The Last Five 25th Overall Picks in the NFL Draft
By Kyle Zwiazek
The Tennessee Titans are in a position they have never been in this off-season: They have the 25th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
The 2018 NFL Draft is right around the corner and there are many mock drafts out there with many different ideas. To get an idea of what kind of impact players the Tennessee Titans could get with their first round pick this year, it is time to look at the last five 25th overall picks in the NFL Draft.
2017 – Jabrill Peppers – Safety – Cleveland Browns
The jury is still out on Peppers. He is one of those players that is an ultra athlete, but never really had a defined position at the next level. In Cleveland, Peppers has settled into the safety position as well as a big role in the return game. The reason why the jury is still out is because he has only played one season in the NFL. Peppers had a decent first season in Cleveland, securing 44 tackles and an interception. Those are decent numbers for a rookie, especially a rookie with the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Peppers is an above average NFL player that has the ability to be a superstar.
2016 – Artie Burns – Cornerback – Pittsburgh Steelers
To follow the theme, the Pittsburgh Steelers also grabbed a defensive back with the 25th pick. Burns has had a decent career as a young player. He worked his way up to a starter in the Steelers secondary and has not looked back since. During his two seasons in the NFL, Burns has compiled four interceptions. None of those went for a touchdown, but that is decent production. To go along with those numbers, Burns also managed to get 98 tackles between his first two seasons in the NFL.
2015 – Shaq Thompson – Linebacker – Carolina Panthers
The only non-defensive back on this list is Shaq Thompson. After playing three seasons in the NFL, Thompson has turned into one of the more serviceable linebackers in football. His numbers do not stand out as one of the better players because Thompson averages just over 33 tackles a season. The thing is, Thompson is fast and has a nose for the ball. Linebackers have so many more responsibilities than just tackling. Thompson is a very good player that has the ability to be a Pro Bowl linebacker in the near future.
2014 – Jason Verrett – Cornerback – San Diego Chargers
The final two names on the list are both Pro Bowl level players. Unfortunately, Verrett has had injury issues throughout his short NFL career. That has limited his productive seasons to only one. In 2016, Verrett put on a Pro Bowl performance. That season, the Chargers cornerback had three interceptions and one of those went back for a touchdown. It was an overall great season, but the problem has been staying healthy for Verrett in order to string those productive seasons together. At the end of the day, he is a solid player for the 25th overall pick.
2013 – Xavier Rhodes – Cornerback – Minnesota Vikings
To round out the group, the most accomplished of all is Rhodes. Rhodes was a Pro Bowler the last two years. He put up some great numbers, including five interceptions in 2016, with one of them going for a 100-yard touchdown runback. He is also on a team on the rise in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings got within a stones throw of playing a home Super Bowl last year, but just missed. They will surely be one of the best teams going into next season, and Rhodes is a cornerstone on their top level defense.
What Does It Mean?
If we go based off of the last three drafts, the Titans will take a defensive back. The problem is they do not need to spend a first round pick on one. If the right DB falls, it would behoove Jon Robinson to take him, but it is not necessary. It is realistic that the Titans go the route of the Carolina Panthers in 2015 and grab a linebacker. Look for the Titans to even trade back in the first round or take the best available player on the board. There are no real glaring holes on the Titans’ roster and that is a good thing when drafting because they can take whoever is the top overall option at the time.