1 Senior Bowl prospect the Tennessee Titans will fall in love with

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports /

Senior Bowl practices are in full swing and this group is loaded with prospects that the Tennessee Titans will be looking at for the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.

Practices at the Senior Bowl are designed to put top prospects in uncomfortable situations to answer questions that coaches and scouts may have had on film. Questions like:

“Is a 5-foot-7 receiver going to have any chance to play at NFL level? Let’s match him up against great college cornerbacks and see what he can do.”

“Can a small school offensive tackle make a quick jump to the NFL? Let’s see how he holds up against quality pass rushers.”

How they answer these questions on the field along with their coachability, work ethic, interviews, and improvement throughout the week are more important than the game itself. One player is making waves that would be a perfect fit for the Tennessee Titans, but it isn’t the player or the position that you are expecting.

Who are the Tennessee Titans going to draft?

The Tennessee Titans are set to return 10 of 11 starters this offseason and bringing back Harold Landry is the top priority. It isn’t a leap to say that after Landry is brought back, the defense will be done upgrading.

I would assume that the plan in free agency will be about adding dependable veterans at the skill positions. Most importantly, the Titans need a tight end who can block and catch after a year of trying to make it work with guys who could only do one or the other.

GM Jon Robinson has drafted 43 players, but he has only drafted a tight end once. That was five years ago when he drafted Jonnu Smith who served as the TE2 behind Delanie Walker. Long story short, he seems to believe that unless you are a special talent the difference between a Day 2 tight end and a UDFA tight end isn’t worth the cost.

A.J. Brown and Julio Jones will be looked at as the starters at wide receiver, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Titans looked to sign a borderline WR2/3 to serve as an immediate boost to the offense and someone who could replace Julio Jones when he was injured.

So, if the Titans lean away from drafting a receiver or a tight end with one of their top-100 selections, who makes the most sense?

Well, the position that makes the most sense is the offensive line, and specifically (as much as I hate the value) interior offensive line. There is a good chance that Rodger Saffold is either traded or cut due to his contract and injury issues, and Ben Jones is a free agent (even though they love him).

The good news is that there are a few potentially special talents on the interior offensive line this year. Tyler Linderbaum seems to be the odds on favorite to be the first iOL drafted, but another name is making waves.

Zion Johnson played guard in college and looked phenomenal, but this week he has proven that he can play center as well. His coachability and work ethic have been on display as has his power and ability to wall off defenders consistently.

If the Tennessee Titans liked him in college, then they are going to love him after this week and we know they paid attention to him in college because he was playing left guard next to Mike Vrabel’s son at Boston College.

Johnson checks off almost every box that the Tennessee Titans front office looks for in a player. He is a self-made guy (one college offer and it was to FCS school, Davidson), a three-year starter, he has a wide body with quick feet, a great work ethic, he can play any spot on the offensive line, and he fits into any scheme.

On top of that, the Titans have unique insight into him as a player thanks to the three years he has spent playing with Tyler Vrabel.

There isn’t a prospect in this class that the Tennessee Titans front office and the coaching staff will have more information on heading into this draft. If the Titans decide to move on from Rodger Saffold and if they choose to let Ben Jones walk, it would mean that they would need to fill a need at left guard and center.

With Aaron Brewer having experience at both, drafting Zion Johnson in the first or second round (trade down) would give the Titans two players who could play both spots.

After a stellar week, it is easy to see how the Tennessee Titans could fall in love with the player and his potential fit in the offense. The only question for Mike Vrabel will be just how well he can play on special teams