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An Early Look at the 2011 NFL Draft

Today will bring us a lot of news on a lot of different fronts, but the one thing we know for sure right now is that the Titans will be picking 8th when the 2011 NFL Draft rolls around.  We will look at more mock drafts than you can imagine over the next 4 months, and you can make the argument that they are pointless to look at until all of the underclassmen have declared, but what else are we going to talk about this morning? 

Pretty obvious to me that this will need to be a heavy defensive draft.  The Titans could use another defensive tackle, need a lot of help at linebacker, and could be looking for a safety depending on how they feel about the Robert Johnson/Nick Shommer/Myron Rolle group.  They also could be looking for a quarterback if Bud Adams decides to pull the trigger on Vince Young.

The folks at SB Nation have a mock draft up this morning and they have us taking Marcel Dareus out of Alabama with the 8th pick:

The Titans may take a hard look at the top available quarterbacks, but they'll have a hard time passing on a stud defensive lineman like Dareus to let the NFL's best defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, turn him into a star.

I have seen Dareus play just about every play of his college career, and I can tell you that he would thrive in the middle of a Jim Washburn defensive line.  The problem there is that it may not be Washburn who is his D Line coach if he is selected by the Titans.  Dareus played end most of the time in Bama's 3-4, but at 6'4 304 he has the size to be a 4-3 tackle.

We will spend countless hours over the next few months breaking down prospects from various positions for this draft.  It seems so far away right now.