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2020 NFL draft: A cornerback in every round for Titans

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NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas Christian Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans enter the 2020 NFL draft with an intriguing need at the cornerback position. At the very least, they must strengthen the depth at the back-end of the position. Tramaine Brock and LeShaun Sims both played meaningful snaps at different times throughout the 2019 season and are both set to hit free agency as of now. Ah, how about Logan Ryan? Ryan has been the most consistent member of the Titans cornerback group over the past few years and is currently set to hit free agency as well. We’re all well aware of the huge decisions that loom (Henry, Tannehill, Conklin). Should the Titans decide to prioritize the other three and let Ryan walk, the need at cornerback suddenly becomes a lot larger.

Tennessee will likely add at least one cornerback by the end of the Day 2. We decided to pick one out they could conceivably take in every round.

Round 1 | Jeff Gladney | TCU

Gladney may seem like a reach in the first round to some, but the tape and production say otherwise. His quickness and football I.Q. allow him to match his man step-for-step. Gladney plays the game with a ton of effort and does an excellent job competing as a tackler, something that seems to get more rare in cornerback prospects with each passing year.

Gladney’s ball-skills were routinely on display throughout his time at TCU where he was credited with a whopping 38 pass break-ups across four seasons. We all know how much Job Robinson loves ball production. It was part of the reason he brought Kevin Byard and Malcolm Butler to Tennessee in the first place. Gladney would fit the bill.

Round 2 | Noah Igbinoghene | Auburn

You might be asking who? You’ll likely be plenty familiar with Igbinoghene after the NFL Scouting Combine. Igbinoghene comes from a family of track stars and has a great chance to really impress in the 40 yard dash next week. He’s an all-around terrific athlete who’s skill-set should be on display throughout the entire combine.

Igbinoghene isn’t just an “athlete” however. He happens to be a damn good football player as well. Igbinoghene has the technique to turn-and-run with the best of them. His coverage skills were excellent throughout the 2019 season. He also happens to be an electric kick returner. The sky is the limit for Igbinoghene.

Round 3 | Jaylon Johnson | Utah

Johnson has the type of build that makes it look like he was made in a lab. Johnson is plenty long and does a great job utilizing his length to compete with the bigger, tougher receivers he squared off with. His technique in press-man is well advanced for a cornerback at this stage of his career.

He’s also flashed exceptional ball skills in a variety of ways throughout his time at Utah. He totaled 11 pass deflections in 2019 and 4 interceptions in 2018. To summarize, Johnson is a long, physical cornerback with a lot of ball production on his resume. Jon Robinson will likely be intrigued.

Round 4 | Alvin Green | Oklahoma State

The Titans don’t currently have a fourth round pick but anything can happen on draft weekend so we’re going to make a selection for them anyway. Green leaves Oklahoma State as an experienced starting cover man that’s been exposed to a variety of coverage schemes throughout his time as a Cowboy.

Currently listed at 6-1, 199 pounds, he possesses excellent size for the position. He’s a dynamic athlete on tape. His athleticism should be on display in Indianapolis all throughout the testing drills and during the on-field portion as well. He possesses the type of profile and experience that projects well to the next level.

Round 5 | Troy Pride Jr. | Notre Dame

Pride cemented himself as an intriguing prospect in this class with a terrific week at the Senior Bowl just a few weeks ago. He’s a highly instinctual cornerback that processes the game at an extremely high level. Pride has the size (5-11, 193 pounds) and length to make a living on the boundary at the next level. He didn’t have as good of a senior season as many expected him too, and that could push him down the board a little. He would represent excellent value on Day 3.

Round 6 | Darnay Holmes | UCLA

Holmes is an undersized corner that loves to compete. In fact, he’s one of the better wrap-up tacklers available in the entire class despite the size limitations. He played a variety of coverage styles at UCLA, but did his best work when operating in press man.

The athleticism appears to be off the charts with Holmes. His technique is still a work in progress, and the tape can be rough at times (Washington State especially). Holmes’ physical tools and competitive nature suggests that he has a chance to be a productive defender in the slot.

Round 7 | Dane Jackson | Pittsburgh

Jackson was another standout performer in Mobile. In fact, he may have been the best cornerback at the Senior Bowl. He played exclusively outside at Pittsburgh and projects to stay there in the NFL. The athleticism really pops on tape. He’s also an excellent tackler both on the boundary and in the run game. He’ll likely face an adjustment period in the NFL, as he needs to do a better job remaining calm when the ball is in the air. Jackson has all the tools to become a quality player at the next level.