Mel Kiper Jr. is back today with another mock draft, this time going three rounds for each team. This is the annual ‘Grade A’ mock from the ESPN analyst, which doesn’t really project selections, it instead goes by his board, as he explains in his original post.
For the Titans, he stuck with a couple of picks from last week’s mock. Here’s his explanation below.
Round 1 (19): Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Round 2 (51): Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Round 3 (82): Ben Banogu, DE/OLB, TCU
For Titans fans hoping for an impact offensive weapon to help Marcus Mariota in the quarterback’s contract year, you might have to wait until Round 2. But don’t discount Lawrence, who can play nose tackle in Mike Vrabel’s 3-4 defense. Lawrence won’t an elite sack producer, but he has the athletic ability to get into the backfield and create disruptions. Also keep an eye on an edge rusher at No. 19.
My initial thought here is — where’s the interior offensive line help? The Titans don’t have to take one in round one, but I’d argue that they need to find one by the end of day two. That doesn’t happen here, meaning the team would have to start Kevin Pamphile or kick Dennis Kelly inside.
Kiper gives Jurrell Casey some help on the inside, but again, as I’ve explained with Lawrence before, I’m not buying the position value of a nose tackle at No. 19. Especially when you consider the need on the edge and on the offensive line. Taking an interior lineman is fine, but again, he better be able to make an impact on passing downs.
Deebo Samuel is tough to argue with at No. 51. The Titans could still use another difference maker at receiver after the addition of Adam Humphries. Samuel is a guy that could help in the return game as well.
Kiper finishes with pass rusher Ben Banogu, a guy that fits the mold of a Jon Robinson type prospect. Banogu finished his career with 8.5 sack seasons in both his junior and senior year at TCU.
Would you be happy with this haul for the Titans on days one and two?