Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
Tennessee Titans 1st round selection: Jeff Gladney CB, TCU
Tennessee Titans 2nd round selection: Jonathan Taylor RB, Wisconsin
"The impending free agency of cornerback Logan Ryan makes this a quietly big need in Tennessee. The Titans have a good thing going on defense and don’t want to take a step back. Shedding Ryan’s salary and picking up a young cornerback early in the draft is a smart move they should make. Free agency will no doubt have a huge role in this team’s draft plans. Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Jack Conklin are three key pieces to the offense that are all hitting the market. Being able to keep all three might be impossible, which could affect what the front office does at No. 29 overall. But sticking to the team’s identity as a power-run/defense-first crew is important. Gladney keeps them in that lane. Gladney might not be a household draft prospect just yet, but he will be. He’s physical and tough, and his technique is smooth. And he’s seen it all playing corner in the Big 12."
This is part of Miller’s 7-round mock draft, but if you simulate a whole draft class there are probably going to be things that people like and don’t like about it. So, to be fair I limited it to the first two picks.
Getting Gladney in the 1st round isn’t going to make a lot of people happy, because when you see a 6’0 cornerback you don’t expect speed. Well, whether it is true or not TCU has stated that he had been clocked with a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash.
I don’t know if that will happen, but speed isn’t an issue on tape and what really helps is that he is the CB the Titans need during the regular season. What I mean by that is, he is a guy who does well vs bigger targets and would help limit the success of the D.J. Charks and Nuk Hopkins body types.
Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson are plenty fast in a straight line, the thing the Titans have to do a better job of is getting to the quarterback and being able to play man coverage with some safety help over the top to stop the elite burner receivers.
Grabbing Gladney gives you a matchup for the big guy, a matchup for the twitch guy (Butler) and a matchup for anything else (Jackson).
Second, the Titans get a backup RB that can block, catch and run in Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin. Now, the reason why he will be available here has nothing to do with his talent, it is all because he can’t hold on to the ball.
With 18 fumbles in the last three years, the Titans would have to be comfortable knowing that they would use him sparingly as they tried to break him of that bad habit in his rookie season.
I am a big fan of Taylor to the Titans in the 2nd round. Coming from a Wisconsin team where he had to be the engine of that offense and stepping into a backup role should give him a break and let him really heal up as he adjusts to life in the NFL and the prospect of becoming a lead back in 2021.