We are in year two of the Jon Robinson era and things are looking up. Five total trades in his first year, Robinson has given two-tone blue fans hope that their favorite football team can return to prominence.
What makes this Titans Mock Draft extremely hard is the fact that Robinson is a wheeler and dealer. It’s hard to predict picks five and eighteen when the probability of the Titans actually picking at five and eighteen is slim to none. We know the team needs but are in dark when it comes to front office favoritism towards a certain prospect. Here is our attempt at picking the Tennessee Titans 2017 NFL Draft.
I will put my personal opinions aside (mostly) and predict what I think Jon Robinson and the Titans crew will do for Christmas, I mean, the NFL Draft this weekend.
OJ Howard – Tight End, Alabama
TRADE: 1st Round – #12 (Trade from the Cleveland Browns) – Tennessee also receives Cleveland’s #33 overall pick & a mid-round 2018 pick
Howard is the best pass catcher in this draft and fits the scheme and identity of the Titans. Yes, Tennessee NEEDS receiver help, but is arguably thinner at TE than WR. OJ Howard is the tight end prototype for today’s NFL: size, athleticism, versatility, blocking ability. The trade with the Browns to get Howard at 12 would be magical.
Tre’Davious White – CB, LSU
1st Round – #18
Obviously the Titans need multiple picks at corner back. I love Tre’Davious White from LSU. He’s an athletic, nasty corner who has competed against top talent in the SEC. He also has return ability, which is a bonus for the Titans.
Chidobe Awuzie – CB, Colorado
2nd Round – #33 (from Cleveland)
Awuzie is one of Todd McShay’s favorite players to watch on tape from this draft class. I just said the Titans need multiple corners in this draft and they get White earlier and now a great player for the nickel package. I would have liked to go ILB here with a Zach Cunningham or Jarrad Davis from Florida, but hard to think the Titans would take three SEC guys in the first 33 picks. This is also a great spot for Robinson to trade back down at the top of Day 2.
Duke Riley – LB, LSU
3rd Round – #83
You might be thinking I’m just going through SEC players and plugging them in… Nope, I’m actually going off the list of players the Titans visited with after the Combine. Riley fills a need and fills it well. He has athleticism and aggressiveness at the inside linebacker spot. Avery Williamson has been good, but he needs a running mate.
Taywan Taylor – WR, Western Kentucky
3rd round – #100 (from Rams)
No, this isn’t Corey Davis. This isn’t Zay Jones. But, Taylor is an ultra productive receiver that Jon Robinson can trust. He had 98 catches, 1700 yards and 17 TDs last year for the Hilltoppers. He’s smaller, at 5’11. But thick at 203 pounds. Oh, and he ran a 4.45 40. #Value.
Corn Elder – CB, Miami
4th round – #124
Everyone talks about prospects needing to be a “Jon Robinson guy” in the way of being tough, dependable and team-first. Elder, fits that mold. He’s definitely tough, as he’s one of the best tackling corners in this draft. He’s a little undersized, which drops him down the board. He’s from the mid-state, starring at Ensworth as an All-State running back and point guard. Dude competes like no other. I’ve seen it.
Marlon Mack – RB, South Florida
5th round – #164
This might look like a head scratcher, because the Titans have DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry… but that’s all they have (outside of practice squad member David Fluellen). Mack has worked out with the Titans in the pre-draft process and is projected as a late-fourth, early fifth-round pick. He ran for 15 TDs for the Bulls last season and has three straight 1,000 yard seasons.
Chase Roullier – C, Wyoming
6th round – #214
Just like in college football, it’s crazy to not bring in an offensive lineman in each class. The Titans are pretty set on the line but it’s always good to have guys in the holster for grooming purposes. The Titans liked Roullier enough to work him out this spring, so we’ll see if he can be a late round addition.
Damore’ea Stringefellow – WR, Ole Miss
7th round – #236
Stringefellow is more talented than a seventh-round pick, but an guilty plea for assault in a 2014 incident has made his draft stock tumble. He wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine because of the assault, but his production and talent was good enough. He was Chad Kelly’s second option behind potential first rounder, Evan Engram. The Titans had a private visit with him before the draft and there’s almost no risk in drafting him here. His 6’2, 200+ pound frame could be a steal late in the draft.
John Ross – WR, Washington
1st Round – #12 (Trade from the Cleveland Browns) – Tennessee also receives Cleveland’s #33 overall pick & future 6th rounder
I think the Titans want John Ross, and he won’t be there by the time their second 1st round pick comes up. Moving down with Cleveland to pick up a 2nd rounder accomplishes what Robinson wants to do. Speed is something that the team lacks and coincidentally speed is something that John Ross has a lot of.
Marlon Humphrey – CB, Alabama
1st Round – #23 (Trade from the New York Giants) – Tennessee also receives #140 overall pick (4th round) in exchange for the Titans #214 6th round pick
Both top team needs are now addressed by picking up Humphrey. The Giants move up to take an offensive tackle and exchange a 4th round pick for the Titans 6th. Robinson does what we needs to do and still gets a top corner late in the 1st round.
Jabrill Peppers – LB/KR, Michigan
2nd Round – #33 (from Cleveland)
Here’s where things get interesting. If the trade with Cleveland does end up happening, the Titans would have control of the 2nd round. If Robinson sticks here, I think he takes advantage of the diluted drug test Peppers had during the Combine and gets defensive/returner help.
Alex Anzalone – ILB, Florida
3rd Round – #83
The Titans passed on inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower during free agency because of his asking price. Robinson goes out and drafts a high character ILB in Alex Anzalone to back up Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard. Anzalone broke his arm mid-season at Florida but still remained a leader on the team, something the Titans put high value on.
Jake Butt – TE, Michigan
3rd Round – #100 (From Los Angeles Rams)
Butt tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl, but the Titans are able to pick up a savvy tight end in the process. The Michigan product may not be able to help right away but Robinson, once again, finds value in a tight end he can build around.
Charles Walker – DT, Oklahoma
4th Round – #124
Robinson adds depth to a defensive line that is coming into its own. Jurrell Casey could help mentor Walker who had a solid career at OU.
Rasul Douglas – CB, West Virgina
4th Round – #140 (From New York Giants)
The number one priority coming into this draft was secondary help for the Titans. Douglas gives more depth to a secondary who is replacing their two starting CBs from last season in Cox & McCourty.
Ken Ekanem – OLB Virgina Tech
5th Round – #164
Titans are still unsure of how Kevin Dodd’s foot will recover that derailed his rookie year. Robinson get’s a 3-4 edge rusher late in the draft to give depth to the position.
Jessamen Dunker – G, Tennessee State University
7th Round – #236
Robison snags a home town guy that can help an offensive line that over achieved last year. Still trying to figure out about Josh Kline, Dunker is a true guard and bolsters a position that needs a backup.