Why Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft was a Disaster for the Tennessee Titans

NFL Combine
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As the highly anticipated 2023 NFL Draft finally got underway, Tennessee Titans fans held their breath. With essentially no idea what new GM Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel would do in the first round, I had cautious optimism for the team.

Heading into the draft's second day, I felt great about the Titans' first pick. Peter Skoronski was generally regarded as the top offensive line prospect in the pre-draft process, and for him to fall to Tennessee at 11 was highly unexpected. He also addressed a significant need for the Tennessee Titans on the left side of the offensive line and is a plug-and-play guy who can make a huge impact immediately.

With one of the worst wideout rooms in the entire league, it was clear that the Tennessee Titans had to address their most significant need. With high-profile guys like Josh Downs and Jonathan Mingo on the board, they had the perfect chance to have an incredible draft.

Spoiler alert: that did not happen.

A low point for the Tennessee Titans draft

The Tennessee Titans got active early by trading up to take Will Levis with the second pick of round two. Obviously, this was a very divisive pick depending on what your opinion of Will Levis is, but objectively to me it just doesn’t make sense, especially with Malik Willis already on the roster.

Trading up to take a big swing on a quarterback that is still raw after five years of playing college football in round two is not a recipe for success. Josh Allen-type prospects don’t generally pan out or else every single team would be taking one and there is a reason why Josh Allen was drafted five years ago but he is the most recent example. Frankly, the Titans have too many needs to address to take players that will not be getting on the field.

With a 3rd round pick coming up, there was still time to bolster up the receiver room with a high-end talent to give Ryan Tannehill (and eventually Will Levis) a wide receiver to throw to other than Treylon Burks.

But then disaster struck when it was announced that the Tennessee Titans drafted Tulane running back Tyjae Spears, with the 81st pick. 

How many times have we seen the Tennessee Titans take a secondary back in the draft to compliment Derrick Henry just to see them never get on the field? In two of the last three seasons, the Tennessee Titans took both Hassaan Haskins and Darrynton Evans to fill that role and it didn't work out then either.

And when you look even closer, Tyjae Spears has a complicated injury history, including an ACL tear in college and knee cartilage/arthritis issues. At the very least it makes him a concerning prospect, but at the most, it makes him a guy that you hesitate to give significant touches.

This pick is so reminiscent of the things that got Jon Robinson fired, drafting an injury-ridden player while avoiding a glaring positional need.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for Spears. He has a lot of talent and seems like a great guy, and last year at Tulane he looked like a weapon. The problem isn't the player, it is the role that he fills and the hole at wide receiver that this pick confirms.

Mike Vrabel has said all offseason, “We need to get faster,” but where have they done that at all in the draft? It's beginning to seem like Mike Vrabel is all coach speak and zero truth at this point, and I’m losing faith in Ran Carthon every second.

After an offseason of praising new GM Ran Carthon, it feels like this team is not only falling back down to Earth but falling into old habits that will not lead to success. With that said, it's easy to see the Titans falling behind in a revamped AFC South.