With just the Super Bowl left to play and no coaches of great importance to replace, let's face it, this gets to be a fairly boring time to be a fan of a team that isn't the Giants or Patriots. What can I say, sometimes, the imagination just runs wild and you start internalizing things and before you know it, you're talking about some serious acquisitions after preaching patience and conservatism for the large part of two seasons now. Well, that's just the nature of the beast, sometimes we go a little crazy.
Perhaps some sexier options than last time await you after the jump.
Round One: Draft Melvin Ingram, kill two birds with one stone.
Is it a little crazy to think that Ingram will fall far enough for the Titans to take him? Maybe. Is it impossible? Decidedly not. Look, I control this world so what I say goes so if I say Melvin Ingram is falling to 20, he's falling to 20. I don't care what you say, much crazier things have happened on draft day. Logic dictates that since the NFL is dominated by teams that excel at throwing the football, defensive coordinators everywhere ought to get wise to the fact that they need to assault the quarterback. Cue Ingram. Ingram will be not only the player who fills a need on defense (true pass rusher) but who might also be the best remaining player when the Titans pick. Turns out you really can please everybody.
Why do I like Ingram so much more than other defensive ends/outside linebackers? Well, he already comes off the edge like a bat out of hell like a true bullrusher, but his athleticism is also made very apparent by a number of different plays, including a 50+ yard touchdown run on a fake punt this year. What this says to me is that he may not have all of the flashiness and hype as some of the other pass rushers in this years' class, but he may end up being the best one by a long shot. For this reason, he reminds me of a stronger version of Aldon Smith who came out of Missouri with not a whole lot of hype despite being a very talented player. This led to a lot of draft geeks to mock San Francisco, who selected him seventh overall last year. It's safe to say he's made all of those critics eat their words as he racked up 14 sacks for a downright nasty 49ers defense.
Ingram has all of the traits you want in a great pass rusher. He's strong, he's quick off the edge, he's got a knack for forcing turnovers, he's got all the awards and accolades to back it up, he'll likely perform well at the combine, and he's durable. The knock on him is that he lacks starting experience, but let's face it, the Titans don't need a player who steps in and dominates from day one, they need a player who will learn the position this year and dominate it every year for the next eight or nine years. Last year that was Aldon Smith. The year before that, that was Jason Pierre-Paul. This year, that's Melvin Ingram. The Titans wouldn't be smart to pass on him if he's still there when they pick this year.
Round Two: Draft Brandon Washington, dominate the point of attack.
I'm straying from BPA right now but I will just continue to draft guards until our interior line isn't awful. Even a great running back behind a bad line will struggle, however, most mediocre backs can find their way pretty easily when you have holes being blown in the defense by huge, physically dominant pulling guards like the University of Miami's Brandon Washington. Munchak said the team likely wouldn't spend a first round pick on a guard, so let's go to the second.
Washington is all about filling a need, but when it's this glaring and severe, you can never have too many new options. Plus, when it comes to developing players in the trenches, I still have faith in a staff run by two Hall of Fame linemen. Finally, consider the track record of the team when it comes to developing linemen taken in later rounds. Remember that Michael Roos was also a high second rounder, he's turned out just fine.
Free Agent Pickup: Laron Landry.
This is where things got a little unrealistic for me. I don't see this happening, but the instant benefits would be incredible. Now it's time for everyone's favorite argument method, the personal anecdote. As a Maryland native, I have many friends who are rabid followers of the Redskins. As if that weren't sad enough, I often accompany these friends to FedEx Field to see this mess of a team play. Sometimes they surprise you and play really well, but that's beside the point. The point is, every time I've been, Laron Landry has been a force when he's healthy. Those last three words are a real big question mark, and to be honest it really scares me how he's only played in seventeen total games these past two years, but there really is a noticeable difference in the way the Redskins perform on defense.
I am wary of Landry's injury history, but the way I see it that just gives the Titans leverage and makes him easier to sign for less money and a shorter contract. Seriously though, the Titans haven't had really any kind of adequate safety play since the 2008 version of Michael Griffin, it might be worth looking into a new option, albeit an injury prone one. It will all be worth it if he can stay on the field. He has great instincts, range, and is definitely not afraid to lay the lumber. He's primed to join the upper tier of safeties.
In addition, he'll be attainable. The Titans have a lot of cap space to burn and all signs point to Landry leaving Washington. Finally, the move just makes sense. Shift Babineaux to free safety and let Laron do his thing. The Jags can have the crummy Landry, I'll take his brother any day.