October 29, 2011; Jacksonville FL, USA; Florida Gators safety Matt Elam (22) gets the crowd pumped up during the first quarter of their game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans have six picks in the 2013 NFL draft as of now. According to calculations, the Titans are likely to get three compensatory picks, a 3rd, a 5th, and a 7th rounder. The Titans have had two solid drafts in a row. Hopefully that streak extends into 2013. With coaching jobs on the line, I think it’s safe to bet on the Titans having another successful draft.
There’s enough riding on it.
Here’s a look at what their 2013 NFL Draft class could look like.
Notes: After round 3, the pick numbers are guesses, as we haven’t learned how many and who are getting compensatory picks.
10. Tennessee Titans – OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive linesman Chance Warmack (65) blocks during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
If Warmack is still on the board when the Titans pick 10th, he’ll be hard to pass on. The draft is lacking in top heavy talent and Warmack is one of the few players actually worth the high pick. It also just so happens that the Titans are in need of a revamped offensive line and what better way to address that problem than by adding a dynamic, versatile player who could be the center piece of the Titans offensive line for the next decade. Jake Locker and Chris Johnson would certainly support this pick. So should any Titans fan tired of watching Locker and Johnson struggle.
The question is, have the Titans already signed Andy Levitre in free agency? If so, what happens with Steve Hutchinson. This is a tough spot.
40. Tennessee Titans– SS Matt Elam, Florida
Nov 24, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Matt Elam (22) intercepts a pass during the first half of game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
While Elam isn’t my favorite safety, my opinion seems to be opposite of the popular one. That being said, Elam is a hard hitting safety who’s good in pass coverage. The Titans are in desperate need of a strong safety to start opposite Michael Griffin. Elam is a hard hitting safety who seems to be a playmaker, finishing his senior year with 4 INTs. One worry about him would be his overcommitment to putting on a big lick. Sometimes he goes in for the big hit and comes up completely empty handed. For a Titans team that has struggled with tackling, that might be a red flag.
70. Tennessee Titans– DE John Simon, Ohio State
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad linebacker John Simon of Ohio State (54) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
It’s a barren wasteland of talent behind DEs Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan. The Titans need a competent player to throw in rotation with those guys that can help them catch their breath throughout the game. Simon is a hardworking player who doesn’t stop until the whistle is blown. He has an attitude the Titans would love and would be a good fit on the line.
I did look at Margus Hunt here, but his 6’8 frame makes me think he’s not what the Titans are looking for.
Comp. 3rd round pick
RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford
Jan 1, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor (33) runs against the Wisconsin Badgers during the 2013 Rose Bowl game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Titans need a power back to compliment CJ’s speed. The days of Smash and Dash may have passed, but the Titans would like to see a second coming of it. Stepfan Taylor seems to be the perfect guy to bring it back with. He is built to smash and does a great job of using his lower body strength to do so. He also does something that has been rare for Titans backs lately; he commits to the hole and just goes. Javon Ringer is set to be a free agent and while he’s a great guy, he’s just not what the Titans need. The Titans would be lucky to get Taylor with this pick. In fact, they might just switch around what I did with the picks here in the 3rd and take Taylor first.
104. Tennessee Titans– ILB Jon Bostic, Florida
November 17, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Jon Bostic (1) against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 23-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Titans themselves taking a second Florida player this draft when they grab Bostic in the 4th. The Titans lack depth behind Colin McCarthy and they payed for in 2012 when McCarthy struggled to stay healthy. Bostic is another hard hitting player and like Matt Elam, Bostic was also a team captain. Bostic is another player with strong character that the Titans should be happy to add to the mix. Bostic could be a package player for the Titans in his rookie year, giving McCarthy time on the sidelines and hopefully decreasing his chances of injury.
135. Tennessee Titans– DE David Bass, Missouri Western State
Yep. The Titans take another DE. Bass has great upside. The biggest knock on him is the lack of competition he had playing at such a small school. The Titans will likely bring in a free agent DE to help fill the void, but with adding Simon and Bass really gives the Titans some decent rotation. Dave Ball is headed for greener pastures (retirement) and the Titans will be waving goodbye to Jarius Wynn and Keyunta Dawson. Our brother site, NFLMocks, is crazy about him. While I’m not quite as hyped as them, he certainly seems worth the pick.
Comp. 5th round pick
ILB/OLB John Lotulelei, UNLV
Nov 5, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UNLV Rebels linebacker John Lotulelei (55) is called for pass interference while defending Boise State Broncos tight end Gabe Linehan (87) in the second quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Lotulelei is shorter than you’d like, coming in at only 5’11, but he’s a solid tackler. The Titans could certainly use more of those. On top of that, he’s a hard hitter. Lotulelei was responsible 121 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception during his senior season. Not my favorite pick, but at this point with what’s on the board Lotulelei seems like the right pick.
200. Tennessee Titans – OLB Herman Lathers, Tennessee
Sep 15, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers linebacker Herman Lathers (34) reacts after stopping a third and short run at the goal line against the Florida Gators during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Why not? A little home grown talent never hurt and the Titans have thin depth with both Gerald McGrath and Will Witherspoon hitting free agency. Lathers has had a decent career in Tennessee, despite missing the 2011 season. These late picks are always a bit of a swing in the dark, but the Titans are certainly much more assured of what they’ll be getting out of Lathers.
Comp. 7th round pick
OC Matt Stankiewitch, Penn State
Sep 29, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matthew McGloin (11) prepares to take a snap from center Matt Stankiewitch (54) during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
This isn’t a draft you really want to take any offensive lineman late in, but such is life. The Titans will hopefully have the line all locked up by this time, but they could still use some depth. Stankiewitch is one of the few who stuck with Penn State after the scandal. Perhaps Munchak reaches out to a fellow alumni who’s shown the hard work and dedication the Titans love to see from their guys. Add another project to the list.
I’ll post a revised version after free agency settles. As of now, the first three picks are a shot in the dark considering the fact that the Titans could bring in any number of guys to start on the O-line and at SS. But this is at least a possibility.
What do you think? Is this the ideal way for the draft to play out for the Titans? What would you change?
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart