Tennessee Titans: Shaun Calderon’s ideal 7-round NFL Mock Draft
Round 1 Pick 29:
Jeff Gladney – CB, TCU
The TCU cornerback was a four-year starter who’s draft stock seemed to benefit from finishing his senior year rather than trying to get to the NFL as quickly as possible. He followed up an impressive Junior year in which he earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors, by becoming First Team All-Big 12 in his final season as a Horned Frog after a career-high 14 pass breakups in 2019.
Gladney is a slightly undersized cornerback who surely doesn’t play like it. On top of having terrific ball skills, he is a physical corner that embraces contact instead of shying away from it like many corners do. His coverage traits should allow him to thrive in man or zone, but he does tend to get overly aggressive at times which could ultimately lead him into occasional traps by some of the smarter quarterbacks at the next level.
Although he is smaller than you’d probably like, he is a ball-hawking alpha that has the talent to help his team on all three downs if needed. I think he would make a perfect replacement for Logan Ryan in 2020 and potentially as an eventual cheaper replacement for Malcolm Butler on the outside as early as 2021.
Gladney comes into the league with next-level athleticism, speed and the tenacious mindset that always seemingly intrigues Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel during this process. The Titans’ GM also recently said that he wants their nickel back to be able to cover vertically as well as horizontally and that is somewhere that I believe Gladney would be an immediate upgrade over Ryan.
The former TCU standout also excels as a tenacious blitzer who is a missile off the edge when he is allowed to stick his nose in the opposing backfield. Losing Ryan will inevitably hurt but getting a talent like Gladney will undoubtedly ease that pain. There are a ton of conflicting reports as to where the TCU product might go, but if he is in fact there at pick 29, I think they should run up to turn that card in.
Other cornerbacks I could see being in play here are LSU’s Kristian Fulton and Utah’s Jaylon Johnson. Should Tennessee choose to go elsewhere in the first round, I believe an offensive tackle will be the next most likely selection at 29.