Round 3, pick 82: Khalen Saunders DL, Western Illinois
This pick may look familiar and that is because it is the same 3rd round pick that I made last week. The reason that I feel so confident in this pick is that Jon Robinson has a strong tendency that I explained before 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 players. 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."
Through two rounds the Tennessee have added top end talent at EDGE and a really solid WR. With those boxes checked, they still need iDL and iOL, but we have heard that this is a big man draft so why not wait and let the depth of this draft work in the Titans favor.
The first of those secondary needs addressed is DL where the Titans get a big bodied ball of clay that has the chance to be molded into a really interesting player. I would put money down that if you put on a highlight reel of Saunders and watched it with Mike Vrabel he would come away thinking about ways to develop him into a playmaker in the middle of his defense.
Is he a project? Yes. But unlike a lot of “projects” in the draft, he actually has the potential to be very good when he gets coached by a great teacher.