Tennessee Titans GM Ran Carthon wants to draft a "blue" player
By Will Lomas
After a nearly record-setting seven-game skid to end the season, the Tennessee Titans finished with their record since the 2015 season.
That collapse earned the Tennessee Titans the 11th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Ran Carthon said in the team's pre-draft press conference that the goal with a pick that high is to land a game-changing talent.
Sure, the press conference was filled with the same old buzzwords/phrases that the team has spent all offseason running into the ground like collaboration, speed, and guys who love football. However, this quote might have given more insight into the Tennessee Titans' draft plan than anything else.
Buck Reising posted a great clip of Ran Carthon's answer below, but you can find the full press conference here if you want to make sure you have all of the context.
Two things stood out there. First was basically coach speak about why the Tennessee Titans don't expect to be bad enough to pick in that range consistently. That suggests that not only do they want to do better this season (obviously), but that they understand that this player needs to make an impact not just check off a box on a list of needs.
The other noteworthy thing is the idea that Carthon wants to get a "blue" player (or blue-chip player if you are more comfortable with that) there that can contribute immediately.
The "blue" prospects that the Tennessee Titans could target
For Tennessee Titans fans, the question now has to be, who are the "blue" prospects in this class? Excluding the quarterbacks who are correctly judged on a different timeline and valued differently, there are seven players that I believe most draft analysts would agree are blue-chip talents that are also ready to start from day one in this draft class.
Those players are:
1. Will Anderson EDGE, Alabama
2. Jalen Carter DT, Georgia
3. Christian Gonzalez CB, Oregon
4. Bijan Robinson RB, Texas
5. Peter Skoronski OL, Northwestern
6. Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech
7. Devon Witherspoon CB, Illinois
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.
Considering how many resources have been poured into Mike Vrabel's defense over the last three years, it would be a mistake to neglect the offense anymore. The Tennessee Titans would be wise to ignore whichever cornerback might be available.
Even if Derrick Henry is traded, I think taking a running back in the top half of the first round would be a mistake. However, Ran Carthon was in the draft room when the St. Louis Rams drafted Todd Gurley 10th overall, so don't scratch that possibility off just yet.
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.
If all of those options are exhausted or if the Tennessee Titans trade down, they can certainly get a very good player or someone that they consider to be a "blue" player, but it would require them to grade outside of what the consensus has been for the better part of the offseason.