Aggressive Tennessee Titans 2018 NFL Mock Draft

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Defensive end Josh Sweat
TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Defensive end Josh Sweat /

The Tennessee Titans have two real needs in the 2018 NFL Draft, how aggressive will they be?

You can make an argument that there are some small needs in terms of depth across the roster, but there is no doubt that the Tennessee Titans only have two major needs.

If you are more worried about the short term, then linebacker is probably a big concern to you. While Wesley Woodyard had a career year and looks like a good starter, it is fair to have some concerns about Jayon Brown as an every down starter.

Don’t get me wrong, I have full confidence in Brown going forward but I think Vrabel and company will want someone bigger to anchor vs the run on early downs.

If you are more concerned about the long term health of the roster, then EDGE has to be your main concern.

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Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan are both coming off of less than spectacular years and they are entering the last year of their contracts. While I think they have three more years in them at least, it is fair to think that re-signing both of them isn’t the most cost effective option.

The Titans could try to infuse some youth at the position this year if for no other reason than to have some depth because right now you have Kevin Dodd, Josh Carraway (practice squad) and Aaron Wallace who has ended up injured in both of his seasons in the NFL.

That doesn’t exactly allow you to be aggressive with your front seven because you are one small injury from scrambling to make adjustments.

So, I decided to go into this mock dead set on fixing those problems first. As the draft fell value was just too great to not double-dip at those positions.

I don’t know how aggressively Jon Robinson will attack these needs, but I would love to see a mock draft like this:

Round 1, pick 25: Leighton Vander Esch LB, Boise State

From walk-on to star linebacker, it is hard to imagine the man that drafted Jack Conklin and Corey Davis to pass on a player like LVE.

He had top-40 tape easily coming into the offseason, but he has killed the process so far from testing to interviews. While I don’t buy into that stuff usually, he just seems like a perfect fit for Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel.

This team is trying to build and cultivate a culture based on hard work, aggression and selflessness so I think this pick makes sense on every level.

Round 2, pick 57: Josh Sweat EDGE, Florida State

If there is a player closer to Jevon Kearse in recent years I don’t remember him. Sweat is a little taller, about 9 pounds lighter, and topped every athletic mark that Kearse hit on his way to earning his “freak” nickname.

Sweat isn’t very productive, but if you think he was played out of position (not a pure upfield guy but instead more of a reactionary player) then there is an argument for thinking that you can make him into a better player at the NFL level.

Dean Pees and Mike Vrabel have helped develop some special talent in the front seven over their careers, Sweat seems like just the sort of project they would like in the 2nd round.

Round 3, pick 89: Michael Gallup WR, Colorado State

I don’t think the Titans desperately need a WR like some people do, but I will say that Gallup is insanely intriguing. He had one of the best combines of any wide receiver, and if you couple that with his top-end production and you have someone I think the Titans would be interested in.

He could quickly carve out a niche in this offense and become a great WR4/5 in year one on a pretty talented roster.

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  • Round 4, pick 125: Hercules Mata’afa EDGE, Washington State

    There is no way he falls this far, but if he does he would be a steal for the Titans. Few EDGE prospects fail to make at least a Pro Bowl with his level of production and athleticism, and none have really busted.

    I think he is a no-brainer in the top-40 picks but if he falls here and the Titans land him, Jon Robinson may finally get the recognition he deserves as being one of the best GMs in the NFL.

    Now the Titans top 4 EDGEs are:

    1. Brian Orakpo

    2. Derrick Morgan

    3. Josh Sweat

    4. Hercules Mata’afa

    That is a vastly improved unit.

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    Round 5, pick 162: Jack Cichy LB, Wisconsin

    I firmly believe that Cichy would have been a first round pick if an injury didn’t cost him his final season. Day 3 is the time to take big risks and if you are going to take a risk, take it at a position of need with a high upside player.

    Round 6, pick 199: JT Barrett QB, Ohio State

    If the Titans are going to draft an Ohio State player I hope it is this player with this pick. There is just no combination of need and value that make sense other than bringing in Barrett as the developmental QB who can function in a wide open offense like what the Titans will run next year.