Tennessee Titans: Winners and Losers of the 2018 NFL Draft Class
By Max Dambach
Winner: DC Dean Pees
A common gripe about the Titans’ defense in 2017 was their lack of star power outside of Jurrell Casey and Kevin Byard. The defense was solid and on the rise last season after GM Jon Robinson brought in new talent to fix the woeful pass defense of years past. However, the truly dominant defenses have stars at every level of the defense that helps upgrade the defense from merely “solid” to “stellar”. With former Ravens DC Dean Pees at the helm after being coaxed out of retirement by HC Mike Vrabel, the Titans are hoping that the defense can take another step forward in 2018, and Robinson’s third draft class must have Pees jumping for joy.
Robinson devoted the first three picks of the draft class to defense and brought Pees his “own C.J. Mosley” with another tackling machine out of Alabama. Rashaan Evans has the ability to replace and upgrade the newly-departed Avery Williamson and be a true three-down linebacker and cornerstone of the defense. In the second round, Robinson traded up to select an additional first-round talent in Harold Landry who has the elite burst and bend to put up double digit sacks as a pass rusher and seamlessly transition into a starting role once Brian Orakpo or Derrick Morgan test free agency next season. Furthermore, the fifth round brought a rotational safety in Dane Cruikshank, who has prototypical size, speed, and strength for the position and gives Pees another chess piece for the defense to use in various sub-packages. All in all, the Titans added three fantastic pieces who will push for playing time early in their careers as Pees brings a new scheme to Nashville.