Jan 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd (73) sacks Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) during the third quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
With the 10th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select—
So many options. General manager Ruston Webster could address this in many different ways. Should the Titans use their first-round pick on best player available or best player available at cornerback, wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker, edge-rush specialist or elsewhere?
Here are 12 players who the Tennessee Titans may consider with their first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. This includes players who’d require (or recommend) trade-ups or trade-downs.
No. 12: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, University of Tennessee
That’s for the editor / lead writer. As for me, check the interest label.
INTEREST: LET’S ASK MICHAEL SCOTT
No. 11: Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, DE, BYU
At No. 10, Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah is too much of a project for a coaching staff in a do-or-die season. Don’t see them taking a rotational edge-rush specialist project over an everyday starter.
INTEREST: VERY LOW
No. 10: Dee Milliner, CB, University of Alabama (TRADE UP)
According to NFL Draft trade value chart, the Titans could package No. 10 (1300 points) and No. 70 (240 points) for any pick up to No. 7 (1500 points). If Dee Milliner were available at No. 7, that becomes a possible trade scenario on draft day. Of course, the Miami Dolphins have an extra second-round and third-round pick. They need a cornerback more than the Titans do.
With Robert Alford and Leon McFadden almost certainly available in the second or possibly third round, do the Titans need to use that No. 10 pick on a cornerback? It’s worth noting that Alterraun Verner (fourth round), Jason McCourty (sixth round) and the late Cortland Finnegan (seventh round) were late-round picks who developed nicely.
No. 9: Desmond Trufant, CB, University of Washington
With the Miami Dolphins (No. 12) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 13) both needing cornerbacks, the Titans can’t trade back if they want Desmond Trufant. But once again, I just don’t see this team taking a cornerback in the Top 10. There’s too much value in later rounds.
No. 8: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State University (TRADE DOWN)
If the Titans did draft a cornerback in Round 1, they should trade down and stockpile picks for later rounds. That’s possible with Johnthan Banks, who shouldn’t go before No. 19. His speed may cost him Top 20 status. But Banks was a very good player (and tackler) at Mississippi State University.
INTEREST: BELOW AVERAGE
No 7: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU (TRADE DOWN)
Outside of quarterback, I’m a believer that quality football begins in the trenches (offensive line, defensive line) and at middle linebacker. In 2012, the Titans were lacking in all three of those departments. And when those components aren’t functioning properly, then a quarterback will struggle to stay healthy, much less play up to his potential.
For the Titans, Kevin Minter is in no man’s land. It’s far too early to take him at No. 10 (or anywhere in the Top 19. Chicago Bears may take him at No. 20). At the same time, Minter probably won’t last until No. 40.
Now if the Titans can trade back and acquire another second-round pick while still getting Minter? It’s not the most exciting thing they could do, but I wouldn’t mind it.
INTEREST: AVERAGE (Very High if at No. 40)
No. 6: Star Lotulelei, DL, University of Utah
Doctors have cleared Star Lotulelei, who was projected as a Top 5 pick before he was diagnosed with a heart condition. Lotulelei has the versatility to play multiple positions on a 3-4 or 4-3 front. That’s good because the Titans want to experiment with a 3-4 defense.
INTEREST: ABOVE AVERAGE
No. 5: Sheldon Richardson, DL, University of Missouri
Many experts have started to pencil-in Sheldon Richardson as the No. 10 pick. The Titans could use Richardson almost anywhere on a 4-3 front or as a defensive end in a 3-4. He’s similar to Mike Martin in that they both have nonstop motors.
Richardson doesn’t cover the biggest need, however, a team can’t have too much depth in their defensive trenches.
No. 4: Sharrif Floyd, DL, University of Florida
If Sharrif Floyd drops to No. 10, Titans would have a tough time passing up on that value.
INTEREST: VERY HIGH
No. 3: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State University (TRADE DOWN)
No. 10 is too much of a reach for Arthur Brown. But if the Titans trade back to—say, around No. 16-19—they’d get additional picks and a versatile linebacker who can play outside or inside. At worst, Brown would start his rookie season as depth behind an oft-injured Colin McCarthy and make an immediate impact as a 3-4 inside linebacker (or maybe move Zach Brown inside and Arthur Brown outside). At best, Brown is an opening-day starter at middle linebacker.
INTEREST: VERY HIGH
No. 2: Jonathan Cooper, OG, University of North Carolina
There’s no doubt that the Titans need another offensive guard opposite Andy Levitre. With two of the best prospects in the last decade, the Titans could have their choice between Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack—
INTEREST: CONSOLATION JACKPOT
No. 1: Chance Warmack, OG, University of Alabama
— If the Titans have their choice between the two, Warmack gets the slight advantage from proving himself against SEC competition. But management gets the benefit of the doubt on who they prefer in their system. Barring injuries, both players are Day 1 starters. Mike Munchak doesn’t have time for a No. 10 pick to become a Year 2 starter.