Here’s what Leatherwood’s selection means for the Tennessee Titans.
With Derrick Henry just one season into a four-year deal, the Titans still have time to maximize his seemingly limitless potential, and there might be no better way to do it than bolstering an offensive line that has some undeniable question marks. Doing so with a player like Leatherwood, 2020’s Outland Trophy winner for the best offensive lineman in the country, could provide instant stability on the right side of the line.
Sure, the roster has other needs, but most of them have been partially addressed through free agency, at least enough to the point where the Titans can cross their fingers on some second-day players coming in and being surprise starters. Wide receiver depth is thin, but AJ Brown is a star, and Josh Reynolds is a nice enough WR3 for Tennessee to find another second-round gem at the position.
Cornerback is another thin position group, but the signing of Janoris Jenkins should, in theory, provide enough veteran stability to let the young corners Kristian Fulton and Breon Borders grow into expanded roles. Neither Jenkins nor Reynolds mark a particularly splashy signing, but they are, if nothing else, solid players to bridge the gap until the need becomes more pressing.
In contrast, the Titans’ moves regarding the line were minimal, letting go of Kelly and signing Kendall Lamm from the Browns in his place. If that move doesn’t especially inspire hope, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Hope might be on the way though. Alex Leatherwood fills what might be Tennessee’s biggest problem area, and stands as a solid, accomplished, college starter from the biggest school in the biggest college conference. He’s the exact type of player Jon Robinson would pick, and he’s exactly the player that Jon Robinson should pick unless Devonta Smith is still on the board at 22. The Titans must draft Devonta Smith if you can. Titans fans everywhere are begging you.