By this point, every Tennessee Titans fan is well aware that the upcoming season is a do-or-die year for QB Marcus Mariota. Due to this, the Titans have provided Mariota with new weapons and protection to give him the best chance to prove himself.
A prime example of this is GM Jon Robinson signing OL Rodger Saffold to a huge $44 million contract. This was an important move for a team that gave up 42 sacks last season.
It would be easy to say that the Titans may not need to put a heavy investment into the offensive line after signing Saffold. However, the team still has a glaring hole at right guard after releasing Josh Kline and could potentially look for an upgrade at center.
A possible draft pick for the Titans to help fix their offensive line issues is N.C. State’s Garrett Bradbury. Last season, Bradbury earned the Rimington Trophy (top center in the nation), first team All-ACC, and AP All-American recognition.
Why Bradbury fits with the Titans:
Bradbury has elite athleticism for an offensive lineman. If you haven’t heard, he ran a blazing 4.92 in the 40 yard dash. While the 40 yard dash dash doesn’t mean everything, it certainly shows that he has rare speed and explosion for his position.
His apparent athleticism would be a major asset in the Titans’ zone blocking scheme. Imagine an offensive unit with Saffold and Bradbury at the two guard positions. Even though that may seem too good to be true, the combination would certainly allow new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to be creative with his play calling.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, he is strong and balanced enough as a pass blocker to avoid routinely getting beat by people bigger and stronger than he is. This ability would be undeniably important in the AFC South, where he would have to face the likes of Houston’s JJ Watt and Jacksonville’s Calais Campbell twice per season.
NC State center Garrett Bradbury checked the final box today:
Excellent fall season ✔️
Consistent Sr Bowl ✔️
Test well at Combine ✔️
Interview well ✔️
Outstanding Pro Day ✔️
He’ll be a 10 year starter at center. Plug and play dude.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 27, 2019
Why Bradbury doesn’t fit with the Titans:
The team could be hesitant to add another undersized offensive lineman. Bradbury is listed at 6’3, 306. Last season, they had two undersized lineman, Kline and center Ben Jones, directly beside each other and that resulted in an inefficient unit.
Since the Titans are in the market for a new right guard, they may want to find a physically larger upgrade.
Robinson could also view one of the other team needs (wide receiver, pass rusher, defensive lineman, tight end, etc.) as more important to address first in the draft.
With other options available in the later portion of the draft at interior offensive line –Alabama’s Ross Pierschbacher, for example — the team may elect to wait for their replacement.
If Bradbury is still on the board at pick 19 and the top pass rushers have already been selected, I don’t see how the Titans couldn’t draft him. At either center or guard, he would be a tremendous addition to the offensive line.
The former Wolfpack star is a player that Titans fans should absolutely keep on their radar, since he is a realistic possibility to be on the board for the team and would fill a big hole on the roster.
Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports