The Tennessee Titans have gone back to their roots by going with back-to-back SEC players with their first two selections.
However, they took a sharp turn from what they traditionally do in the third round of the draft with their third pick. Instead of looking at a non-power five school player who they liked at the Senior Bowl, they selected Nicholas Petit-Frere the offensive tackle from Ohio State.
Here’s what that means if you’re a Tennessee Titans fan
You don’t find instant starting offensive tackles in the third round, but you can find offensive linemen with the tools to start in the long run if they fit your scheme. Like other Day 2 linemen in the past, it looks like the Titans will allow him to compete for a starting position with an eye on using him as an injury replacement for one of their starters.
Taylor Lewan is over 30 and he should be back to 100% after tearing his ACL in 2020, but he hasn’t played a full season since 2017. That is a problem.
Even if he is fully healthy and if he miraculously plays a full season, will the Titans want to move on with Dillon Radunz as the left tackle and NPF as the replacement at right tackle?
With that in mind, the Titans probably look at this pick as a guy who can fill in for Lewan when he misses time instead of being forced to call Bobby Hart in the middle of the season again.
What did the Tennessee Titans miss out on?
When you look at the tackles left on the board, there isn’t a player who has faced the level of competition that Petit-Frere has that also has his quickness (great 10-yard split for his size). The issue with Petit-Frere is the same one that popped up when the Titans took Roger McCreary, and that is that they are spending top-100 picks on players without a clear path to starting in 2022.
You could argue that Mike Vrabel doesn’t start rookies until he absolutely has to anyway and that they are spending these picks on premium positions. However, you have to wonder if this is the best way to build a roster to push for a ring now, or if it is just the best way to build a roster long term?