After two days and three draft picks — with a free agent signing thrown in the middle of it all — the Titans have added four players to their roster: defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons with the 19th overall pick, defensive lineman Brent Urban on a one year free agent contract, wide receiver A.J. Brown with the 51st overall pick, and guard Nate Davis with the 82nd overall pick. They’ll add a few more picks on Saturday, but let’s give a quick reset of the roster with the new additions to see where they might go with their final scheduled picks.
On Roster: Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Logan Woodside
The Titans will likely add one more arm to this group, even if it’s just a “camp arm” to give them enough quarterbacks to keep the wide receivers and tight ends busy during practice. There have been some hints that they might consider keeping three QBs on the 53 man roster this year so don’t be surprised if they grab a late round passer for the second straight year.
I love Brett Rypien from Boise State among the guys left on the board with Ryan Finley from NC State being another interesting option. The Titans also worked out a bunch of UDFA type QBs during the pre-draft process so if they don’t take one with a pick, expect one to be signed shortly after the draft.
On Roster: Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis, David Fluellen, Jeremy McNichols, and Dalyn Dawkins
The top two backs are pretty much chiseled in stone here, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Titans take a running back today. Dion Lewis is approaching 30 and Derrick Henry is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Another running back would give them some flexibility moving forward.
I love Justice Hill from Oklahoma State and Trayveon Williams from Texas A&M among the day three options. Kansas State’s Alex Barnes is one of my favorites as well.
On Roster: Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, A.J. Brown, Taywan Taylor, Tajae Sharpe, Cameron Batson, Darius Jennings, Devin Ross, Roger Lewis, Kalif Raymond
The Titans are in much better shape at wide receiver than they have been in a long time after the additions of Humphries and Brown. Both should contribute right away. They also push Taylor and Sharpe down to more natural spots on the depth chart for them. Taylor’s deep speed can still be used when needed without having to rely on him in the red zone or critical third downs. Sharpe is in real danger of not making the roster if he can’t beat out Taylor in camp because he doesn’t contribute on special teams and WR5 is most definitely a special teams spot first and foremost on an NFL roster.
There is still some pretty appealing receiver talent on the board, including a guy that many would have liked to see taken in round one: Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler. I don’t think the Titans need to double dip here, but at some point, Butler’s 6’-6” frame, 7-foot wingspan, and 4.48 speed is going to be too good a value to pass up. Outside of Butler, Missouri’s Emanuel Hall, Georgia’s Riley Ridley, NC State’s Kelvin Harmon, and Auburn’s Darius Slayton lead a stacked group of day three receivers. It will be interesting to see if the Titans are tempted to jump back in here.
On Roster: Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt, Anthony Firkser, Cole Wick, Keith Towbridge
This is a spot the Titans haven’t really touched this offseason which shows a lot of faith in Delanie Walker’s ability to return to his 2017 form after that horrific injury in Miami last year. It’s also a vote of confidence in Jonnu Smith and the other young tight ends that flashed towards the end of last year.
That being said, I’d be surprised if the Titans didn’t add something here either on day three or through a priority UDFA. Stanford’s Kaden Smith, West Virginia’s Trevon Wesco, Notre Dame’s Alize Mack, Georgia’s Isaac Nauta, and LSU’s Foster Moreau are among the best available entering the fourth round, but don’t sleep on my guy Anthony Beck from Texas. He had great size/speed testing numbers at the Longhorns pro day and was a mauler in the run game during his time on the 40 acres. A former linebacker that plays with an aggressive physical edge. He’d be a great late addition.
On Roster: Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold, Jack Conklin, Ben Jones, Dennis Kelly, Nate Davis, Kevin Pamphile, Corey Levin, Aaron Stinnie, Hroniss Grasu, Austin Pasztor, Tyler Marz, David Quessenberry, Jamil Douglas
The Titans waited a bit to address offensive line in the draft, finally snagging Nate Davis at pick 82. I don’t blame Jon Robinson for waiting given the way the board fell — Simmons and Brown were too good of values to pass up at those spots and at positions of need also — but I’m not 100% sure Davis walks in as a clear day one starter. He might, and that would be great, but I’m not sure it’s a slam dunk for him over Pamphile, Levin, and Stinnie. And I still maintain that Stinnie is a dark horse candidate to push for a starting gig.
The Titans probably don’t need to double dip here if they really love Davis though (and all indications are that they do). My guess is they stand pat and let this interior offensive line shake out with the guys they’ve got, but if they do return to this group Oklahoma’s Dru Samia, Ohio State’s Michael Jordan, Mississippi State’s Shaq Calhoun, Arkansas’s Hjalte Froholdt, Wisconsin’s Beau Benzschawel, and Wake Forest’s Phil Haynes are good interior options. The top tackles include South Carolina’s Dennis Daley, Elon’s Oli Udoh, and Ohio State’s Isaiah Prince.
Interior Defensive Line
On Roster: Jurrell Casey, Jeffery Simmons, DaQuan Jones, Brent Urban, Austin Johnson, Matt Dickerson, Darius Kilgo, Dee Liner
Like wide receiver, the Titans have double dipped here this offseason, adding Jeffery Simmons and Brent Urban. Simmons will almost certainly start the season on PUP so the Titans might still look to add one more piece here if the right guy is available.
Texas’ Charles Omenihu is a guy that has really slid down the board after being rumored as a possible late first round pick and probable second round pick through much of the draft process. He’s a bit of a tweener for a 3-4 front, but I think he’d fit best inside in the Titans base defense. Iowa’s Anthony Nelson is a very similar player too. Somewhere between an edge rusher and an interior defensive lineman, these guys have tremendous length and could be chess pieces in the Titans multiple front defense. Both would be great values at this point in the draft. Texas A&M’s Daylon Mack, Washington’s Greg Gaines, and Arizona State’s Renell Wren are some other options that could interest me. They’re all true nose tackles that could give the Titans that rock in the middle that they haven’t had in years.
On Roster: Cameron Wake, Harold Landry, Sharif Finch, Kamalei Correa, Gimel President, LaTroy Lewis
This is the spot that seems most likely to be addressed, though Jon Robinson has consistently stated throughout the offseason that he “likes the guys we’ve got there”. Every time he says that I can’t help but think about Sharif Finch. I think there are a ton of signs that the team loves Finch and I can see why.
However, that doesn’t mean they won’t spend a pick there on day three. I would imagine they will and there is a good chance that’s where they go at 121 in my opinion. There are some big time talents still out there too, led by Eastern Michigan’s Maxx Crosby. He was a productive college player with monster athletic testing numbers and some good bend on tape. If he’s there at 121, he’s my guy and I really wouldn’t mind a move up to get him. Other top options include Georgia’s D’Andre Walker, Alabama’s Christian Miller, Oregon’s Jalen Jelks, and Oklahoma State’s Jordan Brailford.
On Roster: Wesley Woodyard, Jayon Brown, Rashaan Evans, Daren Bates, Nigel Harris
The Titans are great with the top end of this position with Woodyard, Brown, and Evans making one of the best trios in the NFL, but they need depth and I think this is a position that’s firmly in play for a pick on day three.
The Titans met with a bunch of inside linebackers, but they showed the most interest in Minnesota’s Blake Cashman who remains on the board heading into the fourth round. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t be surprised to see at 121. Alabama’s Mack Wilson is one of the surprises at the top of draft boards as well and would be a great addition to an already good group here. Washington’s Ben Burr-Kirven is another option that the Titans showed interest in during the draft process. All these guys would be key special teams players and depth in 2019.
On Roster: Logan Ryan, Adoree’ Jackson, Malcolm Butler, LeShaun Sims, Tye Smith, Josh Kalu, Kenneth Durden
Like inside linebacker, the Titans are set at the top at corner. Butler, Ryan, and Jackson will be the top three with Sims providing good depth behind them. However, with Butler and Ryan both getting older and Ryan and Sims heading into the final year of their contracts, the Titans could use a young corner they felt good about to give them some roster options moving forward into 2020 and beyond.
James Madison’s Jimmy Moreland is a guy the Titans showed interest in throughout the process that could be a pick today. Notre Dame’s Julian Love and Penn State’s Amani Oruwayire are sticking out as the top two “fallers” on draft boards right now and should hear their names called early. Oregon’s Ugo Amadi is something of a corner/safety hybrid — similar to how many viewed Dane Cruikshank last year — and could be a fit here. I will personally be rooting for him because he went to my high school (John Overton) here in Nashville.
On Roster: Kevin Byard, Kenny Vaccaro, Dane Cruikshank, Damon Webb, Mike Jordan
The Titans are set at the starter spots with Byard and Vaccaro, one of the best dips in the NFL, but they could use more depth. Cruikshank should be an ace special teamer again, and could be ready to be more of a top level backup in 2019. The team seems to like Webb, keeping him around all year and he might get a shot at the roster here in camp, but the team usually keeps five safeties and they’re still short even counting Webb.
Amadi, who I mentioned at corner, would be a good flexible piece and you know the Titans love versatility. However, this is another spot with some high profile guys that have dropped. Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Iowa’s Amani Hooker, and Alabama’s Deionte Thompson highlight that group and would be great value picks in round four. The Titans also showed some interest in the speedy Zedrick Woods from Ole Miss during the pre-draft process.
On Roster: Ryan Succop, Brett Kern, Beau Brinkley
Nothing to see here, move along.