It's that time folks. We're officially done. Out of the playoffs and it feels like crap. Time to look towards the future. Several things are yet to be decided such as our draft position and whether or not Vince Young will be back next year, but all signs seem to indicate that we'll be in the top 10 and that QB is not going to be priority number one for this front office.
That being said, a lot of things can change between now and April, but as for now I'm calling it like I see it. So where does that leave us in terms of who we want to take? Is this a "best player available" type of year? I'll just throw out some options, you tell me what you want to see.
Assuming that the Titans have the 10th pick overall, here's what I can see happening.
Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
This video doesn't show off any of his skills as a defensive lineman particularly well, but how much fun is it to watch? Dareus is an incredibly disruptive presence due to the fact that he's simply the best athlete in this class of defensive linemen. He can penetrate the interior as a pass rusher and he can be an anchor in run support. He's terrific off the ball and has excellent concentration on snap counts. Dareus is versatile to the point where he could play tackle in a 4-3 and end in a 3-4 (who knows what the coaching situation will look like next year?).
His major flaw is that he comes from an incredibly deep defensive line at Alabama which limited his snaps. If you're concerned about his experience, you most likely wouldn't make him a top 10 pick despite his excellent skill set.
Dareus is a personal favorite of mine, but the Titans don't really need a new defensive tackle, but you know what they say, the battle is won and lost in the trenches, and Dareus could go a long way in controlling the line of scrimmage and freeing up some space for Derrick Morgan to do his thing on the outside. Plus, I think that in all honesty, Dareus could be the best player available at this point in the draft.
Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State
To take an interior lineman this early in the draft would be a huge stretch, but if there were one out there who deserved it, it would be Hudson. The big man from FSU is scary good. He's been called for two penalties in his entire career and will end up as the most decorated offensive lineman in ACC history.
He's a versatile player who can line up at guard, tackle, and even center which may prove valuable next year. Hudson is also extremely durable; he started 28 straight games and during the 2009 season, gave up no sacks or quarterback pressures.
You'd be hard pressed to find a better interior line prospect, but I think it's too early in the draft to take one, even as good as Hudson is.
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
The 2010 Butkus Award winner, Von Miller is a personal favorite of mine. The Titans lack any kind of leader on the defensive side of the ball. Miller can fill that role, he was a team captain this year for the Aggies and plays with an incredible passion. He is also a game changing pass rusher. Miller lead the entire nation in sacks in his junior year and in his senior year, he improved immensely in his coverage ability and in stopping the run.
You can never have too many pass rushers. The Titans as a rule don't usually send their backers on blitzes, but this guy is just too good not to send. The defensive philosophy would have to shift, but can you imagine the blind side of the field being controlled by Miller and Morgan in 2011?
Miller needs to bulk up in order to succeed in the NFL, but he's got the whole offseason to work out. Many of his problems like getting off of a lineman who has good position and taking on a fullback can be solved with about 20 more pounds on his frame.
These are just three options, but I think that until we know more about the Vince Young situation that QB will be left off of the board this year until a later round. Stay tuned for some more first round options to be posted later in the week.