What I see a lot of these days is how the Titans should be ignoring position A in the draft because of a perceived need at position B. I offer a challenge. Over the next few days, I'll be trying to defend the drafting of a wide receiver, a guard, a cornerback, and a pass rusher (whether it's going to be a defensive end or outside linebacker is TBD).
When I hear that drafting a wide receiver wouldn't address any of the teams' immediate needs, I cringe a little bit. Wide receiver is a "luxury" position around here, we already have a really good one and another who finally showed he could carry the load. Like fingernails on a chalkboard. I propose that there are several reasons that it would be just fine to draft a "luxury" player, meaning of course a player at a position that is already held by a capable starter.
Then, when I think about what kind of moves would actually make sense, I'm left with wide receiver and corner back, meaning I don't get the feeling that we'll be drafting any tackles, tight ends, quarterbacks, or running backs in the first couple of rounds this year. I'm all for best player available, but there's no chance the best player available is going to be a tight end or running back. None. Offensive tackle is simply not a position of need. Before you say "But neither is wide receiver!!", first off, that's debatable, and second off, receiver is a position where teams can find plenty of ways to get all of their good players on the field at once (cue Fisher Moss/Britt jokes). It isn't uncommon at all to see two top-flight receivers on the field at the same time because multiple receiver formations are obviously a huge part of the game.
Tackle on the other hand, isn't. There are two of those on the field at all times, no more, no less, and the two we have right now are pretty darn good.
The point I'm trying to make here is that it doesn't matter what order we assemble the pieces to a winning team in, the team will continue to struggle if it lacks players who are good at football. Naturally, the way to change this is to fill key positions, or positions that directly benefit key positions, with outstanding talent. There are plenty of reasons the front office should be eyeing South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery this year. One of the big ones is that there just isn't an outstanding pass rusher or a lockdown corner that is projected to be available at the time the Titans are scheduled to pick this year, and guard/center is much easier to draft for in later rounds. Conversely, Jeffery's stock may fall because of the glut of talent at wide receiver this year, making a guy who might go in the top 15 in past years available for a discount.
By no means am I marrying the Titans to Jeffery, Kendall Wright should also be there at 20, as should a bevy of other playmakers including Notre Dame's Michael Floyd. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that the FO would be foolish to not at least consider the possibility of bringing one of these guys in. As I said before, wide receiver is only a position of strength when Kenny Britt is healthy, and even then it's frighteningly thin. Because football is fickle like that, Britt just can't seem to get healthy. Nate Washington really stepped up his game this year, but personally I'd like to bring in a more complete player, or at least someone projected to be a better player. Super Bowl winning offenses aren't led by Nate Washington as the number one receiver. As a compliment to a true number one, there aren't many better options out there than Nate, and if he can be bumped back inside to his more natural slot position, watch out NFL, you've got a scary offense on your hands.
My final argument for taking a wide receiver would be that there just aren't a whole lot of good looking options in the 2013 draft. A lot of that can change, but assume it doesn't. These players are just as likely to regress or get hurt as they are to improve, why risk it? On the flip side, there are a number of great cornerback prospects available for 2013 including four or so that I could see being first round picks. I won't act like I didn't say things won't change between now and then, but I think I've made my point.
Now doesn't this seem a whole lot like the opposite of BPA? Well sort of, but we've also established that the best player available might play the same position as Michael Roos or, I suppose if Richardson falls for whatever reason, Chris Johnson (again, deal with it, dude will get better). In any case, best player available should only be taken so far in situations like this. It would be idiotic to draft a tackle or running back in the first round this year. There needs to be a balance achieved between drafting the best prospect left and drafting for need, I think drafting a wide receiver fits nicely into both of those categories.