Happy draft day! What better way to celebrate (or kill time until 8pm ET) than to read through my final Titans 7-round mock draft? There are a number of ways the Titans can go tonight, which adds to the excitement and anxiety of the fan base.
The Titans have four picks in the Top 100, or the first three rounds. It’s imperative that they find some immediate contributors with these picks. Some positions could use starters. Others need depth and rotational players.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson has discussed the possibility of moving around the board. It’ll be interesting to see if that comes to fruition.
Without furder ado, here are the picks I made, using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine.
Round 1 (No. 22 overall): Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
Notable players I passed on: Azeez Ojulari, Christian Barmore, Kwity Paye, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Why I chose Moore: The Titans need help at the wide receiver position. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. They lost Corey Davis in free agency and released Adam Humphries. The lone addition here so far has been Josh Reynolds. He’s a fine receiver, but certainly isn’t enough to make up what they’ve lost. Moore is a dynamic and elusive receiver prospect that makes big plays happen. He’s a smooth operator that understands how to use his twitchiness to get open. Moore puts a ton of stress on the defense, with and without the ball in his hands. He’s a great route runner. Ole Miss manufactured touches for him and it’s easy to see why. He was the best player on their offense. Moore has a skill set that would fit in really nicely with this Titans offense. I wonder if they could move back a few picks and get still him in the 27-32 range.
One of my top prospects in the class is easily Elijah Moore. Posted a 95th percentile success rate vs. man coverage (79.8%) in #ReceptionPerception. Absurd separator. On the Lockett/Baldwin-axis. Just love this player.— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) April 26, 2021
Full profile on the site for subs:https://t.co/Q3nchzCYv1 pic.twitter.com/UcFzcFvMdQ
Round 2 (No. 53 overall): Asante Samuel Jr., CB, FSU
Notable players I passed on: Liam Eichenberg, Levi Onwuzurike, Dillon Radunz, Joseph Ossai and Ronnie Perkins.
Why I chose Samuel: I decided to address what I believe is the team’s second biggest need here. The Titans have completely revamped their cornerback room this offseason. They released Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler. They added Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins and Kevin Johnson in free agency. They aren’t good enough here in my opinion. Samuel would make them better. He’s a natural athlete. The position comes easy to him. He’s quick-footed. Samuel gets on his horse and competes at the catch point despite being a bit undersized. Ball skills were a bit of a question mark here, but Samuel did a nice job quieting those concerns by putting up three interceptions in just eight games in 2020. Samuel has met with the Titans virtually.
I don't care how tall he is. Asante Samuel Jr. can ball. pic.twitter.com/pZUWSBbpeA— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) April 25, 2021
Round 3 (No. 85 overall): Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Notable players I passed on: D’Wayne Eskridge, Tommy Togiai, Pete Werner, Kellen Mond and Hamsah Nasirildeen.
Why I chose Long: I’m of the opinion that Jonnu Smith is a big loss. He was a good run blocker and pass catcher. The Titans lost a bit of their versatility when Smith signed a four-year deal worth $50 M with the Patriots. The Titans kept Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim, but both players are very different than Smith. The team would be wise to address the position with a player that has the potential to eventually develop into a dual-threat weapon. Long is that kind of prospect. Long is a massive tight end that’s a handful for defenders in coverage. He understands how to use his frame to his advantage. He uses his body to shield defenders at the catch point. He can make plays above the rim. He’s a nightmare assignment in the red zone. Long gets open and makes plays. He’s shown competence as a blocker and should only get better in this area. I would be a big fan of this selection.
FINAL TE RANKINGS (NFL DRAFT):— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 27, 2021
1. Kyle Pitts, Florida
2. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
3. Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame
4. Hunter Long, Boston College
5. Brevin Jordan, Miami
Round 3 (No. 100 overall): James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Notable players I passed on: Jordan Smith, Jay Tufele, Cameron McGrone, Elerson Smith and Kyle Trask.
Why I chose Hudson: The Titans decided to release starting right tackle Dennis Kelly this offseason. I personally found that to be an odd move. Kelly wasn’t making much money and played good football in 2020. What’s done is done. Kendall Lamm was the free agent addition here. He’s been a backup for most of his career. Head coach Mike Vrabel is familiar with Lamm. They were in Houston together. The Titans also re-signed swing tackle Ty Sambrailo who started a bunch of games at left tackle last season. They should be able to find a decent option on the right side between Lamm and Sambrailo. That’s to say they shouldn’t draft a tackle in the first round again, but they should definitely take a developmental option in the mid rounds. They lack a long term answer at the position currently. Hudson would be a very intriguing option. Hudson is raw, which makes him the perfect player to try and develop. He wouldn’t have to start right away. Hudson is a big man. He’s incredibly long and powerful. There are a bunch of exciting baseline traits here. Tennessee would be a good landing spot for him.
James Hudson in two seasons at Cincinnati:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 31, 2021
358 pass-block snaps
6 QB pressures allowed
0 sacks + hits allowed pic.twitter.com/m7CnZU6pzI
Round 4 (No. 126 overall): Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt
Notable players I passed on: Marvin Wilson, Kendrick Green, Patrick Jones II, Talanoa Hufanga and Dylan Moses.
Why I chose Odeyingbo: This would be a really nice value pick. Odeyingbo unfortunately tore his achillies in January while training for his Pro Day. If not for the injury, he was likely to be selected in the first 50 picks. I’m not sure where he goes now, but I am sure that he’s a good football player. On tape, Odeyingbo is a big D-lineman with inside-outside versatility. He was excellent for Vanderbilt in 2020. He recorded 5.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss this past season. He was a handful for offensive lineman. Vanderbilt had him listed at 6-foot-6 and 276 pounds. It’s easy to see that he’s a big, tall and long player on tape. He understands how to use that length to his advantage as a pass rusher. He moves incredibly well for his size. I can absolutely see the Titans rolling the dice on Odeyingbo if he falls this far.
Forgotten man in 2021 draft is @VandyFootball DT Dayo Odeyingbo. Tore Achilles days before Senior Bowl and still think @dodeyingbo doesn’t get out of Round 2. Unique tools (6051v, 285v, 35 1/4 arm, 86 3/8 wing) & highest ceiling DT in class. Checkout the get-off and coordination. pic.twitter.com/btPwlZQYlk— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 11, 2021
Round 5 (No. 166 overall): Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn
Notable players I passed on: Rashad Weaver, Joshuah Bledsoe, Jonathon Cooper, Caden Sterns and Dazz Newsome.
Why I chose Sherwood: The Titans don’t need to draft a safety in my opinion, but they could get a little deeper here. They released Kenny Vaccaro and didn’t add any safeties that will play defensive snaps for them. Matthias Farley was signed, but he’s a special teams player first and foremost. I’m confident in the duo of Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker as the starters, but I do think there’s a chance for someone like Sherwood to add something to this group. Vaccaro was a physical presence that did some of his best work near the line of scrimmage. Byard plays good football in the box, but he isn’t someone that should spend the majority of his time there. Sherwood is that kind of player. He’s an incredibly physical tackler. He’s a safety, but has the ability to play as a linebacker in a nickel sub-package. I really like what Sherwood brings to the table.
Round 6 (No. 205 overall): Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky
Notable players I passed on: Cornell Powell, Demetric Felton, Malcolm Koonce, Wyatt Hubert and Jaelon Darden.
Why I chose Jackson: The Titans could use a bit more depth on the interior of their offensive line. I expect them to use a Day 3 selection here. Titans fans don’t want to hear it, but Rodger Saffold and Ben Jones aren’t going to be around forever. The time is right to draft and develop players there. Jackson is an interior player that played in a zone scheme at Kentucky. He’s already somewhat familiar with what the Titans run on offense. That makes him a natural fit here. Jackson had a solid showing at this year’s Senior Bowl. He’s not the biggest or longest prospect, but he’s smart, savvy and athletic.
Most valuable Centers in football last season (per PFF Wins Above Average):— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 16, 2021
1. Landon Dickerson, Alabama
2. Drake Jackson, Kentucky
3. Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/lXEcmNpCth
Round 6 (No. 215 overall): Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
Notable players I passed on: Cornell Powell, Patrick Johnson, Marlon Williams, Wyatt Hubert, Rachad Wildgoose Jr. and Jaelon Darden.
Why I chose Williams: Williams is an ELITE special teams player. He scored eight touchdowns as a kick and punt returner at Boise State, four of which occurred this past season. He played more than 600 snaps on special teams in college. He’s blocked three punts. He’s blocked a field goal and an extra point. He’s forced a fumble on a kickoff. Are you seeing a theme here? I’ve been trying to wake people up to Williams’ talent for a while now. He’s also a good, experienced nickel corner with more than 2,500 defensive snaps to his name. Williams is undersized, but plays the game with a lot of passion. He’s a feisty player that battles in coverage. I’m a huge, huge fan. He would immediately become the Titans’ best player on special teams.
Most kick + punt return touchdowns this season:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 20, 2021
Avery Williams, Boise State - 3 pic.twitter.com/1p1dnsYEna
Round 7 (No. 232 overall): Brandon Smith, WR, Iowa
Notable players I passed on: Tay Gowan, Austin Watkins Jr., William Bradley-King, Sage Surratt, Tre Norwood and Dax Milne.
Why I choose Smith: I wouldn’t rule out the Titans doubling down at the receiver position. That’s exactly what I did here after using a first round pick on Elijah Moore. I made sure to get a very different player in Smith. There aren’t many “big” receivers in this class, but Smith fits more into that mold. He comes in at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds. He showed off some freakish athleticism at the House of Athletes combine with a 44-inch vertical and 135-inch broad jump. Smith also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, a respectable time for a receiver of his size. On tape, Smith showcased his ability to win vertically. He’s also an expert contested catch winner. He’s the type of player you take a chance on in the later rounds.
How did I do? Let me know in the comments.