In his first mock draft of the offseason, former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew has the Tennessee Titans taking a running back to replace Derrick Henry.
The Tennessee Titans are going to add a running back during the offseason, whether that be through the 2020 NFL Draft or in free agency.
That’s because the team didn’t really have a second option behind running back Derrick Henry, who had his best year as a pro after winning the rushing title with 1,540 yards.
The guy who was supposed to spell him and be an asset on third downs, running back Dion Lewis, was anything but effective in 2019 after averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 6.6 yards per reception. As a result, Lewis is a prime candidate to get cut during the offseason.
There’s also a chance that Henry, who is set to become a free agent in March, leaves a second void at the running back position in Tennessee because nothing is guaranteed in free agency.
This scenario seems less likely, though, as the Titans have multiple ways they can hold onto Henry for at least another season, and the franchise should be prioritizing doing that after the Alabama product showed how incredibly important he was to the offense in 2019.
In his first mock draft, former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew has the Titans taking Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins to replace Henry.
"J.K. Dobbins – RBHe’s a compact running back with good balance, instincts and ability to break tackles. With Derrick Henry due to reach free agency, Dobbins could be the guy for Tennessee."
This pick is plausible if the Titans don’t sign Henry to a long-term deal and instead opt to use the franchise tag on him. It’s even more plausible if Henry moves on altogether from the Titans in 2020 and signs with another team.
I tend to believe that Henry will be back for multiple years, and in that scenario the Titans just need a back who can be a nice complement to Henry as a third-down back that can block and catch passes out of the backfield, while also being a good runner.
Dobbins does check all of those boxes, but so do other backs who can be taken in the later rounds of the draft. Barring Henry unexpectedly moving on in free agency, general manager Jon Robinson will likely focus on a different need in the first round.