Jon Ledyard is one of the “draft guys” that I really respect. We talked to him numerous times on our podcast through the draft process. He had a good knowledge of the Titans roster and could break down any prospect we threw at him.
Ledyard ranked his top 5 favorite draft classes. He ranked the Titans second. Here are part of his comments:
The Titans only had four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, but their class is a testament to why quality over quantity is so important for teams that are in their win-now window to understand. General manager Jon Robinson recognized the Titans two majors needs were linebacker and edge pass rusher, so he went out and got the best available players at those positions in the first and second round, even though it meant trading up.
Tennessee won a playoff game and felt like they were a coaching staff and a couple players away from really making some noise. Evans will be an instant starter and leader for that defense, while Landry learns behind Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, but gets on the field sooner than people think. Both picks were home run selections of top 22 players on my board (Evans #22, Landry #6).
After going 111 spots without a selection, the Titans came back in the fifth round and took Dane Cruikshank, a player I graded out as a third round talent. Cruikshank is highly athletic and improved a lot during his final year at Arizona. He has the potential to play as a big nickel and be a mismatch eliminator against tight ends and bigger slot receivers, allowing Kevin Byard to play more true free safety.
Ledyard gets it. The Titans are in that beautiful window where they have a franchise quarterback on his rookie deal. They didn’t need to add a bunch of depth in this draft. They needed to add a couple of guys that could come in and make an immediate impact. That’s exactly what they did.