This is it, my final mock draft. This one will focus on the Tennessee Titans and their seven picks in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. There aren’t any huge glaring holes for the Titans but they’ve certainly got some spots to fill. Without further ado, let’s do this.
Round 1- DE Nick Perry, USC
The Titans could go a few ways with this pick but I’m almost positive they’ll address the d-line with it. Nick Perry could very well be on the board when the Titans go to pick and I for one, see a lot of potential in the kid. He’s got great speed, athleticism, and moves. He uses his hands well and knows how to get around OT’s. Whitney Mercilus could still be on the board as well, but I think Perry is the safer, better choice. Either way, whoever the Titans pick will benefit from being put into a solid rotation with Derrick Morgan, Dave Ball, and Kamerion Wimbley.
Other possible choices: DE Whitney Mercilus, S Mark Barron
Round 2– OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
The Titans are reworking the line. There are a lot of questions about what this line is gonna look like come game one. Zeitler brings youth to an aging line and allows the Titans to move Leroy Harris back to center while making Amano a back up. Over half the Titans line is 30 or older. They do this as they start preparing Jake Locker and the Titans for years of playoff runs to come.
Other possible choices: DE Vinny Curry, DE/OLB Shea McCellin
Round 3- CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
Hometown player gets to stay. Hayward started shooting up boards the past couple months and could actually be gone before this pick. If he does last this long, the Titans get a good sized CB who plays well against bigger receivers and has a good eye for the ball. The Titans aren’t reeling by any means after the loss of Finnegan but they keep their young pool of cornerbacks that much younger and create great competition for Finnegan’s vacancy.
Other possible choices: C Ben Jones, DE Tyrone Crawford
Round 4– OLB Emmanuel Acho, Texas
Witherspoon has been a good OLB for the Titans but his clock is ticking and the Titans will probably be looking for a young guy to groom behind Witherspoon for a year or so. Acho should sound familiar. The Cardinals drafted his brother in the fourth round last year and by the end of the season he was a starter for them, collecting 7 sacks and 40 tackles. Now we all know that no two athletes, even if they’re brothers, are made the same. Example: The Matthews linebacker brothers, Clay and Casey. Though there are exceptions, such as the McCourty brothers. Either way, I like Acho and I think he’s a solid pick here. Give him a year behind Witherspoon and he may be able to take over the position, giving the Titans an awesome, young linebacking core.
Round 5– DT Jaye Howard, Florida
The Titans were destroyed in the run game. They’ve shown they want to get bigger at that position and Howard brings in 301 lbs and a 6-3 frame. He’s a force against the run, though he does suffer from disappearing sometimes. A fifth round pick on a guy who can make some pretty good plays, specifically in the run, sounds like a good investment to myself. The last DT the Titans picked in the fifth round turned out to be pretty decent.
Round 6– SS Duke Ihenacho, San Jose St.
It may be a reach that the Titans get Ihenacho here, but this is a mock so why not! Besides, anything can happen in the draft, especially with lower round picks. Ihenacho is a hard hitting safety and can help bring some backup and youth to an aging position for the Titans. He may not ever become a starter but could prove to be a solid backup for the Titans. They could use some help there since Robert Johnson seems to be heading towards a busted status and the safety position is pretty barren.
Round 7– QB Kellen Moore, Boise State
Now a lot of people have been pretty down on Kellen Moore. I haven’t. I know they guy has a height problem, being only 6-0, and there has been criticism of his arm strength, but I like him. He started for four years at Boise State and posted one of the most impressive winning streaks in college history along with a great QB rating. Seventh round picks are there to gamble and I’d be much happier with Moore being on the roster than Rusty Smith.
The other possible picks contain a lot of DE’s just because it’s the biggest area of need for the Titans and it’s more of an alternative, as if they hadn’t taken a DE before that pick.
You can also find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart