Mel Kiper Jr. is back today with his third mock draft of the season. For the second mock in a row, he’s giving the Titans a defensive tackle out of Clemson. But this time it’s Dexter Lawrence instead of Christian Wilkins.
Here’s Kiper’s take on Lawrence and the Titans.
19. Tennessee Titans
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Lawrence is the best true nose tackle in this class, a massive 6-foot-4, 342-pound rock who would be an ideal complement next to Jurrell Casey, one of the most underrated defenders in the league. The Titans have upgraded at guard and wide receiver in free agency, so this pick should be to help improve their defense, which lost a few pieces this offseason.
Defensive line may not be an absolute must here for Jon Robinson, but Jurrell Casey has done it by himself up front for the Titans for far too long. Austin Johnson and DaQuan Jones haven’t proven to be consistent disruptors to this point and likely will be nothing but role players for the rest of their careers.
My question is, would the Titans take a true nose tackle at pick 19? Tennessee could use the beef up front, but a lack of pass rushing ability would likely kick him off the field on passing downs. We’ve seen Jon Robinson go bargain big shopping to fill this role before. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen again.
In my opinion, you can’t take such a one-dimensional player there. The Titans need disruptors — I’m not sure you get that with Lawrence.
Of course, the other aspect of this would be waiting on an interior offensive lineman, which is probably the most pressing need now following the Josh Kline release. My money is still on Garrett Bradbury or Chris Lindstrom at this point.
What would you think of Dexter Lawrence at No. 19?