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The Optimum Titan's Mock Draft 1.0

The off-season has it's up and downs. After the Pro-Bowl is over, we travel down a dark path of no football. Instead, opinions, speculation and no real entertainment, rule. The funny thing is that though boredom, anticipation of a new year we tend to try our hand at opinions and speculation. This Mock is one such attempt.

Without further ado:

The Optimum Titan's Mock Draft 1.0 pre-free agency edition

1st: Chance Warmack OG Alabama

Height: 6-2 Weight: 322

Warmack is the best guard in the draft, an obvious huge, glaring need for us, but at 10th he also is the BPA. I believe that the elite pass rushers will be long gone by the 10th pick, so why not?. Hopeful he becomes the second coming of Munchak.....player not coach, btw..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYVkEOzZkEM

What they're saying about him:

Warmack hasn't received the national attention that his linemates Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker have generated, but he has very much caught the eyes of NFL talent evaluators.

Unlike Jones and Fluker, Warmack saw action immediately upon signing with Alabama, playing in five games as a true freshman and earning the starting nod at left guard for each of the 26 contests since.

Despite a relative lack of fanfare, Warmack earned second-team All-SEC acknowledgement from conference coaches in 2011, and on tape it was easy to see why. While shorter than scouts would prefer, Warmack uses his natural leverage and surprisingly long arms to his advantage to move defenders off the line of scrimmage as a drive blocker, clearing a path for Alabama's talented ballcarriers.

Warmack vaulted up the draft boards of many NFL talent evaluators with another excellent campaign in 2012, earning consensus All-American and All-SEC honors during Alabama's run to the national title.

As a veteran with 40 career starts and the ability to get to the second level, Warmack has developed himself into a likely top 10 selection in April.

STRENGTHS: Warmack is considerably lighter on his feet than one would expect given his stout frame, and is adept at meeting and eliminating linebackers at the second level.

In pass protection, Warmack does a nice job of supplying an initial punch and grasping hold of his opponent, showing good lateral agility to slide as well as the anchor to handle powerful bull-rushers.

Warmack is equally effective when asked to drive defensive tackles off the ball or beat linebackers to the action at the second level.

WEAKNESSES: Due to his lack of height, Warmack may lack the position versatility of his more recognizable linemates Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker, but he is further along in his development than Fluker and, frankly, makes more eye-popping blocks than Jones. Size means that he'll be relegated strictly to interior blocking in the NFL.

--Rob Rang

2nd: T.J. McDonald FS USC

Height: 6-2 Weight: 205

After making this pick the Titans can either move wayward FS Micheal Griffen to SS, where he played his college ball, or cut/trade him all together. Either way the Safety core is better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGXKM-wLFJE

What they're saying about him:

Tony Pauline, SI.com: "The Trojans have a storied history of sending talented defensive backs into the NFL, and McDonald is next in line. His cover skills are good enough that he can be relied upon to play over the slot receiver, and he displays a large degree of toughness against the run. McDonald is easily the most complete next-level secondary prospect from USC since Troy Polamalu."

Former NFL scout Dave Razzano: "One of the more talented safeties to come out of USC in the last decade, McDonald combines size, speed and aggressiveness to make his presence felt in every game he plays. He is a big time hitter who can create turnovers on his own with his aggressive style of play. He also displays the necessary speed/burst to come off the hash and break up plays downfield with very good timing and anticipation. He can go up and get the ball in compete situations due to his leaping ability. He shows up most in the run game as he is quick to react up field and stuff running lanes as he appears to relish the physical part of the game. The leader of the USC secondary comes to play each and every Saturday and will undoubtedly take his game to the next level in the future."

Sporting News: "McDonald is a tall and linear player with the foot quickness to have sideline range in deep coverage. He has good ball skills and consistently shows the timing to break up passes and even block punts. He is willing to come up in run support and tackle well."

3th Bacarri Rambo SS Georgia

Height: 6-0 Weight: 218

MCM rejoice! The Titans go safety back to back. Now with Jordan Babineax due 1.6 million, and after grading dead last by the metric used by PFF, the Titans cut him and get younger and better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV6oAYWz9vs

What they're saying about him:

STRENGTHS: Looks the part. Has a well-developed, evenly proportioned frame well suited to the position.

Intuitive defender who reads the quarterback's eyes well and gets a jump on the ball in coverage. Shows good burst to the ball due to above average acceleration and straight-line speed. Times his leaps/contact with receivers nicely, showing good body control and hand-eye coordination to play physically without drawing the flag.

Locates the ball and has very good ball skills. Possesses soft hands to pluck the ball away from this frame as well as the ability to track it over his shoulder.

Highly aggressive tackler. Looks to lower the boom on unsuspecting receivers crossing the middle. Lowers his shoulder into ball-carriers, though he sees what he's hitting, not lowering his head and spearing the opponent and drawing the flag.

Generally takes good angles to the ball and plays a key role in Georgia's defense as the last line of defense. Made Georgia's secondary calls for at least the last two seasons. Played free safety at Georgia but possesses the size and physicality to play either of the traditional safety roles in the NFL.

WEAKNESSES: Has a tendency to lead with his shoulder rather than wrapping up fully as a tackler, leading to some slip-ups. Generally gauges pursuit angles well but can get caught up in the trash when he gets too aggressive, leading to some cut-back opportunities for backs with vision, burst to exploit.

Does not possess the elite recovery speed that his 16 career interceptions might indicate and is, in fact, a bit of a gambler.

Has twice failed drug tests while at Georgia and was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season due to his most recent violation.

COMPARES TO: Dashon Goldson, FS, San Francisco 49ers: Like the 49ers' standout free safety, Rambo has a tendency to make splashy plays as a pass thief and intimidating hitter but is prone to an occasional breakdown. If he can tighten up his game (and his off-field decision-making) Rambo has the talent to earn Pro Bowl consideration, just as Goldson has done for the 49ers.

--Rob Rang

4th Le'Veon Bell RB Michigan State

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238

The Titans go back to Sprata for another backup RB. One that's been called, "Human Video Game""Beast Mode" among others. His hurdling and spinning moves will be interesting if nothing else on the next level. I believe Marcus Lattimore is gone before this selection.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zEJ5cTI4CE

What they're saying about him:

STRENGTHS: Intriguing blend of size, power and speed, showing the ability to run away from defenders or also run over them. Reliable receiving target. Carries his weight well and has the footwork to make would-be tacklers miss, but also isn't afraid to lower his pads and deliver some blows, keeping his legs churning through contact.

WEAKNESSES: Needs to be more productive and show more consistent vision between the tackles. Lacks ideal speed and gets himself in trouble when attempting to go east-west.

--Dane Brugler

CAREER NOTES: Powerful and explosive three-year letter winner rushed for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns in 40 career games . . . finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671), rushing yards (seventh with 3,346) and all-purpose yards (ninth with 4,114) . . . had 12 career 100-yard rushing games, which is eighth most in MSU history . . . talented all-around back had 78 career receptions for 531 yards (6.8 avg.).

4th Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU

Height: 5-9 Weight: 176

After having sitting out the game for a year and his drug incident, the Honey Badger's stock has dropped to UDFA levels. He 's a great value pick here if he can leave the green stuff alone and return to Honey Badger form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KBPaoS6odk

What they're saying about him:

Positives: Plays bigger than his size. Doesn't back from the physical challenge of lining up opposite taller wideouts and is actually more effective the closer he is to the line of scrimmage, demonstrating stellar instincts and awareness to avoid blocks and make plays in close quarters. Possesses excellent lateral agility and acceleration which gives him the ability to close quickly on the ball. Is a tenacious defender with strong, active hands to rip the ball away. Excellent ball skills. Minimizes his natural height disadvantage by timing his leap well in jump-ball situations and competing throughout the catch process, ripping away at the ball as he and the intended receiver are descending. Naturally plucks the ball out of the air and secures it quickly. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Quick feet, fluid hips and a legitimate second gear make him very effective in coverage, especially on shorter routes. Dynamic returner with a flair for the dramatic. Has demonstrated the ability to play well on the big stage against elite competition.

Negatives: Lacks ideal height for the position and is quicker than he is fast, making him susceptible on longer throws. Highly aggressive and will bite on underneath routes. Possesses the suddenness to make up for a miss-step but does not have the elite straight-line speed to recover against a well-executed double-move and accurate pass. Trusts his instincts too much and can put his teammates in difficult positions by drifting to where he anticipates the quarterback will be going with the football. As such, cerebral NFL quarterbacks will be able to manipulate him with their eyes and potentially beat him over the top with accurate deep passes. Has a well-documented history of poor decisions off the field that could result in even more struggles given the money and notoriety he'll receive as an NFL player.

Compares To: Antoine Winfield, CB, Minnesota Vikings -- Like the 5-09, 180 pound Winfield, Mathieu has Pro Bowl potential due to his tenacity, instincts and physicality.

--Rob Rang

(Second 4th is from a compensatory draft pick)

5th Devin Taylor DE South Carolina

Height: 6-8 Weight: 267

Let me start by saying that every year there is one or two prospects that seem to have near limitless potential. Devin is that prospect. He plays in the same system; scheme,coaching,rotation,formation, that has produced Jadeveon Clowney, and Melvin Ingram. But he plays on the left side because Clowney is on the right. He has played in 39 games over the past three seasons making 32 starts... credited with 116 tackles, 27.0 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks and 19 quarterback hurries. Nothing eye popping, but move him to RE. Let him sit a year and grow NFL legs, and be coached up by Millard and 10+ sacks could be in his future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeEUlRctbY4

What Rob Rang has to say about him:

Taylor is going to be an interesting grade for NFL clubs due to the fact that he offers a unique combination of size and overall athleticism. He shows an explosive burst off the snap and is a naturally smooth accelerator.

Unfortunately, due to his high-cut frame, he's also stiff, struggling with the flexibility necessary to turn the corner efficiently when he does cross the line. His terrific speed allows him to chase down ball-carriers and make flashy plays but too often Taylor is eluded in short spaces.

The fact that Taylor plays a physical brand of football and has such long, powerful arms, however, help him make tackles when, frankly, the rest of his body remains in poor position to do so.

With Clowney operating at the RDE position, Taylor should be able to feast upon the generally slower-footed right tackles and enjoy a nice statline this season. He certainly looks the part but he could prove more of a second or third round prospect come April than the top 10 prospect that his success as a prospective three year standout in the SEC would seemingly warrant.

(Traded the 6th pick to move up 5th round pick DE Scott Solomon)

7th Aaron Mellette WR Elon

Height: 6-4 Weight: 214

Truly a man amongst boys in college, putting up crazy stats. He had 113 recs for 1639 yards and 12 TDs in 2011. Then put up 95 recs for 1408 yards and 18 TDs in 2012 . Hopeful he takes off immediately like Colston or if not we stash him till he's ready like Preston. Note: In 2012 Aaron beat the hell out of Appalachian State 13 recs 247 yards and 3 TDs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swnBirD6HR4

What they're saying about him:

Against Vandy last season in the season opener, Mellette had a game-best 11 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown reception. Although a small sample, he wasn't overmatched against the Commodores' pass defense, which ranked 18th in the FBS last season. Despite not facing elite defenses each week, NFL teams and pro scouts are well aware of Mellette and his remarkable production.

"Flip on the Elon-Appalachian State game from last season," said one pro scout. "Quick was good, but that Elon kid (Mellette) was the most impressive receiver on the field that day. If you're looking for flash and sizzle - Mellette isn't your guy. But if you want production, I think he can be a reliable player at the pro level."

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