Is it possible that we’ve been overlooking the possibility of the Titans taking a tight end in the first round of the NFL Draft? A quick tour around the web’s most popular mocks suggests that we have.
First it was Daniel Jeremiah mocking David Njoku to the Titans, now NFL.com’s Lance Zierlien has mocked OJ Howard at pick 18. While I’m not a fan of the idea of a first round tight end, I certainly understand it after doing several mock drafts myself.
Taking a cornerback (Lattimore) at the fifth pick puts the Titans in a strange situation. Corey Davis and Mike Williams will more than likely be gone. I’m not convinced John Ross is a legitimate option. Would they bypass an offensive weapon completely? That’s an option considering how much help the Titans need on defense, but what about a dynamic tight end? This is something we haven’t really discussed.
This tight end class is talented top to bottom, but especially at the top. David Njoku and OJ Howard appear to be first round locks. Each of these players are supremely athletic and could be on the board by the time the Titans second first round pick rolls around. They could offer an alternative to a first round receiver.
Why would the Titans pick a tight end? Well — Mike Mularkey loves tight ends. How many times did we see Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano and Phillip Supernaw on the field together? Mularkey and Robiskie used Fasano and Supernaw almost exclusively as run blockers. They are key players to the offense, but both players will see their current deals expire this offseason.
Delanie Walker has two years left on his contract, but is also suddenly 32 years old. Drafting a dynamic tight end would give the Titans two seasons of two athletic threats at the tight end spot. This would add another playmaker and allow the Titans to have an understudy to Walker.
With all this being said, I’m still not sold on the idea. Taking a tight end that early feels like a luxury, but then again Mularkey loves his multiple tight end sets. I just see the need at receiver and corner and I think it would be hard to swallow a tight end with the 18th pick, or wherever Robinson ends up in round one.