As the 2013 NFL Draft draws nearer, there will certainly be more and more debate over whether or not the Tennessee Titans should take a guard with their first pick.
I’ve been on the Chance Warmack band wagon for some time now, and I’m not saying that I’ve changed my mind necessarily, but our latest staff mock draft at Titan Sized left me in quite a predicament in the second round when the Titans pick fell to me.
Our Editor Justin Stewart took Chance Warmack with the Titans first round selection as many pundits and analysts have as well. I too have been beating my drum for taking Warmack or Cooper with the first pick overall. Huge need for the team and a bonafide stud at the position. Easy decision, right?. However a problem arose when we hit the second round.
I’ll start by saying some mocks are weird, and when you have multiple people taking part, some odd things tend to happen. There was quite a run on DE and CB both in this particular one. Ansah, Mingo, Werner, and Carradine were all off the board by the second round, but so were Margus Hunt and Sam Montgomery. At corner, Milliner, Rhodes, and Trufant were gone as expected, but Banks and Alford were taken as well. If drafting based on order of “need”, the Titans would do best to be looking at these positions with their second round pick. I was left looking at the #7 defensive end that fits a 4-3 or the 6th cornerback overall. Slim pickings at best for the 40th pick overall.
I tried to turn my attention to defensive tackle, but the top 4 were off the board and there was definitely no value at that spot, especially when it’s a position that’s already been addressed in free agency. Safety you say? Matt Elam is a popular second round pick for the Titans. Yet Vaccaro, Elam AND Cyprien were all off the board at this point.
I did what I had to do and took possibly the most explosive talent in the draft at 40 with Cordarelle Patterson.
I told you this mock was weird.
While many would be thrilled at the idea of ending up with Patterson (I can’t say I wouldn’t be either if it was in the second round), the options did leave me in quite a predicament as I played fantasy GM. You would think that after taking a guard in the first, the Titans would want to focus on DE or CB with their next pick. The way the defense played last year, they may even draft defense for every pick from here on out. We’ve discussed before how the odds of your 1st 3 picks not all panning out, and how it behooves a team to align these picks with an immediate need or substantial upgrade as much as possible.
The odds of Cordarelle Patterson sitting there at 40 are highly unlikely. Only Tavon Austin went higher, and Keenan Allen went right behind the Titans to Buffalo. Maybe if one of the top three WR are still there at 40, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. For all those CBs, DEs and DTs to be taken, someone had to get pushed down the board, right? But even with reaping the boon of Patterson, the Titans have yet to address the much maligned defense in the draft and we’re entering the 3rd round. Many think that WR is still a big need for the Titans, but I can’t say I’m one of them.
The outcome was fortuitous, but the process did make me second guess taking a guard in the first round. If that means that the Titans can’t get defensive help until the third round, or maybe even later, then maybe it’s not the best idea. While guard may be the biggest hole on the team, the defensive unit needs the most help overall. Keeping the offense drives going will help the Titans defense a lot, but there were many games where the defense was torched early and often and had nothing to do with ball control.
I’m not saying I’m against Warmack or Cooper in the first. But this is the first time that I’ve seen a reason not to. If Warmack or Cooper is taken there will be many of us that will finally see the front office do what we wanted. But now I can see the reasoning behind those that will be shouting “DEFENSE” at the top of their lungs. The talent on the defensive side of the ball looks to drop off quick. Maybe it would be better to pick up the best DE sitting at 10 followed by Warford in the second.
So what would you have done in my position? What if Allen and Patterson were off the board like I think they would be and there were a couple more offensive guards/tackles still out there instead?
Who would you have taken in the second?
You can find me on Twitter @gunnelsj