NFL Draft 2019, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans want to build on 2018 success with NFL Draft

After three straight winning seasons, the Tennessee Titans are a few drafted players away from returning to the top of the AFC South.

After a very nice start to free agency where the Titans landed blue-chip guard Rodger Saffold, wideout Adam Humphries, and linebacker Cameron Wake, Tennessee looks set to be even better next year with a draft perfectly suited to their needs right around the corner.

State Of The Team

The Tennessee Titans are in unprecedented territory. After their 3rd consecutive winning season, they are finding out that they aren’t a team of plucky underdogs anymore.

Blowout wins against the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots are a sign of the talent that this team has when healthy, but constant injuries to QB Marcus Mariota and the inconsistency of his supporting cast has left one of the best defenses in football hanging out to dry.

Total Draft Picks

The Titans have six total draft picks in 2019, including one via trade with the Dolphins, who received Tennessee’s 7th-round pick.

  • Round 1 (No. 19 overall)
  • Round 2 (No. 51 overall)
  • Round 3 (No. 82 overall)
  • Round 4 (No. 121 overall)
  • Round 5 (No. 157 overall)
  • Round 6 (No. 188 overall, via Dolphins)

Top 3 Draft Needs

Defensive End/Linebacker: The Tennessee Titans have a great looking edge-rusher with burgeoning star Harold Landry as the player with the most potential, but there is no clear starter opposite him.

2018 UDFA Sharif Finch looks very promising both as a run defender and a pass rusher, but needs some time to be refined. Behind him, the Titans have Cameron Wake who will serve as a designated pass rusher from the defensive left side, and after that is Kamalei Correa who is a serviceable swing player on the edge. One top end edge prospect from this class would really turn this unit into the strength of the Titans roster short and long term.

Offensive Line: Whether you want to say center or right guard is the need, the fact is that after releasing Josh Kline the Titans need to upgrade somewhere along the interior of the offensive line. If a great center fell then the Titans could move Ben Jones over to right guard, and if a great guard fell they could slot him in on the right side and let Jones and Corey Levin fight for the starting center job.

Wide Receiver: The Titans have their WR1 in Corey Davis and they have their slot guy in Adam Humphries. That should be a great one-two punch, but this team would really thrive if there were another boundary wideout opposite Davis. Taywan Taylor is the leader in the clubhouse for this spot, but he hasn’t found a way to stay on the field and with two years already in the books it is time to start worrying about him.

Top 3 Draft Targets

Brian Burns

DE, FSU

If there is a chance that Burns falls to 19, then the Tennessee Titans should absolutely jump on him. People rave about how coachable he is and his athleticism and hand-use pop on tape. Having him learn from Cameron Wake as he develops would be amazing and the Titans are deep enough to ease him in as a pass rusher first and then work on the run game later.

Erik McCoy

OL, Texas A&M

Garrett Bradbury is the consensus top center in this draft, however, people really don’t seem to understand how good McCoy is. This year he battled against Quinnen Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins, and many other top defensive tackles, winning consistently and very rarely looking out of place. That tape combined with his top end athleticism should make him the second center off the board in a class that really only has two worth taking in the top 100.

Chase Winovich

DE/LB, Michigan

I hate double dipping here, but Winovich is the perfect definition of a Jon Robinson/Mike Vrabel kind of guy. He started his career at Michigan as a linebacker, but was switched to a tight end/fullback later. Eventually landing on one of the nation’s best defensive line, he stole the show with his relentless effort and flexibility. After nailing the combine despite an injury late in the season, people are seeing his toughness, athleticism and grit all on display at once. For a head coach who played linebacker and tight end (sparingly) in the NFL, he is going to see a lot of himself in Winovich even if they did go to rival schools.

Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)

Jon Robinson has not only proven to be a capable decision maker, but I would contend that he is one of the best GMs in the NFL who no one is talking about. All four 1st round picks he has made since becoming the Titans’ GM have turned into quality starters.

Meanwhile, he has picked up very talented players on Day 2 and beyond with picks such as Kevin Byard, Harold Landry, Jayon Brown and Derrick Henry. He has shaped a perpetually lost franchise into a team with three consecutive winning seasons – which is a record for the Titans.

Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot

Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking. 

Best Pick:  Michael Griffin– Safety – Round 1 (Pick No. 19) in 2007 NFL Draft

The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers have only had the 19th pick once in history, and that pick worked out pretty well for them. In 2007 the Titans selected Michael Griffin with the 19th overall pick and landed an athletic safety that was a great fit in the defense that Tennessee was trying to build at that time.

A two-time Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro, Griffin has a strong case to be named as one of the best defensive backs in Titans history and he stands out as one of the few playmakers the team had as they transitioned from annual playoff contenders to the tough days in the early 2010s.

Worst Pick: Kendall Wright – Wide Receiver – Round 1 (Pick No. 20) in 2012 NFL Draft

Wright ends up with the recognition partially because, after a great start, he quickly fizzled out and ended up going from a fan favorite to someone people viewed as a malcontent. He struggled as the new coaching staff tried to make him precise instead of letting him ad lib.

It also needs to be considered who the Titans passed up to get Wright, names they could have landed instead include: Chandler Jones, David DeCastro, Dont’a Hightower, Harrison Smith, Kevin Zietler, and Whitney Mercilus. All of those players were drafted within the next nine picks.

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