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Mel Kiper Mock Draft: Titans land Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Draft season is here, which means mock draft season is also here. For the Titans, this isn’t a difficult situation to figure out. They have a clear need on the edge after being routinely gashed through the air during the 2020 season. The pass rush was nowhere to be found, and opposing quarterbacks generally had their way with this defense.

The Titans ranked 30th in the league in sacks, getting home just 19 times last season. With Jadeveon Clowney set to hit free agency again, projecting the position of Tennessee’s first round pick is easy — at least ahead of free agency.

Mel Kiper gave the Titans Gregory Rousseau, a 6-7 pass rusher from Miami.

This has to be an edge rusher, right? The Titans had a putrid pass rush last season, finishing with 19 total sacks, which was only two more than the last-ranked Bengals. They got very little from free-agent signing Jadeveon Clowney, and their leading sacker Harold Landry finished with only 5.5. That’s not good enough for a team that thinks it’s a Super Bowl contender. The 6-foot-7 Rousseau, another opt-out, had 15.5 sacks in a breakout 2019 season, but he doesn’t have an elite first step and needs to add some moves to his repertoire. With only one year of production and no live football in a year, he’s another wild card in his class. But again, teams love pass-rushers, so he could be in demand.

As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Rousseau caught everyone’s attention by posting an eye-popping 15.5 sacks. With a future in the NFL clear, Rousseau opted out of the 2020 college football season.

This would be a logical pick for the Titans at 22, the only question is if he fall that far.