1. Blaine Gabbert – QB (Missouri)
With each passing day this seems like more and more of a long shot. Gabbert made up for not throwing at the NFL Combine with a dazzling pro day workout in front of virtually every NFL team in search of their next passer. He may or may not pan out in the NFL, but if he is still around at the 8th pick, the Titans would be foolish not to take him.
2. Nick Fairley – DT (Auburn)
Like many I saw the Auburn vs. Alabama game last season, a game where Fairley’s skills and dominance were in full display. At the time of this post, virtually every media outlet is already assuming the Titans are preparing a spot for this monster defensive lineman on their roster. His comparisons to Albert Haynesworth are damaging to my ears. The Titans should steer clear.
3. Da’Quan Bowers – DE (Clemson)
Like Gabbert, it is more likely that Bowers will already be gone by the time the Titans get their first bite. Still, recent reports of a knee injury could be just the drop in stock the Titans would need to have a shot at this every-down pass rusher. Derrick Morgan and Bowers could be the AFC South’s next Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. If they can both stay on the field.
4. Patrick Peterson – CB (LSU)
Interestingly, Peterson’s draft position has dropped through no fault of his own. Kiper attributes this to NFL team’s historical unwillingness to draft a DB with such a high pick. If 7 teams pass over Peterson, this is another no-brainer for the Titans. Peterson, Cortland Finnegan, Alterraun Verner, and Jason McCourty would be a formidable group, especially in the AFC South.
5. Jake Locker – QB (California)
I am hopping on the bandwagon. Defensive line was not the biggest problem on the Titan defense, and Kiper believes this draft’s deepest position is defensive line. It could be a reach, but Titan fans should never forget that Vince Young’s selection at 3rd overall was considered a deal at the time. Selecting Fairley over Locker would be making the same mistake.
Here is my order of value for the Titans (in letter grade) vs. their overall draft rating (out of 100).
1. Patrick Peterson – A+ vs. 97 (overall draft rating according to Kiper)
2. Blaine Gabbert – A- vs. 96
3. Da’Quan Bowers – B+ vs. 97
4. Jake Locker – B vs. 91
5. Nick Fairley – B- vs. 96
Only time will tell who is available and who the Titans choose. Hopefully, the teams selecting in front of the Titans will make the decision an easier one. Sadly, the Oakland Raiders do not have an early first round selection for Al Davis to blow prior to Tennessee’s choice.