With Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan not being re-signed by the Tennessee Titans, there is an undeniable need for another pass rusher on the team.
The Titans signed former Dolphin’s pass rusher Cameron Wake to a three-year contract, but the 37 year old isn’t a long-term fix. It would be a wise move for the team to acquire a new, long-term option at outside linebacker to pair with Harold Landry for the future.
Several draft analysts, including NFL.com’s Charles Davis, have mocked Florida St. edge rusher Brian Burns to the Titans in the first round.
Why Brian Burns could be the pick:
The former Seminole would likely make an immediate impact for the Titans. Last season, the team’s starting outside linebackers, Orakpo and Morgan, combined for only two sacks. A rotation of Landry, Wake, and Burns would provide a significant upgrade.
Burns totaled ten sacks and a whopping 15.5 tackles for loss last season. He is a similar prospect to Landry; the biggest difference is that Burns decided to declare for the NFL Draft after his breakout season, while Landry returned to Boston College.
Burns has superior length and speed, which allows him to bend around the edge and get to the quarterback. Burns led the Power-5 in QB pressures last season with 69, per Rotoworld.
For what it’s worth, he has reportedly visited with the Titans.
FSU DE Brian Burns said he will attend the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville. So far, he’s visited 5 teams:
More Pro Day coverage here:https://t.co/RAcaOK9uih
— Brendan Sonnone (@BSonnone) March 28, 2019
Why Burns will not likely be the pick:
It is very possible that the Titans choose to address another position in the NFL Draft before adding a pass rusher. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota faces a career crossroads next season, which means the team will continue to surround him with weapons.
With that said, it’s possible the Titans choose to go offense in the first round — adding either an offensive lineman or a pass catcher.
The Titans may view Wake as enough of a short-term solution that they don’t need to address pass rusher that early. There is also an argument to be made that pairing a stud defensive lineman with Jurrell Casey is more important than a new outside linebacker — mostly due to how much Casey’s absence was felt against the Colts in the season finale.
But mostly likely, if the Titans don’t end up with Burns, it will be because a team has already drafted him before the Titans get on the board at pick No. 19.
Burns would be a fantastic addition to the team. If he is on the board when the Titans pick, he should be the selection. His potential is too great to pass.
However, that is exactly why the Titans won’t draft him. The young, talented pass rusher, who is coming off of an impressive season, will not make it to the 19th pick, and I doubt the Titans will trade up for him.