What are the Tennessee Titans really planning to do in the 2019 NFL Draft.
I don’t think there is any team harder to read on a year to year basis than the Tennessee Titans.
This all starts with Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson who always makes it a priority in free agency to go after the “right” guys rather than the biggest names. It isn’t a perfect model, but over the past four offseasons he has added:
Nearly all of those players were positions of need at the time and all of them turned into solid starters for at least a year. While some positions were more expensive than others, the flexibility the Titans have/had in their cap this year shows you that Robinson’s mission was to patch holes without making any long term mistakes.
This process allows him to pick who he wants in the draft, though there are some tendencies if you look hard enough.
When you look back on the draft, the Titans have made smart decisions in the first round even if they weren’t the decisions that most people expected them to make. A lot of this is because the front office is notoriously tight lipped (see below) and when analysts can’t get any information from leaks they just google highlights and guess what a team will need.
Whatever you say about him, Ben Allbright is one of the few transparent insiders on Twitter and he is right much more often than he is wrong. He wasn’t afraid to tell everyone last year that no one knew what the Titans were planning:
The only real paper trail the Titans leave is who they reportedly show interest in throughout the draft process. Some of it is a smoke screen, but I currently have 70 players listed that the Titans have had some form of special interest in.
Now, that could mean that the position coaches talked to a guy for a while after a pro day or it could mean that they had a guy in for a private visit as well as spending time with him elsewhere. Sometimes the Titans don’t actually bring guys they love in for private visits because they don’t want to tip their hands about where they will go in the first round.
For example, the Titans loved Alabama LB Rashaan Evans last year, but I don’t believe that had him in for a private visit. Instead, the biggest tip you heard on them liking him was that the staff spent a lot of time with him at his pro day.
Ultimately Tennessee ended up trading up above the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers to land him because there were some rumors that maybe they were interested if he fell to them.
So while I weigh private visits heavier, they aren’t a must for high draft picks.
With that 70 player database, I decided to go over to TDN and create a full mock draft. This is how it broke down.