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2017 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Draft Needs

I think they’re fairly obvious.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year. Can you feel it? It’s draft season in Nashville once again. I know we would all rather be talking about the playoffs, but let’s make the best of it. Let’s get the ball rolling with some Titans roster needs.

1. Cornerback

I feel like I could fill out slots 1-4 with cornerback — that’s how brutal the secondary was this year. Perrish Cox was so bad that he was cut mid-season. Jason McCourty is a serviceable vet, but he’s entering the backside of his career. Valentino Blake and Brice McCain should not be starting on an NFL roster.

The only real pieces that I think you can bring back next year are McCourty and LeShaun Sims — who showed some promise late in the season. This position has to be attacked aggressively by Jon Robinson. Finding a corner who can man the slot and another outside starter has to be number one and two on Robinson’s to-do list.

2. Wide Receiver

Marcus Mariota’s weapons were better in 2016, but nowhere near where they should be. I think the Titans have a legit playmaker in Rishard Matthews, but they need another outside threat. Tajae Sharpe had a decent rookie showing, but I think he’s more of a two or a three rather than a one.

Kendall Wright is as good as gone. Harry Douglas has another year left, but I’m not really sure what he offers you at this point. Marc Mariani was a stopgap at returner, so he’s likely gone. We’ll see what happens with Tre McBride — whose rookie deal will expire after the season ends.

Jon Robinson has his work cut out for him here. He’s going to need at least two, probably three new bodies in the receiver room. This includes a slot guy along with an outside threat. I would expect him to attack the draft and free agency here.

3. Linebacker

Here’s where things get debatable. You can go a number of different ways from here, but linebacker stands out for me. Too many times I saw the Titans get stuck in passing situations with bad matchups stemming from their linebacking personnel. Sean Spence helped some, but I think the Titans have to get more athletic as a whole at the position. Avery Williamson is a nice piece, but I don’t want him to do too much in coverage. Both Williamson and Woodyard have one more year remaining on their current deals, so we could see some change coming soon in the middle of the field.

4. EDGE Rusher

The roster is in a bit of a weird spot at this position. You’ve got your two top guys in Orakpo and Morgan signed through 2019, but nothing but question marks behind them. David Bass hasn’t done much and Aaron Wallace hasn’t really earned a big audition yet. Which brings me to Kevin Dodd. Dodd spent the majority of the year hurt, so it’s hard to judge what little snaps he did get. The Titans have to pray that he comes back healthy next year and contributes.

But one thing that I have learned is that you can never have too many pass rushers. Getting after the quarterback is something that you can never get enough of in the NFL. I think this is a position that you consider with that first pick. How many times are you going to have a chance to snag a top pass rusher again? That’s a premium position and a hard one to say no to.

5. Safety

Daimion Stafford — who played a number of roles for the defense — will see his contract expire. I would think he’s one they would want back, but there’s a chance he could leave. Rashad Johnson’s one year deal is up also, so Tennessee could be moving forward with Da’Norris Searcy and Kevin Byard.

Defenses today are so multiple and require so many unique pieces that you could see Jon Robinson invest even more at this position. You could even see him go after a hybrid type that can do a little bit of everything. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he drafted another safety come April.

Honorable mention:

Defensive line: Karl Klug is rehabbing a torn achilles tendon with an expiring contract. They may be forced to find a role player or two up front.

Offensive line depth: Chance Warmack and Brian Schwenke are likely gone, so depth will have to be addressed.