NASHVILLE — In these times when many sports are being cancelled or postponed, NFL Draft season pushes on. The Tennessee Titans have had some impact additions and losses during free agency, so how can they improve during the draft? This 7-round mock draft attacks many of their needs.
Round 1, Pick 29 – Zack Baun: Edge, Wisconsin
Tennesse could most certainly use a young addition at edge.
Zack Baun fits that bill very well. Similar to Correa, Baun is used primarily as an edge rusher and linebacker hybrid in a 3-4 defense. For not having amazing bend or eye-popping athleticism, Baun moves really well. This includes a great spin move and solid hand usage in his pass rush arsenal.
Baun’s motor runs hot. He tallied 76 total tackles along with 12.5 sacks in his final season at Wisconsin. A comparison for him is former Patriots pass rusher Kyle Van Noy, who just signed a massive 4 year, 51 million dollar deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Wisconsin EDGE and Senior Bowler Zack Baun is probably the player who has exceeded my expectations most on final film review.
Bend isn’t great, but when you can soften rush angles and force OTs into recovery position as quickly as Baun does, you don’t need elite bend!
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) December 28, 2019
Round 2, Pick 61 – Damon Arnette: Cornerback, Ohio State
With Logan Ryan and Leshaun Sims both likley out the door, Tennessee has a big need at cornerback. Arnette fills that need to a “T”. With the upside of a number one corner, Arnette is a safe pick to fill any role in the secondary. He is a polished prospect with great physicality, who would fit great next to the speedy Adoree Jackson.
Arnette also excels in press coverage which can alleviate a lot of pressure from the rest of the Titans’ secondary. He was also known as a big hitter in one of the best secondaries in the country. Playing beside star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah throughout his Ohio State days, Arnette was always a bit overlooked, but his production certainly spoke for itself. In three years starting for the Buckeyes, he had 119 tackles alongside 4 interceptions and 22 pass break-ups. He can be an impact starter for the Titans early on in his NFL career.
— Mekka Don (@MekkaDonMusic) September 15, 2019
Round 3, Pick 93 – Prince Tega Wanogho: Offensive Tackle, Auburn
There are many ways the Titans can attack the offensive line during the draft. This mock draft has them shooting for the upside of a raw prospect in Round Three named Prince Tega Wanogho. Unfortunately, the Auburn product struggled with injuries a bit throughout his time in school, but his physical traits are something to marvel at.
He is a powerful zone blocker with strong hands at the point of attack. Wanogho doesn’t have great footwork, probably a product of picking up the game of football later in life than most of his fellow prospects. He overcomes this pretty well though, using exquisite technique on most reps. Replacing Jack Conklin won’t be an easy task, but Prince has the ceiling to do that in the coming years.
Prince Tega Wanogho vs Rashard Lawrence in the run game. The matchups in this game were incredible.
PTW does a great job landing hands inside left and controlling 90’s pad on the right to get 90 turned. PTW replaces right hand inside breastplate and hangs long enough to spring. pic.twitter.com/t8lUXy5mcB
— Dalton Miller (@DaltonBMiller) October 27, 2019
Round 5, Pick 174 – Albert Okwuegbunam: Tight End, Missouri
Known by many as “Albert O”, Albert Okwuegbunam is an athletic freak of nature at the tight end position. His NFL combine workout lit the football world on fire after he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. Overall, he had one of the best combines in history for a tight end after also placing in the 85th percentile for arm length and 79th percentile in hand size. His struggles on film were mostly in run blocking and crisp route running.
Albert also battled injuries for a lot of his career at Missouri, a big reason his stock has fallen a bit since last off-season when he was projected to be the top tight end prospect in this draft class. On the other hand, he is dynamic with the ball in his hands and is always a big deep threat target for his quarterback. Delanie Walker might be irreplaceable, but Albert O alongside Jonnu Smith can be a deadly tight end combination.
Albert Okwuegbunam just ran a fast 40 than O.J. Howard, while out-weighing Howard by seven pounds.
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) February 27, 2020
Round 7, Pick 224 – Jauan Jennings: Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Ryan Tannehill gets a shiny new downfield target in the explosive Jauan Jennings. Jennings had solid production in three of his seasons at Tennessee, especially in his final season eclipsing 900 yards receiving and 9 total touchdowns. He also seems to have that “clutch” gene and always seemed to come up with the big catches in crunch time in college. Jennings is smooth when playing vertically, but he struggles with sudden cuts in his routes. This was evident when he struggled to get solid separation on short-intermediate routes but was able to get free on deeper routes.
Oddly, his 4.72 40-yard dash was very suboptimal (2nd percentile at the NFL Combine), but he plays a bit quicker on film. Jennings would most likely need time to get acclimated to the NFL game, but he could develop into a solid downfield threat for any team, especially the Titans.
Jauan Jennings had himself a career game Saturday, I had to get all the highlights in one place pic.twitter.com/8VM2a5ZczT
— gmannVOLS (@gmannVOLS) October 27, 2019
Round 7, Pick 237 – Yasir Durant: Offensive Guard, Missouri
Yasir Durant is a 6’7, 330 lb. developmental interior offensive lineman with good footwork and pass rush counters. He was a two full-year starter at Missouri and was statistically one of the best offensive lineman in the SEC at preventing quarterback pressures. For being a mammoth of a man, his smaller arm length can sometimes get him beat by quicker pass rushers and slow him down in the run blocking game.
Additionally, Durant grinds out reps and uses his hands pretty effectively to attack edge defenders’ upper body. The Missouri senior can provide some needed depth to the Titans’ interior offensive line.
— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) January 14, 2020
Round 7, Pick 243 – J.J. Taylor: Running Back, Arizona
Arizona running back J.J. Taylor is a jitterbug out of the backfield. What he lacks in size, he makes up in agility and elusiveness. For only being 5’6, he is pretty powerful when initiating contact with defenders while also possessing nice contact balance to remain on his feet after getting hit.
At Arizona, he wasn’t used much in the receiving game, but don’t mistake that for a lack of talent in catching the ball. He has above average hands and good vision with the ball in his hands to make plays after the catch. With Dion Lewis leaving in free agency, Taylor can be a great compliment to Derrick Henry out of the backfield for the Tennessee Titans.
I like J.J. Taylor as a late round Dion Lewis replacement:
☑️Receiving Abilities pic.twitter.com/uAEZRSZZDC
— Titans Tape (@TitansTape) February 24, 2020
Titans GM Jon Robinson will have some holes to fill during the NFL Draft, but attacking the teams’ needs early and getting some needed depth late will be key to adding some young pieces to a very talented roster.
Featured image via Jacob Infante-USA Today Sports