Tennessee Titans full predictive 2019 NFL Mock Draft

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Safety Kevin Byard
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Safety Kevin Byard /
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(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

3rd round, pick 82: Khalen Saunders iDL, Western Illinois

Ready to get weird? I actually wrote about what this pick could be back in January during the Senior Bowl:

"The Tennessee Titans had no 3rd round pick in 2018, but they have had three in the last three years thanks to some moving around by Robinson. It is surprising to note that all three of those picks have been former Senior Bowl player. The biggest of these names is Kevin Byard who has been nothing short of spectacular for the Tennessee Titans in his three years here. Taywan Taylor and Jonnu Smith are the other names that round out the trio, and Taylor was a player the Titans actively moved up to get. So what does it mean? Well, I would guess that the Titans liked what they heard and saw from these smaller school guys. That combination of small school upside and the competitions they won against guys from bigger schools likely made them noteworthy on the Titans big board."

Maybe it is a coincidence, but it is really strange that every third round pick Robinson has had has turned out to be a small school player who attended the Senior Bowl.

Like I said in that quote, I think Robinson feels uncomfortable taking smaller school guys high and the third round might be where that unease dissipates. Looking at the list of Senior Bowl attendees and combine interviews, Khalen Saunders is a common denominator in these list.

He also fits what the Titans should be looking for in this range of the draft. He is a wide bodied defensive tackle who was very productive vs the pass and has the athleticism to translate that to the NFL.

Right now, Tennessee is kind of stuck with Austin Johnson and Daquan Jones as the starters next to Jurrell Casey. They can figure out how much they really want them both after this year when Jones’s contract is a lot easier to manage and when Johnson is a free agent.

In the meantime, they could use Saunders as a rotational defensive tackle as he develops into a starter for 2020.