The 2013 NFL Draft will start in nine days. Let’s assume that the Tennessee Titans were to use a draft strategy where they drafted based on position of need. The Titans have nine picks to replace any deficient starter or role player. Their first pick comes at No. 10.
What position should the Titans target as the biggest weakness? This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to use the No. 10 pick on that player. Management may like someone who they’re 100-percent confident won’t get taken before their No. 40 pick, No. 70 pick, etc.
Anyone who has paid attention to mock drafts would know that there are a variety of opinions as to how the Titans should use their picks. But when Apr. 27 rolls around and the draft is complete, what is the one position that this team must have improved on heading into the 2013-14 NFL season?
Check out the options. I’ll briefly discuss why each position is important to address. At the end, give your opinion in the Tennessee Titans 4/16 fan poll. Feel free to expand on it in the comments section.
(If no poll is available, it’s because I’m having technical difficulties. Bare with me).
In today’s pass-happy NFL, a team can’t have enough quality cornerbacks. The Titans have two fine players in Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner. After that, things aren’t so clear.
In 2012, opponents took advantage of the Titans’ lack of depth when they moved receivers inside the slot. As the team wasn’t confident in Tommie Campbell or Coty Sensabaugh controlling the outside receiver, Verner stayed on his outside assignment. Ryan Mouton was no match for receivers like Calvin Johnson.
Mouton wasn’t re-signed this offseason. There’s no doubt that the Titans will replace him on the depth chart. But will they replace him with a full-time nickelback, No. 2 cornerback or a mid-round project?
Edge-Rusher (DE, OLB)
What happens if Derrick Morgan or Kamerion Wimbley go down? Even if Ropati Pitoitua were used at defensive end, it’s not ideal on pass-downs. Keyunta Dawson and Scott Solomon are the top replacements on the depth chart. They could use Akeem Ayers at DE. But it’s not a permanent solution and more of a gimmicky move.
Half of this situation was already attended to when the Titans signed Andy Levitre. Can they enter next season with Eugene Amano playing on the opposite side of him? Amano appeared to play better when he was at guard as opposed to center. But with Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, two of the best guard prospects in decades, most fans don’t want to take a risk with Amano—or anybody other than Warmack and Cooper.
Most of the Titans’ initial pre-draft visits have been with defensive backs. Some of them include safeties Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam, Jonathan Cyprien and Eric Reid. They’ve also talked with tweener defensive backs such as Sanders Commings and Khalid Wooton.
The Titans already signed two free agents this offseason (Bernard Pollard, George Wilson). They also have an unproven commodity in 2012 sixth-round pick Markelle Martin. Along with Michael Griffin, is that enough? Or is an elite safety a must?
After spending a first-round pick on a wide receiver in 2009 and 2012, the Titans shouldn’t need any help. But with the departure of Jared Cook (who was mostly used as a wide receiver), the lack of reliability from Kenny Britt and the organization’s rumored efforts to trade Nate Washington this offseason, does Jake Locker need more weapons if he’s going to reach his full potential?
Younger offensive tackle. Healthier middle linebacker. New quarterback (not happening). Special teams and anything else.