Even though I am a Falcon's Fan, I am also a huge fan of the NFL draft, and am trying my hand at "fixing" all 32 teams.
I have studied your team for the last few days, and have enjoyed reading many of your posts. Xanpham does a good job, and I especially enjoyed the scouting reports by MCMscout. What an asset for your SB Nation site.
Ranked by RotoWorld.com as having just the NFL's 27th best roster headed into the off-season, the Titans, and new coach Ken Whisenhunt have their work cut out for them.
The most important decision will be at Quarterback, and whether the new staff sees Jake Locker as a franchise QB.
In my plan, they give Locker one more year, but surround him with the tools to succeed, starting with fortifying the offensive line.
Tennessee's old staff did it's best to create an impenetrable wall. First, by signing the best free agent guard on the market, and then using their first round pick to grab arguably the 2013 NFL draft's top guard prospect. Selecting center Brian Schwenke in the fourth round was a savvy move, that should pay dividends for years to come.
However, questions still remain on the outside.
ROUND 1: Cyrus Kouandjio RT, Alabama: While a trade down to regain a third round pick would be ideal, Tennessee should consider taking OT with it's first round pick, even if Robinson and Matthews are gone.
RT David Stewart will be 32 when the season begins, and his play is starting to drop off. Furthermore, his 6.4 million salary is voidable, and none of it will count as "dead money".
With LT Micheal Roos also turning 32 during the season, and in the final year of his contract, it would be wise to draft someone like Kouanjio, let him play RT as a rookie, and decide if he could be the man to replace Roos next season.
Currently, the Titans are in an enviable position with only $2,449,725 in dead money, but that could change if Chris Johnson, and his 10M salary are released, for a 6M of cap savings, but increasing their dead money to nearly 6.5 million.
The website Overthecap.com has the Titans with just over 8 million in cap space (although the actual 2014 cap number wont be determined for another month or so.)
The average NFL team has about 16 million, while divisional rivals Jacksonville and Indianapolis have about 53 Million and 36 Million respectively.
ROUND 2: Tre Mason RB, Auburn: Listed at 5'10'205, the Titans are hoping Mason becomes their version of MJD/Ray Rice. There is still some debate between which RB should be ranked highest: Mason, Seastrunck, or Ka'Deem Carey.
NO THIRD ROUND PICK
ROUND 4: Cody Hoffman WR, BYU: Ranked as Mocking the Draft's #13 WR, but CBS Sports 28th best WR prospect. I see him as solid 4th round pick. Why such a discrepancy? After catching 100 passes in 2012 for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns, Hoffman's production dropped in 2013 (57 catches/894 yards/5 TDs).
Furthermore, there are questions about his speed and ability to separate from tight coverage.
At 6'4, he brings the height of Titan's wideout Justin Hunter, but at 218, he looks more like a powerforward than a shooting guard (hit the weights Hunter).
WR may not seem like a need after, the Titans' recent picks of Kendall Wright, and trade up for Hunter, but Tennessee is expected to lose Kenny Britt, Damien Williams, and Kevin Walter this off-season.
ROUND 5: Ronald Powell OLB, Florida: With the Titans expected to transition to a 3-4 defense, and questions about who is anyone will be a threat for double-digit sacks, Tennessee would be wise to take a page from the Panthers.
Back in 2010, the Panthers gambled and won on DE Greg Hardy. Using a sixth round pick may not sound like much of a gamble, but Hardy was coming off a broken foot and team after team passed on him as his productivity went down while his weight went up.
Meanwhile, Powell was once ranked the No. 1 HS defensive end and the No. 1 overall prospect by Rivals.com. He went on to start 12 games for the Gators, leading the team in sacks (six) during his Sophomore season.
Then, Powell was forced to sit out the 2012 season after suffering a torn ACL during the April spring game. He returned to the field in 2013, but was clearly not 100%.
Listed at 6'4/240, Powell has started at both OLB and DE during his career, and "flashed" NFL edge-rush potential.
He could be a gamble worth taking if available in the fifth round.
ROUND 6: Wesley Johnson Oline, Vanderbilt: The Commodores starting LT is a fringe NFL player despite making 51 straight starts. What he offers the most is versatility, with 39 starts at LT, 3 at RT, 2 at RG, and 7 at Center.
During his career, he has been flagged for just two holding penalties and has allowed just 7.5 quarterback sacks in 1,281 pass plays, averaging one sack per 171 plays. Born in Nashville, and stayed at home to play for Vanderbilt, Johnson could be the top back-up to Ranked as a potential 5th or 6th round pick by CBS sports, but just a 7th or undrafted free agent by Tony Pauline of draftinsider.net
To be noted is that the Titans have four back-up lineman set to become free agents.
ROUND 7: Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina: In yet another late-round flier, it may be worth while to see if Shaw has the "it" factor to overcome his physical limitations. At his best, Shaw can resemble Russell Wilson.
At his worst, well, we won't get too much into that. After all, we are talking about a 7th round pick that threw for 24 touchdowns his Senior season, while only throwing one interception.
Finally, by cutting Ryan Fitzpatrick would save 3.25 million towards the cap.
2014 Free Agents:
Rusty Smith, QB
Jackie Battle, RB
Leon Washington, RB
Kenny Britt, WR
Marc Mariani, WR
Kevin Walter, WR
Damian Williams, WR
Mike Otto, OL
Kevin Matthews, OL
Chris Spencer, OL
Rob Turner, OL
Antonio Johnson, DT
Ropati Pitoitua, DT
Zac Diles, LB
Alterraun Verner, CB
Bernard Pollard, S