The Tennessee Titans were the worst team in the NFL in 2015 (2-14) and made a huge improvement going 9-7 this season. The best news of the Titans season was the failure of the Rams as they were able to cash in on the trade they made dealing the number one overall pick a year ago. With two first round picks to cash in on this year what can we expect from the Tennessee Titans in the 2017 NFL Draft?
The Titans first select 5th overall in the first round. I anticipate the possibility of the Titans trading out of one of their picks to either move up or down to get the guy they want. At 5, look for the Titans to grab one of the safeties available in the top 5. Whether it’s Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams, I expect the Titans to come away with one of them. Both players have different skill sets, however. Hooker is a rangy free safety that covers a ton of ground. Hooker has the potential to become an Ed Reed type difference maker reeling in 7 interceptions this past season for Ohio State. He does come with concerns about 1 year of production and health issues. Adams comes in the mold of an Eric Berry who is a terrific leader and all around player. Adams might be the safer pick but Hooker comes with hall of fame potential. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau wants his version of Troy Polamalu in this defense.
With the 18th overall pick, I suspect the Titans could look to add more weapons for Marcus Mariota. Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis could be what the Titans are looking for in a number one receiver. Davis is a bit of an unknown coming from a small school and not working out at the combine. he did, however, have a monster year in 2016 with 97 receptions for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns this past season. At 6’3, 209, Davis could be the big physical receiver that Marcus Mariota needs. The 18th selection may not stay with Tennessee due to the fact they don’t have a 2nd round pick and could trade down.
The Titans do have two 3rd round picks to work with as one is a compensatory selection. The picks are 83rd and 100th overall respectively. With one of those picks, inside linebacker Alex Anzalone could be an option. Wesley Woodyard needs a sidekick next to him at middle linebacker. Anzalone had a really nice showing at the Senior Bowl and proved he could be a really productive player. A lengthy Injury history is the only thing keeping Anzalone from being selected much higher so he could be a nice value pick in Tennessee.
The other pick could be used on a tight end. Delanie Walker, 33, is nearing the end of the road so the Titans could be interested in a succession plan. Late in the 3rd round, Jake Butt from Michigan is an ideal fit. Butt, currently recovering from a torn ACL, would allow the Titans to work him into the lineup slowly while also getting a great value pick from a guy who normally would have gone a round higher. Butt is sort of similar to Kyle Rudolph as a complete tight end player.