History suggests Tennessee Titans could find Pro Bowl player with 25th pick
If the Tennessee Titans elect to “stick-and-pick” at 25th overall, the last 10 selections suggest they have a 50% chance of landing a future Pro Bowler.
With the 2018 NFL Combine finished, the focus is now on the Pro Days of future NFL prospects. Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel will be laser-focused on evaluating potential fits.
The Titans hold the 25th overall pick, but that doesn’t guarantee the pick won’t be shopped. However, if the Titans do stay at 25, the last 10 players drafted at that position have been productive, some at a Pro Bowl level.
Below is a list of players drafted 25th overall in the last 10 years.
"S Jabrill Peppers, CB Artie Burns, LB Shaq Thompson, CB Jason Verrett, CB Xavier Rhodes, LB Dont’a Hightower, OL James Carpenter, QB Tim Tebow, CB Vontae Davis and CB Mike Jenkins."
There’s no question that it’s a talented list. Granted, there were a few not-so-great selections, it is an overall solid group of players. Verrett, Hightower and Jenkins each had a Pro Bowl season. Rhodes and Davis have had multiple Pro Bowl bids.
Only two offensive players were selected in the past 10 drafts at pick 25. Tebow had one solid season and Carpenter has played in a Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line.
Thompson hasn’t earned a Pro Bowl nod, but has been a quality member of the Panthers’ linebacker corps that was a dominant during Carolina’s Super Bowl run in 2015.
The most popular position drafted has been cornerback. Depending on what cornerback is available at 25, the Titans could also elect to go that route.
If multiple quarterbacks cause quality corners to slide into the back-end of the first round, Robinson and Vrabel would consider one; especially if it is a certain corner with Ohio State ties that DB coach Kerry Coombs is familiar with.
Building Defensive Depth
The Titans will likely (and should) use this draft to build depth on the defensive side of the ball.
A linebacker or edge rusher should be the pick in the first round, and it is likely a quality player will be available.
Even if Robinson can land some quality and productive defensive players via free agency, the draft should still be primarily defense-heavy. DC Dean Pees will work closely with Vrabel and Robinson to help paint a picture of what he would like the 2018 Titans defense to look like.
As outlined above, quality Pro Bowl caliber players have been picked up at 25. Pittsburgh’s Burns had a solid first two seasons and–like predecessors listed above–could be on his way to earning his first Pro Bowl bid in the near future.
Cleveland will find a way to better incorporate Peppers, who has the tools to become a special player. Once put in the right position, Peppers could be a future Pro Bowl player with his raw, natural talent. Only time will tell.
There could be many players in play for the 25th pick this year, whether it’s Rashaan Evans, Leighton Vander Esch, Harold Landry, Malik Jefferson, Vita Vea or Denzel Ward. Some of these players will surely be gone, but an unexpected slide has been known to happen before.
Either way, the Titans are in good position. Land a potential Pro Bowler at 25 or gain more draft capital via trading back. Trust that Robinson will make the best move for the franchise. He’s earned that trust.