Credit: By the notorious one here formerly known as Dragon, or PotentOilDragon
This event has been running for 15+ years on SB Nation. We changed the name to The Legacy Mock Draft, as it's the mock of all mocks. We have fans from each of the 32 teams as representative GMs that commit to one weekend of 4/8 to 4/10 to submit 262 picks. This is my second year as the Tennessee Titans GM. All draft picks are made by real persons. They all occur live in one weekend. Each GM has only 5 minutes to pick for the first 3 rounds & only 1 minute to pick in the final 4 fours. Each second counts like gold in this realm. Time is of the essence here. There was moments where some GMs had their pick skipped & had to be manually turned in afterwards.
Disclaimer: Please understand this is a fictional realm that is not attached to reality. This is no quick pc mock simulation that is performed within a few minutes. This entire weekend event only occurs once a year. It involves months & months of planning & strategizing. I watch NCAA tape around the year & enjoy scouting as a hobby. If you do not like what is provided below. You can simply click the x button, keep calm, & chive on. If you do like anything that was worked for & given to Tennessee, please let me know what positive aspects you do like & agree with for the Titans.
The Tennessee Titans have traded Zach Cunningham to the San Francisco 49ers for a 4th #134
The Tennessee Titans have traded Caleb Farley to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2nd #56, a 4th #129, & a 6th #193
TEN sends: #90 & 2023 2nd, DEN sends #49
TEN sends: 26; NYJ sends: 35 & 111
TEN sends, 111, 129, 131, & 134, ARI sends: 77, 202
TEN sends 220, ARI sends 245 & 248
Because of trading our 22' 2nd round pick to Julio Jones, reality GM Jon Robinson has a huge quagmire situation soon to unravel. As if Jon does nothing ahead, TEN could be sitting ducks in a pond from pick #27 to pick #89. I know many TEN fans are already attached to Cunningham & Farley. This is a fictitious realm where there was 61 player trades. If you click the draft results link that is attached to this, then you can see all the other trades that we're exchanged. Implying other GMs are doing everything they can in their own power, to increase their draft capital. I tried my best to send away Rashad Weaver, Geoff Swaim, & Nick Westbrook; yet no other GMs we're interested in those 3.
Caleb Farley only played 2 games for the Titans in 2021.
The long-term prognosis on Farley is more unclear. The back issues that raised red flags in the 2021 draft process were not an issue last season, but he battled a shoulder problem and saw his rookie season end at three games after suffering a torn acl - The Tennessean weeks ago
This will be a big offseason for him...He’s working hard, rehabbing. He knows what he needs to do. It’s been told to him what he needs to do. And he’s a hard worker. Caleb is a great guy. But he needs to do everything that he can – in his power – to make sure that he’s healed, stable, in shape. We’re going to be counting on him. We drafted the guy for a reason. I’d say he was a pretty highly regarded prospect. He was an easy guy to evaluate off of the film. Just watching the player move around, what he was capable of - Jon Robinson weeks ago
Zach Cunningham will be 28 years old soon & has a 10 million cap hit. We only claimed Zach off waivers as we never spent any draft picks on Zach unlike Houston did. I used Zach & Caleb as leverage to get names that I coveted for the Titans.
2.35: Trey McBride TE Colorado State
2.49: Cole Strange G Chattanooga
2.56: Calvin Austin III WR Memphis
3.77: Brian Asamoah II LB Oklahoma
4.143: Carson Strong QB Nevada
5.169: Brian Robinson Jr RB Alabama
6.193: Alex Wright Edge UAB
6.202: Cade York K LSU
6.205: Isaac Taylor-Stuart CB USC
7.245: D’Vonte Price RB FIU
7.248: Sam Webb CB Missouri Western
My original plan A was Zion Johnson at 26. NE drafted Zion Johnson at 21, thus I had to tilt to plan B. Which consisted of getting out of 26. I had about 9 pre-flight initial offers lined up. Yet the way the board fell, 7 of those opponents all quickly declined. Leaving me with only two offers on the table of Jets at 35 & Browns at 44 to trade down with. As Jon has stated in the past, "the offer has to be there for us to take it." The Browns offer was better as more quantity & value. I knew in the back of my mind that I had to stay in front of the primary enemy, the Colts at 42 to get my 2nd guy. Which is why I gave the deal to the Jets. The Colts GM proved me 100% right as stated this:
Colts - 4/9 - 2:05 PM - I do admire your draft Tennessee. McBride was a target for me at 42
Commanders - 4/11 - 8:00PM - Would have definitely grabbed Trey, if he were there at 47
2.35: Trey McBride TE Colorado State:
6’3" 245 lbs, 4.56 forty, 95 receiving grade, 2.60 yards per route run, John Mackey finalist, is very strong as a blocker & puts opponents on the ground, has enough speed to challenge DBs vertically, has athletic frame with room for an additional 10 pounds of muscle mass, technically sound & can adjust to the ball in the air with soft hands, has lined up as H-Back, inline, split out as a slot as well as split out outside, highly competitive player and quickly gets to the perimeter, blocking well in space &at the second level, shows good effort as a blocker & works hard to gain body positioning, & can start from day one. Has tremendous ball skills & more than enough straight-line speed. Trey Strides past linebackers easily. More than enough speed to test the seams, ran a diverse & translatable route tree
Trey is the best run-blocking tight end in this class & is someone I coveted after Zion was taken. Sure, I could have waited or gambled until maybe #44 at the latest perhaps. I was given no offers at pick #35, so I made the pick then. I believe in the tape in McBride. In this game you have to have the fire to follow your gut & heart to get your guy. Trey is that man for the Titans in 22'. Austin Hooper is just the bridge at 28 years old. Trey is the future TE that Derrick Henry deserves. Geoff Swaim let Derrick down way too often in the previous season. McBride can learn trade secrets from Austin & Geoff, as the Titans primary TE for the long run. We run a ton of 12 personnel so Trey can still play 17 games, even if Hoop is the TE1 for the now. Trey has met with our TE coach Luke Steckel, virtually with Mike Vrabel, & as a top 30 visit.
2.49: Cole Strange G Chattanooga:
6’5", 307 lbs, 31 reps, 120" broad, 5.03 forty, 28" vertical, 4.50 shuttle, 7.44 3 cone, played guard in college, he is showing the versatility to kick inside to center this week. His strong anchor and above-average foot speed have prevented rushers from beating him
Personally, the Titans 3 biggest need are TE, G, & WR. I ranked Cole as the 4th best guard in this class. Ike, Zion, & Kenyon we're all three gone by #49. I did not expect Cole to last much longer, maybe by 70 max, & I jumped to ensure his arrival as a Titan. Strange is a perfect fit for our OL room as RG Nate Davis marginally declined in 21' & we might have to start Jamarco Jones at LG. Strange also started at center in Mobile, which Ben Jones is 33, so it's up to Mike Vrabel & OL coach Keith Carter how they intend to utilize Strange in the future whether at G or C.
2.56: Calvin Austin III WR Memphis:
5’7" 170 lbs, 4.32 forty, 11 reps, 39" vertical, 135" broad, 6.65 3 cone, 4.07 shuttle, track star, 20.63mph, 61.2% catch rate, most explosive receptions of 15-plus yards 28, 85.2 receiving grade, 2.99 yards per route run and 14 broken tackles on 74 receptions, earned the highest receiving grade among qualifying wide receivers in practice and generated multiple steps of separation on over half of his targets against single coverage.....excelled on the track team where he qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 4x400m relay and helped set the 4x100m relay record at the conference championships meet. In 2018 he played in 11 games but only two catches. He continued his track career and ran a school-record 39.19 seconds in winning silver at the 2019 American Athletic Conference Championships. He Qualified in the 4x100m relay for the NCAA East Preliminaries. In 2019 he made 17 receptions for 315 yds with 3Tds and on the track, he finished seventh in the 60-meter dash and sixth in the 200-yard dash at the American Athletic Conference track and field indoor championships
Austin is immediately our slot WR3 behind AJ Brown & Robert Woods. Austin could also be an outside decoy for go routes forcing opposing defensive coordinators to make a decision. Do they want to help out the CB 1-on-1 to not allow Austin to beat em deep in double coverage or focus on Henry & AJ in the under routes. Pick your poison! This is not just a local pick nor a combine pick, I've watched a ton of Memphis Tigers games & know what Austin is capable of as a WR. Titans desperately need a speed demon to consistently cause separation & Calvin can do exactly that. Most allow the size to fool them thinking that Calvin is not a NFL WR. There is only 1 WR that is faster & quicker in this draft class. That man known as Jameson was long gone at #17 overall. The only difference between Tyreek Hill & Calvin's RAS scores is Calvin is 15 lbs less as the image above displays!
After getting out of day 1 entirely. I had 3 picks lined up. After shoring up the primary needs of TE, LG, & WR. There was one name that I had to jump for. I had 3 picks in the 130s & used that collateral to obtain a 4th prospect on day 2 below.
3.77: Brian Asamoah II LB Oklahoma:
4.56 forty, 73.0 run defense grade, 73.9 coverage grade, 7.4 missed tackle rate, 36.5" vertical, 23 reps, 124" broad, plays very fast and hungry to get to the ball
LB & S is a need for us & the Sooner Asamoah checks off both of those. Brian has strong safety speed as most played LB for the Sooners. Since the other 31 teams allowed Brian to fall to lucky #77, I ran to the podium & gave the Cardinals a good deal to get em. Shane Bowen & our secret DC assistant Jim Schwartz can use Brian in many facets as either an ILB or nickel safety. Brian reminds of a LB we just lost to the Bears in Jayon Brown.
There was some names that I missed out on by spending a lot of draft capital to get Asamoah. Other targets we're punter Matt Araiza, RB Rachaad White, & LB D'Marco Jackson. Markquese Bell & Tariq Castro-Fields we're the original plan here for day 3, yet there two names that fell coming up that I couldn't pass on at 143 & 169 instead:
4.143: Carson Strong QB Nevada:
6' 4" 215 lbs, 91.5 overall grade, has a gorgeous, tight spiral, which is paired with a quick release. This the ideal combo for NFL windows as the arm talent opens the entire field. Carson had five 50-plus-yard completions which was the most in the nation of all FBS & FCS
Since Carson has a condition called Osteochondritis dissecans, we can allow Carson to heal & slowly recover with Ryan Tannehill as our de facto starting QB. Some execs & GMs in this realm look at the issue, as career-threatening which allowed Carson to fall to pick #143 in round 4. Their loss is my gain. Their trash is my treasure. Logan Woodside, along with Kevin Hogan, will be demoted to QB3 & quickly be waived by September.
Our GM has made a ton of injury-related gambles & this is another one in the long line of gambling upon recoveries. Jeffery Simmons is one that has paid off so far. TEN has met with Carson at the Senior Bowl & at the combine. Carson has a ton of arm talent, so if that knee can ever heal, this is a steal & a half in the long run.
5.169: Brian Robinson Jr RB Alabama:
6’2" 225 lbs, 4.53 forty, 30" vertical, 119" broad, 7.33 3 cone, 4.59 shuttle, minor rib injuries, 4.53 forty, 90.4 rushing grade, 92.4 elusive rating, 3.29 yards after contact, 79 missed tackles forced
We lost D'Onta Foreman to CAR & Darrynton Evans to CHI. So I had to replace both RBs behind The King Derrick Henry with Robinson & D'Vonte Price. Giving the Titans 2 new RBs for depth. Roll Tide Roll with the Elephant RB duo!
I ranked Brian as RB4 in this class, so I was very surprised 31 GMs passed on Robinson to pick #169. Brian did have one of the best offensive lines in the nation in front of him, yet if anyone watched the Alabama offense, they know that Robinson was the engine that ran the Tide & not Bryce Young.
6.193: Alex Wright Edge UAB:
6’5" 272 lbs, 15 reps, 23.8% win rate, 91.1 pass rush grade, 78.8 run defense grade, injured left pec at combine during bench
We extended edge Harold Ladnry on the left side & have Bud Dupree on the right side. We returned Ola Adeniyi on a 1 year deal. Alex Wright will backup Dupree since Bud missed 7 games in 2021. TEN has met with Alex at the combine & once virtually. We need some day 3 depth here at edge to replace the loss of Derick Roberson.
6.202: Cade York K LSU:
6’1" 205 lbs, 12 reps, 36" vertical, 9-3 broad
TEN needs a future kicker. As I have zero faith in Fat Randy, after Bullock missed 3 extra points & 5 FGs in 21'. I fully believe in the talent of York. As my war room saw & pinpointed how Cade made a game winning FG for the Tigers against Florida with rain, water, pressure, & a glaring LED light all in York's face. It's what one does when the wind is going against them that matters, not with them, that makes the player stand out for the next level.
6.205: Isaac Taylor-Stuart CB USC:
6’1" 200 lbs, 4.43 forty 36.5" vertical, 10-3 broad, 4.17 shuttle, 6.81 3 cone, 15 reps. Physical, tough, fiery, strong hands, quick reactions, very aggressive in shedding blocks & tackles like a safety, high-effort player & leader, attacks the ball with authority, with quick read-and-react ability, good agility and balance when shadowing his target. Savvy using his hands to get to the ball without drawing flags. Has good ball skills to locate and attack the ball in the air. USA Today First-Team All-American and member of the HS track team. Has straight-line speed, & displays his outstanding athletic profile in man coverage situations. As a press corner, he does an excellent job opening his hips on outside releases
I ranked the Trojan as CB18 in this class. Stuart has track speed & had to practice against Drake London & our enemy Michael Pittman Jr very often & knows those two well. The best CBs & safeties on my board kept getting taken earlier & earlier in this simulation. Will I get roasted for starting this rook opposite Fulton? Sure. Have at it! Please keep in mind though, Caleb Farley only played 2 games last season.
7.245: D’Vonte Price RB FIU
6’ 1" 210 lbs, 4.38 forty, 34" vertical, 119" broad
We released Darrynton Evans, only to be claimed by the Chicago Bears, after suffering from an injury-riddled career. We re-signed Dontrell Hilliard & then signed Trenton Cannon & Jordan Wilkins. I was not done rebuilding the RB room with just Brian Robinson. To put it simply, Robinson replaces Foreman's roster spot & Price replaces Evans' roster spot. I was not going to allow Price to hit the UDFAs & wanted to snipe the fastest RB in this class with one of my last picks.
7.248: Sam Webb CB Missouri Western
6’ 201 lbs, 4.48 forty, 14 reps, 42.5" vertical, 11-4 broad, 4.18 shuttle, 6.94 3 cone
Upon scouting hundreds of CBs. Webb was one that not only caught my eye on tape. Webb shined & impressed every scout with sticky ability in the Shrine Bowl. Then Webb had another check with a good pro day. I almost wanted to draft Webb before Stuart, as believed in Webb more. Yet getting both CBs to insure my gambling risk on Farley, was meant to be.
Demetrius Taylor IDL Appalachian State, D’Anthony Bell S West Florida, Dareke Young WR Lenoir-Rhyne, David Anenih Edge Houston, James Houston IV LB Jackson State, Tyler Vrabel OT Boston College, Jordan Jackson IDL Air Force, Tyler Johnson IDL Arizona State, Jah-Maine Martin RB North Carolina A&T, AJ Arcuri OT Michigan State, Calvin Turner Jr WR Hawaii, Joshua Blackwell CB Duke, Nazeeh Johnson S Marshall, Nick Ford IOL Utah, Theo Jackson S Tennessee, Cam Durley OT Tennessee State
(the UDFA process arrives on a first come-first serve basis in this realm. As at least 60% of the GMs participated in this process of selecting UDFAs. In reality, NFL GMs have to send in bids to the agents to get the UDFA signed)
I had many accomplishments in this draft, solving issues at TE, G, WR, & LB. One cannot fix everything in one entire draft haul. The opportunity cost & true sacrifice on my behalf here is CB & S. The secondary defensive back draft haul & upgrades will have to wait until 2023.
In retrospect, to second guess & criticize myself, maybe Jalyn Armour-Davis was a better solution than Brian Asamoah. Maybe safety Markquese Bell was a better pick than QB Carson Strong. Maybe CB Tariq Castro-Fields was a better pick than RB Brian Robinson. Those 3 picks are the biggest questions of the future, whether this is a B- draft or an A+ draft.
What is most important that I like what I did for the Titans. & aside from the results or lack-thereof at CB & S, I'm very happy with what I achieved for Tennessee!