NFL Draft: East-West Shrine Game Preview – West Team

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 20: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 20: Rob Gronkowski /

NFL Draft season is officially here after the Tennessee Titans ended their playoff run. The East-West Shrine Game is approaching, and there are future potential Titans playing in the game.

With the Tennessee Titans already locking in some coaching interviews, GM Jon Robinson will not sleep until he puts the Titans in a great position to win a title. As Titans fans continue to keep an eye on the coaching search, we can not forget that NFL Draft season is starting! The first major draft event is the East-West Shrine game. Below are some players from the West Team that Titans fans might want to keep an eye on this offseason.


  1. WR Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State

Wieneke dominated FCS opponents his entire career. He was a four-time All-American honoree and finished his career second in FCS history with 59 touchdown receptions and third in receiving yards with 5,157. Not to mention, his 288 career receptions set a South Dakota State and Missouri Valley Conference record. Not only does Wieneke have a knack for the catching the football, he has very impressive size, standing at 6 foot 4. Just imagine Corey Davis and Wieneke on the outside with Taywan Taylor in the slot and Delanie Walker at tight end. That would be deadly for any defense to defend.

  1. RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern

The second team All-Big Ten running back is someone that doesn’t get a ton of hype, as he played on a not-so-great team. Even with the offensive struggles of Northwestern, he was able to amass, 1,154 rushing yards in 2017. He joined Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne as the only players in Big Ten history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in all four of their collegiate seasons.

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans /

Tennessee Titans

As a four-year starter, Jackson recorded 1,142 carries for 5,440 yards and 41 touchdowns. One major positive for this dynamic player is his receiving ability. There is a plethora of running backs in this draft class and Jackson might be a diamond in the rough. The Titans need a shifty back who can produce in the pass game, and Jackson could be the ying to Derrick Henry’s yang.

  1. TE Andrew Vollert, Weber State

Vollert earned All- American Honors in his two seasons at Weber State and was a consensus All-American in 2017. Not only an All-American, he also earned Big Sky First Team All-Conference honors in 2017. Vollert played in 26 games in two seasons at Weber State, finishing with 123 receptions for 1,613 yards and 12 touchdowns, while leading the team in receptions and receiving yards both years.

Vollert is a reliable receiver and has the size to be able to be able to block in both the run and pass game. The Titans might be without Jonnu Smith for a bit as he recovers from his MCL injury, and Vollert can be a good alternative in the meantime.


  1. EDGE Marcell Frazier, Missouri

Frazier was nominated to an All-SEC team each year he was at Missouri. Frazier had a dominant senior season, recording 36 tackles with 13.5 for loss and 7.0 sacks with eight QB hurries, to go along with five pass break-ups. He is a long, athletic edge rusher who has shown the potential to be a big time pass rusher. The Titans need some youth on the edge, which might be the biggest need for the Titans.

  1. ILB Joel Lanning, Iowa State

The All-Big 12 second team inside linebacker has a very interesting story. A switch from QB to linebacker during his senior year, would usually mean he would struggle, but not quite. Lanning ranked second in the Big 12 and 31st nationally in tackles per game (9.2). Lanning recorded 110 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks and one interception. Overall, he is a good inside backer, as he has the ability to play downhill in the run game and the coverage ability to play sideline to sideline.

All signs point to the Titans letting Avery Williamson go due to his inability to cover anyone. Wesley Woodyard is not getting any younger and also has struggled in coverage. The Titans will need to find a linebacker who can be a three-down player and Lanning has the potential to be a special player.

  1. S Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern

One of the nation’s best open-field tacklers, Igwebuike was named to the All-Big Ten Team for the second straight season in 2017. He recorded 72 tackles, a team-high nine pass breakups and two interceptions. Igwebuike is not only a great tackler, but he also excels in coverage.

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Igwebuike has the ability to diagnose a play and get to the ball quickly using his athleticism. It is obvious that the Titans need another answer at safety, because Johnathan Cyprien has struggled both in the run and pass game. The Titans will need to get another young safety that can help this defense all season defending the pass.

Bonus Player:

  1. OT Brett Toth, Army

The first-ever Army player to be accepted to play the East-West Shrine game is also one of the highest rated run-blockers by Pro Football Focus. Toth will also be at the Senior Bowl, which will showcase even more of his talent. Standing at 6 foot 5 and weighting in at 304 pounds, he will need to add some weight if he ever wants to see an NFL football field. Pass protection is Toth’s biggest weakness, as he was in an offense that is known for the triple option. The Titans will need to find a solid backup, as Jack Conklin will miss a majority of the offseason after tearing his ACL. If Toth can showcase his pass protection skills, teams might consider him the next Alejandro Villanueva.

Next: Should Titans' next HC be offensive or defensive?