them hitting on value selections with all but one pick. Here were my overall rankings for each prospect:
Jeffery Simmons - #5
AJ Brown - #38
Nate Davis - #71
Amani Hooker - #56
D’Andre Walker - #141
David Long - Unranked (outside the top 200 with a 7th round grade)
So while it was their last pick, there was seemingly only one option I had for the Tennessee Titans draft mulligan.
Draft Mulligan: David Long for Notre Dame TE Alize Mack
The only position that I thought Tennessee would hit that they failed to was tight end. Long-time starter Delanie Walker will be 35 years old by the opening game. He’s coming off of a season where he broke his ankle in week 1 and missed the rest of the year. While Delanie has been an excellent player in the league for his entire career, it’s reasonable to ask how much longer he’ll be able to play at starter level.
Jonnu Smith is entering his third season after starting in place of Walker last year, but quarterback Marcus Mariota failed to make him a consistent passing option last year. He produced well in limited looks, piling up 258 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 30 targets. Smith has starter upside, but needs more opportunity to progress to that level.
Tennessee lost reserve tight end Luke Stocker in free agency. With Delanie Walker’s future outlook a short one, the Titans will soon be looking for a second option to pair with Jonnu Smith. Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack could’ve been that guy.
Mack fits the physical profile that Tennessee has searched for in their tight ends, as he’s built similarly to Walker and Smith. He has receiving upside that came in flashes at Notre Dame, and a unique ability to high point passes with rebounder-like body control.
Mack had an up and down career at Notre Dame, and needs reps to develop towards his athletic potential. One year as a reserve option before taking over playing time for Delanie Walker could have served as a natural transition at the position.
David Long was a draftable prospect, but likely projects as a backup and special teamer. It’s not that I dislike the pick, but Alize Mack has starter upside at a position that Tennessee could be looking to add to in short order. That potential is something I would have bet on by that stage of the NFL Draft.