Last year the East-West Shrine Bowl had 45 players drafted including Tennessee Titans standout TE Chig Okonkwo and San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy.
Given the team’s and the new GM’s recent success in scouting that event, the Tennessee Titans will obviously spend a lot of time combing over the rosters for both teams and identifying players that Mike Vrabel will be interested in.
I’m not going to break down every player that the Tennessee Titans could end up drafting, but what I want to do is highlight some of the players that would fit a role with the Titans or who are similar to former hits by Tennessee or Ran Carthon.
As you might expect, the bulk of these targets will be on the offensive side of the ball with one exception.
Tennessee Titans 2023 NFL Draft targets at the East-West Shrine Game
1. Zay Flowers WR, Boston College
Let’s get this out of the way, Flowers might be one of the most talented players to play at the Shrine Bowl in recent history. This receiver class seems to have very few true X-caliber receivers that can walk into any scheme and dominate, but that doesn’t mean that the class doesn’t have talented options.
Flowers wins on all three levels of the field and he wins with quickness and his ability to track the ball at a high level. His lack of size might limit him to splitting time between the boundary and in the slot, but he is a guy that is going to make a lot of plays in the NFL.
2. A.T. Perry WR, Wake Forest
Flowers is undersized at around 5’10, 180 lb. but A.T. Perry has the size to make NFL players look small at 6’5, 205 lb.
He has the physicality to work through contact in his route and to make life miserable for the defensive backs that try to bring him down. Obviously, he has some flaws and needs refinement but he has the size and physicality to get on the field and make plays early in his career even if he isn’t a finished product.
3. Luke Schoonmaker TE, Michigan
There are a few candidates for the Tennessee Titans’ best rookie, but the favorite would have to be Chig Okonkwo. Schoonmaker probably won’t have the rookie season that Okonkwo had, but he is a pass-catching tight end with the size and athleticism to move around the formation.
If a team is looking to add more size and versatility to their TE room, he is going to be very appealing on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
4. Mekhi Garner CB, LSU
While it hasn’t been confirmed, Chris Harris looks like he will be jumping ship from the Washington Commanders to the Tennessee Titans as the new DB coach. If/when that happens, we need to start talking about his DB preference.
Harris has thrived with bigger defensive backs in recent history and his secondary in Washington had two starters who were 6’2 or taller.
Ran Carthon is basically going to hand position coaches Day 3 draft picks and allow them to work with scouts to figure out which players they want the Tennessee Titans to draft. When that happens, fans should take a look at Mekhi Garner who is 6’2, 217 lb.
5. Quinton Barrow OT, Grand Valley State
Recently it seems like every year there is a small school offensive lineman that announces his presence at one of these all-star games. Given Barrow’s traits, he could be the guy that is most likely to make this jump.
Last year Ran Carthon’s 49ers drafted two offensive linemen that went to “smaller” schools. Spencer Burford went to UTSA which isn’t an unknown, but it also isn’t a team that 90% of college football fans watch more than once a year.
Nick Zakelj on the other hand went to Fordham which absolutely qualifies as a small school.
Burford was a 4th round pick and has started for most of the season at right guard while Zakelj was a 6th-round pick who has been quality depth for the 49ers.
For a team like the Tennessee Titans that is looking to build depth, Barrow might not be the team’s franchise left tackle but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be a key backup who steps in if/when they need him to.