2019 was a dream year in the Music City. Following their upset victory over the New England Patriots, the Tennessee Titans bashed their way through the seemingly unstoppable Baltimore Ravens. In the conference title game, the Kansas City Chiefs hung a 35-piece on Mike Vrabel’s unit, leaving a sour taste on what was otherwise an outstanding campaign.
2020 left more to be desired.
Despite defeating Baltimore in Week 11 in overtime, the Titans were avenged by the Ravens Sunday in Nashville. Looking forward, the Titans are just a couple pieces away from a Super Bowl run.
So, let’s get right to it. Using our Mock Draft Machine, I looked at which prospects Tennessee could target this April when the annual draft rolls around. Here is my seven-round mock, including scheme fit, on each prospect:
Round 1 (No. 22 overall): Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
I was tempted to go with Azeez Ojulari here, but Collins’ skill set is simply too much to pass on. He touts a unique blend of size, speed, and power any head coach would drool over to have as the “green dot” within their defense. Collins is a perfect example of the modern transformation of the linebacker position. Gone are the days of stagnant ‘backers who possessed minimal sideline-to-sideline speed and were relied upon strictly in the middle of the field. To play in the NFL today, linebackers must possess speed, cover skills, scheme recognition, pass-rush tools, and elite tackling both between the gaps and in the open field. Collins has it all.
How he fits: Harold Landry needs help. Free-agent acquisitions Jadeveon Clowney and Vic Beasley simply hustled the Titans’ front office out of money. Their on-field production was minimal, and that’s being nice. Collins would not only help the pass rush, but he has the scheme versatility that would provide the Titans with an anchor on the second level of their defense for the next decade.
Round 2 (No. 54 overall): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Lightning in a bottle. That’s all you need to know about Moore. The only knock would be he’s “undersized” at 5-foot-9. Yeah, so is Tyreek Hill.
“When healthy, Moore is a multi-purpose weapon who can break open a football game with any touch of the football,” according to our own Joe Marino.
Despite some concerns surrounding his durability at the next level, if Moore is still on the board at No. 54, it would be a home-run selection for Tennessee.
How he fits: Corey Davis enjoyed a welcomed breakout season, but he’s expected to enter free agency. With A.J. Brown as the only other weapon at wideout, Moore would have every opportunity to produce a high volume of work in his rookie campaign. With every opposing defense focused on stopping Derrick Henry, Moore would give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares moving both inside and out in Arthur Smith’s offense. He will be a star in the NFL.
Round 3 (No. 85 overall): Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
The departure of Jurrell Casey last offseason loomed large for Tennessee’s front three. Jeffery Simmons is a nice piece, but he has mostly underperformed in two years. The Titans lack a pure nose in their 3-4 alignment.
How he fits: Whoever ends up as defensive coordinator in Tennessee, adding a skilled rush defender with elite hands and strength like Barmore would provide a big boost for the league’s worst-ever third-down defense in 2020. According to our own Joe Marino, Barmore already has a rock-solid and mature upper body that makes it hard for blockers to engage and stick against his frame. The Alabama interior defender possesses outstanding raw power combined with active, busy, powerful hands that enable his frame to retain clean and disengage when desired.
Round 3 (No. 101 overall): Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh
To be honest, I didn’t like what was left here late in the third. I wanted to target a corner like Israel Mukuamu or Greg Newsome II but they didn’t fall. So, I dipped back into the EDGE pool and grabbed a high-motor athlete in Weaver. You can never have enough pass rushers in today’s NFL, and Weaver provides a savvy aspect to his game unlike many other pass rushers in the class.
How he fits: With Landry being the only other true EDGE on the roster, Weaver would be provided an opportunity to not only produce in situational assignments, but as a starter as well. At 6-foot-5, he possesses a unique blend of size and flexibility off the edge, continually working with elite leverage against opposing linemen.
Round 4 (No. 123 overall): Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Too much talent to pass on here in the fourth. This year’s wide receiver class has a nice supply of depth, and Wallace, suited best at Z, would slide in nicely within Smith’s unit.
How he fits: Entering the NFL from an air-raid offense at Oklahoma State, Wallace was primarily limited to one side of the field. He possesses outstanding hand strength and aggressiveness on 50-50 balls while maintaining body control to continue after the catch. He works very well in run-pass-options (RPOs) on the backside and should develop into a nice piece with an enhanced route tree.
Round 5 (No. 162 overall): Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
One of the biggest sleepers in this year’s draft in my book, Wilson is a stud. He touts everything you look for in an NFL-caliber corner.
How he fits: Wilson has the ability to play both inside and out, and did so in Gainesville. A rangy prospect with a feistiness in the run game, Wilson was additionally used often in corner blitzes from the short side of the field. He’s shown above-average tackling skills from the edge in open-field situations and has elite closing speed when rarely caught out of position. From a scheme standpoint at Florida, he was limited in showcasing his full ability.
Moving forward, he has all the makings of a potential top corner, now it’s up to his progression and future defensive coordinator to take off the reins.
Round 6 (No. 179. overall): Tommy Kraemer, iOL, Notre Dame
A masher in the run game with arguably the most power of all offensive lineman in this year’s class? In front of Henry? Sign me up.
How he fits: There are a couple of schools that you know if you draft a certain position out of, you’re in good hands. Alabama receivers, LSU corners… Notre Dame linemen. Kraemer fits the bill. At 6-foot-6, he’s monstrous for a guard. A former 5-star recruit in high school, Kraemer anchored the Fighting Irish’s offensive line, paving the way to two College Football Playoff appearances. He isn’t elite in pass protection, but the Titans don’t sling it 40 times a game. Tennessee is an outstanding fit.
Round 6 (No. 214 overall): Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
Similar to Darrynton Evans, Jefferson is under-sized at just 5-foot-9, but man does he pack a punch. A first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2020, he rushed for 858 yards and seven touchdowns in just six games.
How he fits: He has been very productive as a yardage-gainer in this offense and is a good athlete with regards to his quickness and body control as a ball-carrier. In the passing game, Jefferson is dangerous after catching check-downs due to his ability in space and creativity in the open field, according to our own Drae Harris.
Jefferson would be a nice compliment to Henry that would showcase a unique power-speed combo.
Tennessee was *that* close just a year ago. With an impressive offense headed by the league’s top back and a defense led by veterans on the backend, the Titans’ upcoming rookie class could provide the step the Titans need on their climb to their franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.