Enough with the offense talk. Let’s get to fixing this defensive unit. The Titans have needs at all three levels of defense, so Jon Robinson really has some options to think through on this side of the ball.
The first need is obvious — I think everyone can agree. Jon Robinson has to find at least two starting level cornerbacks this offseason. The secondary was comical at time last year, making things tough on the offense.
Behind corner, I could see additions at middle linebacker, edge rusher and even safety. Let’s take a look at some names that we need to be paying attention to this draft season.
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
This is the most athletic corner that you are going to find in this class. He excels in man coverage, showing an outstanding ability to mirror receivers and react to their moves. His change of direction ability jumps out at you. Lattimore isn’t afraid to get down and dirty against the run, either. He’s got some dog to his game. He’s currently my favorite option for the fifth pick, should Robinson stay put.
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
I wouldn’t call safety a prominent need, but the Titans can get better at the position with Adams. He’s a stout, aggressive run defender that plays in control. His instincts are off the charts — you always find him around the football. In coverage, he shows a nice ability to cover one on one. He surprised me at how successful he was with it. I think he would be a clear upgrade over Da’Norris Searcy, creating a safety duo with Kevin Byard set to lead the defense for the next decade.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
In a situation similar to the safety spot, the Titans could stand to get better here. Foster would provide an infusion of athleticism and an upgrade over both Avery Williamson or Wesley Woodyard. Foster is the long shot of the group, but his range and explosion will keep him in the top 20 discussion. He had a couple of key missed tackles in the national title game which concern me, however.
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
White will be one of several options at cornerback in the middle of the first round, but he seems to be picking up steam early in this process. Several analysts have mentioned White as the top overall talent in Mobile at the Senior Bowl this week. White showed off good instincts and recognition in 2016, improving on his subpar 2015 tape. He has plenty of experience in both zone and man coverage, showing good enough feet and change of direction skills.
We are obviously still in January, so guys will move around a bit, but there are so many different ways Jon Robinson can go. I named some top guys, but don’t rule out guys on the defensive line like Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen. Corners like Marlon Humphrey, Sidney Jones, Jourdan Lewis, Quincy Wilson or Teez Tabor are all in the mid to late first round conversation.
I don’t think any player is out of reach, except for maybe Myles Garrett. Jon Robinson has the draft capital to move around and get into position to select whoever he would like. It’s hard to project a Titans selection because of this, but we’ll have to be prepared for anything. I’ll have breakdowns on most of these guys throughout the season.