Tennessee Titans fans Shrine Game watch list

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 09: Wide receiver KeeSean Johnson #3 of the Fresno State Bulldogs catches a pass during second half action against the Boise State Broncos on November 9, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 24-17. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 09: Wide receiver KeeSean Johnson #3 of the Fresno State Bulldogs catches a pass during second half action against the Boise State Broncos on November 9, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 24-17. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images) /

Who should Tennessee Titans fans be paying attention to in today’s shrine game?

The first “big” event for the 2019 NFL Draft class is here in the form of the East-West Shrine Game and Tennessee Titans fans should take note.

In case you think I am exaggerating or hyping this up too much, look at the list of GMs that have been at practices this week and who are credentialed for the game:

Notice anyone in particular? Yep, that’s my GM right near the top of the list and for good reason. Here are the names that were on the roster last year:

-RB Phillip Lindsay (UDFA but nearly rookie of the year)

-RB Justin Jackson (7th round pick)

-DL Poona Ford (UDFA starter for Seattle)

-DL P.J. Hall (2nd round pick)

-DB Dane Cruikshank (5th round pick Titans)

-TE Ethan Wolf (UDFA Titans)

-WR Daeshon Hamilton (4th round pick)

-DL Deadrin Senat (3rd round)

-EDGE Chad Thomas (3rd round)

-CB Avonte Maddox (4th round pick)

-S Damon Webb (UDFA Titans)

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And that is just after a cursory glance of the 2018 roster. It is clear to see that there are likely some 3rd and 4th rounders on this roster and potentially a mid to late 2nd rounder as well.

Jon Robinson himself took three players from this game last year. The player he drafted has turned out to be a great special teams player who was actually key in a win this year against the Houston Texans.

So, who are the players that I hope Jon Robinson paid close attention to this week?

Daniel Wise DT, Kansas

If you saw my watch list post before this week, you know that I was high on Wise coming into this game. Since then, all he has done is dominate interior offensive linemen with speed and technique.

By all accounts he has been one of the big winners, and it looks like one of my hidden gems is now going to be drafted higher than I hoped. Could this be one of the 3rd round picks from this year’s Shrine Game?

Devine Ozigbo RB, Nebraska

I’m going to be honest, I have seen very little of Ozigbo but there are a lot of people high on him. Specifically, people say that his transformation under the Frost administration has been incredible and the stats back that up.

Ozigbo played in all four years at Nebraska, but during his senior year he was just 30 yards short of matching the production from his first three years combined. People are raving about his ability to move at his size (6’0, 235 lb.) and if the Titans can draft him in the late rounds they could build their offense around a running game that featured two big backs with great athleticism in the open field.

Keesean Johnson WR, Fresno State

I am going to be honest, I did not think Johnson was very good in the three games I watched of him. He seemed like he doesn’t want to block, doesn’t have a 4th gear, can be kind of lazy out of his breaks not to mention that I had him marked down for some drops when he did get targeted.

I say this knowing full well that he posted back to back 1,000 yard seasons at Fresno State and that he improved every year. I just never really saw him as that guy.

Fast forward to this week and everyone is raving about his ability to just absolutely destroy man coverage. At 6’2 you would imagine that he would win his fair share of jump balls, but people are posting clips of him running great sharp routes.

I hope Robinson kept an eye on him, because if the Titans do decide to spend their first three picks on EDGE, DL and IOL then they could be looking for a 4th round wide receiver. Maybe Robinson has seen that he just needs to be coached differently or maybe he liked him going in, either way Johnson has seen his draft stock explode this week.

Kyle Phillips EDGE, Tennessee

My final player on this list is another prospect I wrote about on Monday. This is what I said:

"I feel terrible about what happened to Kyle Philips. A 5-star EDGE coming out of high school, Philips made the decision to sign with the white hot Vols as they looked to be heading to an SEC title.And how did the fine coaching staff at Tennessee repay him? Well, for some reason they tried to make him a defensive tackle for two years. By the time that coaching staff was fired and a new one was brought into replace him, they had already set him behind from a technique standpoint.On top of all that, an ever changing series of Strength and Conditioning coaches made it even harder for Philips to develop.Now that he is out of that pit of misery, there may be a chance for him to become something. He needs a good coaching staff and a good S&C program, but I believe that Philips has the chance to be a starter in the NFL someday. The Titans should take a chance on him as a two-year developmental prospect."

I quoted that because nearly all of that was on display this week. By all accounts, Phillips has the athleticism to play outside but after four years of being flip-flopped around in Knoxville his first practice he was athletic but not technically sound.

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All it took was one day to fix that as he got better and better every day. As far as I can tell he was one of the most impressive EDGEs during practice this week. While he lacks the production and pedigree that Jon Robinson covets in the first few rounds, his promise as a late round developmental pick at 6’4, 270+ lb. who progressed statistically every year should be enough to earn a look on Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

I don’t know if anyone will reach the peak that P.J. Hill did last year and land inside the top-60, but there is absolutely talent on this roster. For a GM like Jon Robinson who turns over every stone in the draft process, this week may have shown him some potential mid round picks that will pay dividends for the Tennessee Titans.