NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On day two of the 2020 NFL Draft, after pulling a bit of a head-scratcher with their first-round pick, the Tennessee Titans’ picks couldn’t have made more sense.

The Titans nabbed LSU corner Kristian Fulton in the second round and Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans in round three on a night in which general manager Jon Robinson shined.

Unlike on day one of the draft, when they picked a player who may not see the field very much as a rookie, the Titans moved the needle closer to being a Super Bowl contender on day two.

That’s not hyperbolic at all. After all, the Titans weren’t very far from being in the Super Bowl just a few months ago. They led the Chiefs by 10 in the AFC Championship game before QB Patrick Mahomes heated up and took over the game.

Two of the Titans glaring problems from that game that kept them in “close but not close enough” territory was their lack of speed at cornerback and a lack of explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball.

In Fulton and Evans, the Titans may have fixed those problems.

Fulton, even with a height of just under 6-feet, is the tallest corner the Titans have had in a while, and he gives them the speed element they’ve missed in the secondary outside of Adoree’ Jackson.

He also can play in the slot, which could come in handy if the Titans have indeed decided to move on from Logan Ryan, who manned the slot from 2017-2019.

“That was one of the first questions they asked me, ‘was I comfortable playing inside, and how did I feel about playing inside?'” Fulton said. “I told them I’m comfortable doing it.”

Robinson appreciated that answer.

“He had a really good understanding of our vision for him if we were able to select him,” Robinson said.

“He’s got good quickness, he’s got good awareness and instincts in there, he’s got good patience to match routes and know when to trigger and get his hands on the ball.”

Evans, who ran for over 3,000 yards in college, is the kind of player that can completely transform the Titans offense. His ability to not only run the football but catch the ball, line up as a receiver in the slot and return punts makes him a big-time weapon.

“I’m very hard to tackle in the open field,” Evans said. “That’s just one area that I’ve always worked on in the offseason … just really using my speed to my advantage, using my vision, and you know just making people miss.”

Evans’ value to the Titans goes beyond just the fact that he can be a “change of pace” from superstar RB Derrick Henry—whatever that means. His versatility makes it tough for a defense to know what’s coming.

Unlike in 2019, the Titans should still be able to run the ball with success or at least have the threat of doing so whenever Henry needs to come off the field in 2020.

Evans’ punt returning skills should also allow the Titans to finally take Jackson out of that role.

“He’s a guy that we really liked from a character standpoint and because of his skill set,” head coach Mike Vrabel said.

“This was a guy that we brought in and met with, and everyone in the building liked what he was able to do.”

The Titans may still not be legitimate Super Bowl contenders ever adding Fulton and Evans, but those picks helped them take a step in the right direction.

Cover image: Jeremy Brevard & Jason Getz/USA Today


https://atozsportsnashville.com/column-titans-inch-closer-to-super-bowl-contention-with-picks-of-fulton-and-evans/
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