Seven weeks into the NFL season, the Tennessee Titans are 4-2 and once again they are in the driver’s seat in the AFC South.
Having said that, the current version of this team feels like a group that will make the playoffs but won’t really threaten any of the elite teams. A major reason for the lack of optimism is that the current list of Titans players on I.R. includes but is not limited to:
(*Players who will return at some point this season)
Once again the Titans roster has been depleted due to injuries and once again receiver and offensive line are being hit the hardest.
With at least half a dozen receivers on the trade block as well as a few offensive linemen, it makes sense that the Tennessee Titans fan base is getting antsy for a trade before the window closes next week.
While it makes sense for fans, it is harder to convince people inside the organization that trading away premium picks makes sense. It might make you better now, but every pick you trade away puts more stress on the GM to make shrewd moves in free agency and the later rounds of the draft.
However, there is a big reason why that shouldn’t matter to the Tennessee Titans this year.
The 2023 NFL Draft is telling the Tennessee Titans to trade
Right now, you could make an argument that the Tennessee Titans actually have a lot to work with on the offensive line and at wide receiver when everyone is healthy. The big needs are at left tackle and boundary receiver to round out the trio of Treylon Burks, Robert Woods, and Kyle Philips.
Unfortunately, even if the Titans keep all of their premium draft picks that doesn’t guarantee them a solution to either of these issues.
Jon Robinson’s drafts have worked out best when he leans into spending his first- and second-round picks on SEC talent with long resumes. Derrick Henry, Jeffery Simmons, A.J. Brown, Kristian Fulton, Treylon Burks, and Roger McCreary all fit this model.
Looking at NFL draft rankings for the 2023 class, there really isn’t anyone that fits the bill in terms of first-round talents. Even when you get to the second-round range you are looking at guys like Tyler Steen (Alabama left tackle) and Cedric Tillman (Tennessee wide receiver).
You never want to look too far ahead during a season, but there is enough evidence to suggest that there may not be guys that the Tennessee Titans will love at left tackle or wide receiver in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. If that is the case, Jon Robinson should be willing to bid a little bit more for players like Andre Dillard and Jerry Jeudy who can add immediate help and solve long-term problems.