clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 NFL Draft: The Not So Caged Muse (Defense)

New, comments
NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee
Eddie Jackson. Do Want.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Will there be a future Titan hidden amongst these thoughts for this week? Who are some of the small school defensive guys to keep an eye on?

DE

  • The "other guy" on the line for A&M, Daeshon Hall intrigues me as a prospect. He didn't get a ton of pub given the all world talent of one Myles Garrett but impressed me nonetheless.
  • Tanoh Kpassgnon (Villanova) is very fun prospect to watch and the Titans have already met with the guy so he's definitely on the radar. He shows more promise to me than Hassan Reddick, who also blew up during the process. Yes, Villanova has a football program, folks. It's not just a basketball school.
  • Derek Rivers (Youngstown State) is another small school guy that has me interested in him. He has made tremendous strides during the past calendar year under the tutelage of Bo Pelini (yes THAT Bo Pelini of Nebraska fame).

DT

  • Of the two monster Notre Dame tackles eligible, I like Jarron Jones more as a prospect than Isaac Rochell but neither is Sheldon Day. Rochell had a burst of somewhat new hype around him after a good process but Jones is the better of the pair.
  • Speaking of the Jones brothers, D.J. (Ole Miss) is an underrated prospect that did the dirty work for his teammates to go make plays.
  • Caleb Brantley (Florida) is a prospect that I've been championing throughout the 2016 season and the draft process but if the allegations of punching a woman are true, then it's an open and shut case for his stock to drop. How dumb do you have to be to throw away millions of dollars days before the draft?

ILB

  • I love me some Connor Harris (Lindenwood). He's a statistical monster with a whopping 600 tackles during his career. It blows my mind that tackle numbers can get that high. Keep an eye on him during the draft.
  • Hardy Nickerson Jr (Illinois) could be a late round steal for somebody. He's been well coached throughout his life as the son of long time NFL veteran Hardy, Sr and Lovie Smith is considered as a pretty good defensive coach. Undersized like dad but will make a team somewhere as a special teams guy that could play some defensive snaps.
  • Ben Boulware (Clemson) fits the definition of great college player but not so good on the pro level. He's limited athletically in what he can be at the next level. A great leader inside the locker room and commanded the fearsome Tigers defense to unforeseen heights during his career. Expect special teams to be his calling card.

OLB

  • I'm just not a fan of Duke Riley (LSU) given that he is an one year starter at a position in which LSU was considered to be "lean" over the past couple of years. Yeah, he's a good athlete but how are the instincts and football IQ going to translate to the pros? We shall see where he lands, likely on Saturday.
  • Lost in all the hubbub that is UCLA football called the Chosen Rosen hype train, lies Jayon Brown in waiting. He finally shined through in 2016 after waiting his turn behind several talented NFL quality players like Myles Jack and the Titans' own Aaron Wallace. He turned a lot of heads at the Combine with his performance. Settled somewhere in the second to third round range.
  • Count me in as a Tyus Bowser (Houston) fan. Not only for the funny Mario name puns we can make, either. He's a legit talent that could go first round. The key player on Houston's defense that got lost in the Ed Oliver hype a bit. Bowser kept on playing hard even when the Cougars had nothing left to play for after several key losses and all the Tom Herman to (insert school here) rumors. That means a lot to me.

CB

  • Speaking of guys who have made bad life changing decisions, I present to you, Jourdan Lewis of Michigan. He was arrested for some violence towards women issues right around the time of the Combine. Not a good look at any time, especially so when he was roasted during the Orange Bowl nearly all game. Needs to square the off field business stuff away to get drafted early.
  • Hey guys, did you hear that Corn Elder (Miami) is a...yeah you get the idea. No word if he has a twin brother named On the Cob just yet. Name jokes aside, he's a pretty decent prospect. Was arguably the Canes' best defender at times. Showed a lot of good things at the Senior Bowl.
  • Staying in the Sunshine State, keep an eye out for Marquez White (Florida State). Turns out he is a good prospect looking past all the ranting and raving I did about him all of 2016. He has his warts for sure but he isn't the worst corner in the world that I made him out to be. Had some good moments at the Senior Bowl.
  • Keeping in the theme of the big three in Florida is Quincy Wilson (Florida). I'm a big fan of his, especially those measureables. It appears that he could be the Nashville version of Richard Sherman. The debate between Wilson and Tabor has been long settled and it isn't particularly close.

S

  • Nate Gerry (Nebraska). The next Daimion Stafford?
  • Eddie Jackson (Alabama) would be a great fit for the Titans despite his injury history. He could be redshirted in 2017 due to the depth at safety. Not many people give him credit for being The Man in that secondary over the past couple of years. A safety group of Byard, Cyprien, Searcy, and Jackson would be one of the better ones in the league.

Bonus Thoughts

A s/o to the lovely daisyduck, who is the most awesome, fearless, and funny Addicted to Quack person ever. Another s/o goes to HoodRiverDuck, who is the practitioner of medical marvels. May Saint Marcus bless the Titans with a year of full health and Super Bowl glory.