With two picks in the first 18 selections of the NFL Draft the Titans had the opportunity of drafting two week one starters. So how did they do?
Instead of grading each pick with a letter, let’s just use the three words that come to mind first, because well, grading picks is meaningless. Typically as an NFL team, you expect your first two rounds of players to be starters. Anything more than that by week one and you had a great NFL Draft. The Titans have one of the easiest schedules in 2017, and a strong first three rounds could prove to be the X-factor in a playoff run.
Three Words to Describe the Tennessee Titans NFL Draft First Round
Many Titan fans wouldn’t have agreed with this after the number five pick, Corey Davis. Yet, Jon Robinson was wise with his pick. Despite not taking the top corner/safety Marshon Lattimore or Jamal Adams, Robinson drafted the top player at their position.
It seemed the consensus was the Titans would take a wide receiver at 18.
But, by the time the San Diego Chargers were on the clock, Titan fans’ heads turned. Like when you make a weird sound in front of your dog, and they slowly tilt it to the side. Which is a huge reason why dogs are the best pet you can (legally) own. Mike Williams getting picked at seven shocked a lot of people. But, not more than John Ross at nine.
“Why would the Bengals need another wideout? Derek Barnett is still on the board!”
There was no one in the world, universe, GALAXY that had three wide receivers going in the top ten. So what if the Titans took Adams or Lattimore at five? The Chargers and Bengals still take Williams and Ross and all of a sudden the Titans might not have a wide receiver at 18. And even the Saints, Cardinals and Eagles had a need at the position. Imagine how awful that would be for Tennessee.
Jon Robinson made the wise move taking Davis at five. It doesn’t matter if he knew the market for wideouts or if he spooked the others in reaching. Look at it this way. There is plenty of depth among defensive backs in this draft. There were only three first round caliber wide receivers, but a handful of corners. Instead of leaving Marcus Mariota with average options in the passing game, Tennessee locked up Davis who could become a great fit for Mariota for years to come.
Wise move Mr. Robinson, wise move.
The Titans got exactly what they needed out of the first round. Heading into the draft it was pretty automatic the Titans would be leaving with help in the pass offense/defense. Sure enough, they did both and their selections will make week one impacts.
Drafting Corey Davis will finally give Marcus Mariota a reliable option outside of Delanie Walker. Davis’s size and speed will make it easy for Mariota in his reads. Mariota’s bread and butter are small slant/in routes, within 20 yards. Davis’ big frame (6’3″, 209 pounds) will be a mismatch on any corner fighting for inside position. The big wideout also brings another aspect that Tennessee will surely love. He is the best blocking wideout in the draft and will fit nicely into the Titans’ ‘smash-mouth’ offense.
Adoree’ Jackson is going to be a great utility corner for the Titans struggling pass defense. Jackson’s speed and feistiness will allow him to fit in as a nickel corner, or on the outside. Like Davis, he is multi-talented. His return expertise will give the Titans more option in special teams; an area they invested a lot in over free agency. Jackson could help a return game that is lead by Marc Mariani… which is not good.
Effective first round there Jon!
At number 18 there were plenty of options for the Titans, with so many players sliding thanks to all the trades. One of those was Alabama’s tight end, O.J. Howard. Passing up on what is said the ‘cleanest’ prospect in the draft may be criticized in a couple years.
Howard would have fit into Tennessee’s offense very well. He can make plays at every level of the defense and can block in the run game. With how often the Titans play two tight end sets, Walker and Howard would have been quite the duo.
However, the Titans stayed true to their plan and drafted the best player available at a position they were in desperate need of.
Jon proud of you for sticking to the plan! That probably was hard to pass on Howard.