Ran Carthon has already told us which player the Titans are going to draft

Texas A&M v LSU
Texas A&M v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

In 2022 the Tennessee Titans had one of their worst seasons in half a decade, and new GM Ran Carthon told everyone what their mindset was with the 11th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

During the predraft press conference, Carthon said, "Ultimately, picking that high, you want to be able to come away with what we call a 'blue player'...a player who is going to come in and contribute to you immediately with the hopes of never having to pick up this high again."

Well...at least he stuck to the first part of that quote.

After that quote, I outlined the 7 non-QBs who would be considered "blue players" in that class based on the consensus big board from draft analysts who were plugged in, and I said this about what the Titans were likely to do:

"Based on all of the draft buzz and the rumors, the only players that I can see falling to the Tennessee Titans naturally at 11 are one of the cornerbacks, Peter Skoronski, and Bijan Robinson...In an ideal scenario, the Tennessee Titans have one of the non-Will Levis quarterbacks fall outside of the top 10, but Peter Skoronski would be a nice consolation prize if he can at least attempt to play tackle in the NFL."

It wasn't a plan I loved, but it seemed obvious at the time that the Titans were trying to bring in a high-floor, high-ceiling player who could immediately step into a role.

The obvious "blue players" for the Tennessee Titans

For this exercise, I defined "blue players" as prospects who were in the top 10 of all of the important big boards, and there were only 4 non-QBs that made this cut:

1. Marvin Harrison Jr. WR, Ohio State

2. Malik Nabers WR, LSU

3. Joe Alt OT, Notre Dame

4. Rome Odunze WR, Washington

The only player who was even close to this ranking tier was Brock Bowers, who was 10th or lower on 2 of the 5 boards that I valued.

Recent reports are that Marvin Harrison Jr. is going to go 4th to the Arizona Cardinals which means that Malik Nabers, Joe Alt, and Rome Odunze are the "blue players" with a strong chance to be available at 7.

All three could be instant starters for the Tennessee Titans so Ran Carthon really can't go wrong by picking any of them. Their preference is going to come from what Brian Callahan and his staff think about the receivers vs what Bill Callahan thinks about Alt.

The decision could be made for them, but it sounds like there is a good chance that the Titans will have Joe Alt and one of the receivers available at 7 and they will have a decision to make. Whether they pick one or make a small trade down with a team like the Chicago Bears and then pick one a couple of picks later, the Tennessee Titans cannot leave this draft without one of those blue players.

The only exception is if the Titans make a small move down the board (4-5 spots) and the other team wildly overpays. That move will almost certainly take the Titans out of position to add a blue player, but it will give them ammo to make a move in the future to acquire a blue player either through a trade or a trade-up in the next draft.

Outside of that, everything that Ran Carthon has said and everything that he has been through points us to one of those three names.