I’ve not been ashamed of my want for the Tennessee Titans to draft Alabama safety Mark Barron with the 20th pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Apparently I’m not alone there. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN recently wrote an article entitled “If Barron is there, Titans should pounce.”
Alabama safety Mark Barron looks to be a player who could solve a big issue in Tennessee. He’s a big (6-foot-1, 213 pounds), rangy playmaker who should be an opening day starter. He played both free and strong safety for Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.
“Big safety, athletic, smart, rare size and frame,” a scout told me at the combine. “Runs the show in a difficult defense to absorb. Very good kid. No issues. Coaches love him and trust him. Immediate starter wherever he goes. Injury is the only way he is available at 20.”
The only thing I’d disagree with in that paragraph is the fact that injury is the only way he is available at 20. There are a lot of special talents that will be taken early in this class. The main reason that Barron might not make it to the 20th pick is because of the lack of safety help available this year, via the draft and free agency. It would not be surprising to see some safeties over-drafted just due to the fact that people are desperate for help at that position and there isn’t a lot available.
Even with that being said, I still believe Barron will be available when the Titans go to make their selection. As long as they have a plan for defensive end and find someone to help fill that position in free agency, I agree with Kuharsky. Pounce on Barron. He’ll bring a strong playmaker to a weak position and could be a strong cornerstone of the Titans defense for years to come, just like some other safeties (Polamalu, Reed).
No matter what, it’s hard to argue against bringing in a young defensive playmaker for a backfield that lacks any real identity and a defense looking for a leader.
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