Could the Tennessee Titans do any better than drafting EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft?
At some point during the offseason, the Tennessee Titans will need to address their need at EDGE, whether that be through free agency, the 2020 NFL Draft, or both.
While EDGE Harold Landry took that next step in 2019 after totaling nine sacks, Tennessee needs another pass-rusher opposite him to take some pressure off. And, the failure to generate consistent pressure outside of Landry was Tennessee’s undoing in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
One player who has been linked to the Titans in multiple mock drafts is 6-foot-5, 265-pound EDGE, Yetur Gross-Matos out of Penn State.
In fact, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has mocked Gross-Matos to the Titans at No. 29 overall in both of his mock drafts, the most recent of which was released on Tuesday.
Kiper notes that the Titans’ needs could change depending on what happens with their own free agents, but that EDGE remains one of the biggest needs general manager Jon Robinson must address — and he is absolutely correct in saying that.
"But edge-rusher will still be on that list, and the Titans can address it with Gross-Matos, who had 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons. At 6-5, 265, Gross-Matos would be a great fit as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense."
Adding to Kiper’s belief that Gross-Matos is a great fit, Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling thinks that Gross-Matos is the Titans’ “dream 2020 draft target.”
"A lanky, explosive complement for nine-sack man Harold Landry III, Gross-Matos would be a rich-getting-richer scenario for an upstart Titans team building something special."
In his last two seasons with the Nittany Lions, Gross-Matos totaled 17 sacks, and his length and athleticism could make him a menace off the edge in the NFL.
Getting an impact pass-rusher in the draft would be ideal, and that’s especially true if the Titans can land a talent like Gross-Matos at No. 29. The only problem is that he may not be available that late in the first round, and the same can be said for a lot of the top EDGE prospects.
The Titans will have to decide if they’re going to simply depend on the draft to fill that need, or if filling it in free agency, which comes before the draft, is also on the table.
I personally find it hard to believe Robinson will only depend on the draft to nab a pass-rusher because of the inherent risk in waiting, so expect some kind of move from the Titans’ GM in free agency to hedge his bet that he gets at least one impact pass-rusher this offseason.