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Titans' Defensive Preview

Posted by titansdraft on July 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

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The Tennessee Titans made some serious splashes in free agency this year.  This was a welcomed change of pace from previous years when they essentially just sat on their money.  After the atrocious year the defense produced in 2012, it was clearly time for a few upgrades. 





Coming into the offseason I had Safety ranked as the Titans’ number one need.  This was the first position that they were able to address by signing the veteran George Wilson.  They were also able to wrestle Bernard Pollard away from the Super Bowl Champion Ravens.  Finally, they added big hitter Daimion Stafford in the 7th round of April’s Draft.  This leaves the roster with three starting caliber Safeties with some intriguing youth backing them up.  We can’t forget about Markelle Martin either.  I’m not sure the Titans even really know what they have in him just yet.  However, if he isn’t healthy by the time training camp rolls around, he may get the ax.  Robert Johnson just seems like he’s on his way out to me.  He hasn’t really shown too much in his time here and I don’t expect to see too much of him this season. 


The Titans have a bit of a dilemma at the Cornerback position.  The only thing that you can bank on is that Jason McCourty will be the number one entering the season.  From there on it is going to get interesting.  Verner, Sensabaugh, Campbell, and Wreh-Wilson all have shots at landing the job.  Personally I believe that the staff is leaning the way of Wreh-Wilson or Sensabaugh, seeing that they have already given Verner reps at Safety.  Verner could end up being the odd man out, so watch for this battle in training camp. 




The big question mark in the defensive backfield is Verner.  I’m really not sure what to do with him at this point.  He’s been working at Safety behind Griffin, so my guess is that they want him doing a little bit of everything.  Personally, I would love to see him back in the slot.  That’s where he got his start during his rookie campaign, and was more successful in my opinion.  Coty Sensabaugh is another interesting case.  He saw limited action in 2012 and the Titans spent a 3rd round pick on Wreh-Wilson.  What does that say about Sensabaugh?  Then we have the ongoing saga of Tommie Campbell.  Campbell is a pre-season stud that seems to challenge for a starting role every year.  He quite honestly may be the fastest man on the team, but something keeps holding him back.  Maybe this is the year he gets his shot.  Any way you look at it, the Titans got better in the secondary over the offseason.  They are now (at least) two deep at every position.  I’m expecting tons of different looks throughout the year as the Titans play situational football with this secondary. 





Coming in to this offseason, I had Linebacker depth pretty high on the Titans’ need list.  The harsh reality is that they just can’t rely on Colin McCarthy to stay healthy at this point.  If McCarthy CAN stay healthy (and that’s a big if), the Titans probably have the best young core of Linebackers in the league.  I’m very excited about this group.  The Titans did address their depth issue by signing Moises Fokou.  Then in the draft, sticking with the theme of flexibility, they drafted Zaviar Gooden.  At the time this was a bit of a puzzling move, but given time to reflect on it, I’m a fan.  This essentially added another chess piece for Jerry Gray and Gregg Williams to play with. 




The addition of Gooden allows the Titans to rush Akeem Ayers off the edge while keeping an athletic, cover Linebacker behind him.  Gooden can cover some serious ground while allowing what could be our best pass rusher to come off of the edge (Ayers.)  It also keeps McCarty off the field in 3rd down situations.  Gooden is a much more dynamic player that is going to be able to play in space.  This will keep the entire Linebacker core fresh.  I’m expecting lots of exotic looks and blitzes from the Linebacker position this year.  With Zach Brown and Zaviar Gooden, I really can’t see too many rushing attacks beating the Titans horizontally.  However, the key to this whole group is still McCarthy.  If he can stay healthy, watch out.  They have taken care of the edges; the only issue left is the middle of the field.






Honestly, I was pretty surprised that the Titans didn’t address the line more.  They have a bunch of “nice” players, but don’t have that one impact guy.  The biggest addition (literally) was adding Sammie Lee Hill.  At 6’4 330+, Hill is a space eater.  It is very clear that the Titans wanted to get bigger on the line as they added another 300 pounder in Ropati Pitoitua.  Finally, they added the forgotten man on the 2012 LSU line, Lavar Edwards. 




With all of the various body types that the Titans have acquired on their defensive line, you have to think that they are going to play big time situational football.  We all know how much they love their rotations, but this is taking it to a different level.  Pitoitua, Hill, and Morgan could be the base for some 3-4 looks.  In this scenario, Wimbley and Ayers would be coming off of the edges with Brown and McCarthy manning the middle.  One thing I will keep my eye on is how they handle the defensive tackle playing time.  Casey, Martin, Klug, Hill, and Johnson will all get time.  Those are just a bunch of nice players, no dominant force there.  I’ll be looking for someone to step up and assume that role. 


As a whole, I’m expecting the entire defensive unit to step up from 2012.  The front office has upgraded the talent, while adding quality depth.  My main question for this defense will be whether or not they can create enough pressure.


Day 2 thoughts

Posted by titansdraft on April 27, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The Titans kicked off round two with a bang, moving up from pick 40 to pick 33.  They gave up their 2nd, a 2014 3rd, and one of this year's 7th rounders to move up and grab Justin Hunter.  Here are a few notes on Hunter:

  • Torn ACL in 2011; It was obvious to me that he wasn't quite the same guy in 2012.
  • Former track athlete
  • Stands at 6'4, but has a very narrow, slender frame. Worried about his durability. Would love to see him add some bulk.
  • Inconsistent player in 2012. Lots of key drops.
  • The 2010 version (Freshmen year) of Hunter was borderline dominant. Drew lots of AJ Green comparisons

How does he fit? I actually think he fits quite nicely here.  I've never been a fan of leaving Kendall outside, so adding Hunter would allow him to kick back inside.  With the uncertainty of Kenny Britt going into 2014, Hunter could be the man going forward.

The Titans then added Blidi Wreh Wilson with their first third round pick.  I loved this one.  Blidi is that press corner that they said they were looking for.  He is long, fast, and physical.  He isn't exactly a "ball-hawk," but he can certainly jam receivers at the line.  The Titans stated earlier in the week that they were looking for a press corner, which was a pleasant surprise to me.   I'm often frustrated with the corner usage.  It can be frustrating watching them play 5-10 yards off at all times.  Blidi should change that, at least on one side.  I fully expect him to take over the #2 corner role, with Verner kicking inside and taking over nickel duties.  Nickel CB was an area of need coming in for me.  I felt like the Mouton/Sensabaugh position hurt the defense quite a bit last year.

With the final pick on Friday night, the Titans went a very interesting route.  I really thought this would be where they took their pass rusher, but instead they took Zaviar Gooden.  Gooden is a speedster.  He is extremely rangy running horizontally.  He may be able to add a little pass rush as well, but I question the fit.  With Brown, Ayers, McCarty already in the fold, he certainly isn't going to start.  I believe he is depth, specializing in 3rd down situations when Ayers goes to End.  He can certainly cover some ground with his 4.4 speed.  He will also contribute a ton to special teams.  I can't wait to see what Gray and Williams have in store for Gooden.

Final 2013 Mock

Posted by titansdraft on April 26, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

1. KC - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

Late reports surfacing from multiple outlets that Fisher is the guy for the number one overall pick.

2. **TRADE** DET moves up to 1.2, JAX moves down to 1.5.

DET - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Detroit moves up and gets their blindside protector of the future.

3. **TRADE** ARI moves up to 1.3, OAK moves to 1.7.

ARI - Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Arizona takes a step to solidify their line with the final elite tackle coming off the board.

4. PHI - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Chip Kelly starts off his era by building up his defensive front.

5. JAX - Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

Jacksonville gets a huge upside rusher; something that they desperately need.

6. CLE - Ziggy Ansah, DE, BYU

The Browns really want to trade down, but with the OTs gone it'll be tough

7. OAK - Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

Oakland pulls off a masterpiece here. Moving down and still got their guy.

8. **TRADE** ATL moves up to 1.8, BUF moves to 1.30

ATL - Keke Mingo, DE, LSU

Atlanta pulls off the blockbuster for one of the best rushers available.

9. NYJ - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

Jets need help everywhere, but they start with a versatile DB.

10. TEN - Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Titans could go so many different ways, but to me Milliner makes the most sense.

11. SD - Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Chargers lose out on all 3 OTs, the consolation prize isn't bad though.

12. MIA - Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Miami adds a huge target for Tannehill

13. **Trade** STL moves up to 1.13, NYJ moves to 1.16.

STL - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

Bradford gets a speedster to play with.

14. CAR - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Mizzou

Carolina finally bolsters their frontline by adding an athletic stud at DT.

15. NO - Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Rob Ryan gets his edge rusher here.

16. NYJ - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

The Jets get help up front with a steal here at Guard.

17. PIT - Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

The Steelers get a lot more athletic on defense by adding the former Safety.

18. DAL - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

Dallas could use help in the trenches and Sly fits the bill.

19. NYG - Tank Carradine, DE, FSU

Amazing value here. Giants get the steal of the first round.

20. CHI - DJ Fluker, OL, Alabama

Not buying the top ten talk. He'll slide in nicely in Chicago

21. CIN - John Cyprien, S, FIU

The Bengals nab their Safety here. Cyprien is a heat seeking missile.

22. **TRADE** PHI moves up to 1.22, STL adds picks

PHI - Geno Smith, QB, WVU

The Eagles grab their future here. Chip Kelly is gonna love this guy.

23. **TRADE** SF moves to 1.23, MIN moves back to 1.31

SF - Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU

The 49ers move up and add another weapon on defense.

24. IND - DJ Hayden, CB, Houston

The Colts add what some say is the best Corner in the entire draft.

25. MIN - Manti Te'o, MLB, ND

Vikes add their centerpiece in the middle of their defense.

26. GB - Justin Pugh, OG, GB

Packers add a guy that can play multiple spots on their line.

27. HOU - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

Houston finally adds a WR opposite of AJ.

28. DEN - Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

Denver gets the secondary help that they needed in the playoffs last year.

29. NE - Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU

Patriots are elated to get the best press guy in this class.

30. BUF - Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Buffalo trades down and gets their QB.

31. MIN - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

Minnesota is still able to add Patterson after trading down.

32. BAL - Arthur Brown, LB, KSU

The Ravens attempt to replace Ray Lewis with the athletic Brown.




Tennessee Titans Draft Plan 2013

Posted by titansdraft on April 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Tennessee Titans Draft Plan 2013

As we all know by this point, this draft is a deep one.  If you don't believe me, take this into consideration: The Baltimore Ravens twitter account stated that there are 30 more draftable players this year compared to the average. However, it is in no means top heavy, meaning that there is a lack of elite talent near the top of the class.  The talent from pick 5-25 isn’t all that different.  For this reason, I believe this is going to be an unpredictable draft. A team may have a player ranked top 15 while another has him out of their top 50.  This is why you can’t leave one stone unturned during the draft process. Throughout the draft season I have gone through a ton of different scenarios, but now its time to release my final plan for the Titans.  **The following would be my plan if I were in Ruston Webster’s shoes.** 


Round One:

            The Titans have basically signed themselves out of a lot of draft needs. When I study this roster I can honestly only come up with one “glaring” need.  That need is to find an Offensive Guard to pair opposite of newly acquired Andy Levitre.  They’ve addressed their depth at the position by adding Rob Turner and Chris Spencer.  Some say investing their first round selection in another Offensive Guard would be too much, but let me offer up a different perspective.  In my opinion, the position that could give the Titans the most on their return is far and away Offensive Guard.  Think about what the Titans offense lacked last year.  How many times over the past few years has Chris Johnson gotten the ball and had nowhere to go with it? The answer is too many times.  Andy Levitre isn’t a mauler, but he’s a solid player that can do a lot of things.  I truly believe with the Titans’ first round selection they should go grab a guy that can dominate the trenches.  Some say that you don’t spend a first round selection on an Offensive Guard, but I can’t think of anything that would help this team out more right away.  Another positive about selecting an Offensive Guard at ten is that you gain flexibility for later.  You take care of your number one need right away, giving you the ability to take the best player available in a loaded mid-round draft. 

The pick: (10 overall) Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

Round Two:

            With the selection of Chance Warmack in the first round, the Titans have built in a ton of flexibility for these middle rounds.  They can really afford to go best player available here.  The positions that I think are in play here are Defensive End, Cornerback, and Wide Receiver.  In order to make the best decision possible, you must look at the talent tiers of each position.  In my opinion, the talent level at Defensive End has already begun to fall off.  The deepest position to me of this entire class is Cornerback.  However, the Wide Receiver class peaks right around the top of round two.  I think a run on Wide Receivers will take place during the late first, early second range.  There are going to be plenty of receivers to choose from at pick number forty. Those names could include: DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Keenan Allen, Quinton Patton, Da’Rick Rogers, Aaron Dobson, and MarkusWheaton.  The bottom-line is simple; the Titans can’t trust Kenny Britt.  It is not a given that he will leave next year, but all signs point to his departure.  I think it would be smart to grab one of these big, talented wide receivers at pick forty. 

The pick: (40 Overall) Best WR on the board; My guess? Keenan Allen, Cal.

Round Three:

            This is really where you have to start trusting your draft board.  If you’ve got a guy still in your top 50 players, grab him, no matter what the position.  With the offense using the first two picks, it is time to address some defense.  With the Titans possessing two picks in the third, they can really bolster their roster here.  The two positions that jump out to me are Defensive End and Cornerback.  Defenders like Quanterus Smith, Brandon Jenkins, Jordan Poyer, Leon McFadden, and B.W.Webb should be in consideration here.  I also wouldn’t rule out taking a pass catching Tight End with one of these picks.

The pick: (70 overall) Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

The pick: (97 overall) Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State

Round Four:

            To this point, I’ve hit all major needs.  Now it’s time to address some depth and try to continue to upgrade talent. One area of need that has gotten a bit overlooked is Middle Linebacker Depth.  We all know that Colin McCarthy can be a bit fragile at times, so adding a productive, young Linebacker for depth should happen in these middle rounds. 

The pick: (107 overall) Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina         

Round Five:

            The main goal here is still to add talent, but I think adding an Offensive Tackle is going to be a priority in the mid rounds.  David Stewart and Michael Roos' contracts are up after next season, putting the Titans in a tough spot.  I think Roos will return, but I’m not sold that Stewart will. 

The pick: (142 Overall) David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State

Round Six:

            The Titans own a compensatory pick in this round.  Picking at the back of this round should still allow them to add a project.  There are plenty out there, but I think adding one more Safety could be beneficiary here.  They added two Strong Safeties, but have little depth behind Michael Griffin. Adding a young talent to push the vet may be a win-win.

The pick: (202 Overall) Rontez Miles, S, Cal (PA)

Round Seven:

            The Titans own 2 picks in the final round.  We’ve hit on every need so far, but there will still be some interesting names on the board.  Time to add more depth.

The pick: (216 Overall) Spencer Ware, RB, LSU

The pick: (248 Overall) Herman Lathers, LB, Tennessee



Posted by titansdraft on April 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)