Did you hear that? Do you smell that? Maybe even…feel that? That’s right, football is here. The king of sports is upon us and we could not be more ready for what this football week has to offer. Not the Preds playoff series against the Jets, (Great bracket making NHL) or NSC’s game this week against Penn FC (Let’s go Mensah)…It’s freaking DRAFT WEEK. Calm down, you say? King of sports, you scoff? Well, only the king of sports can make a ratings monster in a glorified role call of names without a single play or even wearing pads built upon the very foundation that holds the fabric of the universe intact. Hope. Even Browns fans have something to hope for this week. That’s low hanging fruit I know, let’s go Brownies, Hell of an offseason so far, but that’s exactly what the draft does. It’s something that should be a footnote in the sports year that has turned into a spectacle of its own.
Anyway, draft week. I have been tasked to give a preview of our Tennessee Titans upcoming draft on the heels of a new coaching regime and sparkling new unis. Coach Vrabel, aka Mike the third and GM Jon Robinson, aka in JRob we trust have the objective of bolstering up the best roster this team has seen in a near decade. For the HasBeen football fanatics out there this creates a small issue…what do we do with the 25th pick in the draft? For years now Titans fan have discussed who to draft within the first fifteen picks. Talks of glaring holes in the roster fueled that hope the draft so desperately provides as we watched the likes of picks such as Chance Warmack, Dorial Green-Beckham and Jake Locker, to name a few. The list goes on, and the draft up until recently under J-Rizzy has given me little to no interest.
Oh, how change is good.
Now, fresh off some playoff success and a town busting at the seems in all sports the team is in a position to add to an already competitive roster in chase of a division title and an even deeper playoff run.
The top three needs, in order of this wannabe Kiper’s opinion.
1. Linebacker/ Edge rusher.
A pass rush can transform a defense, it can make a decent secondary good and a good one great. See Jevon Kearse and what he did for the Titans good defense his rookie season. Losing Avery Williamson was tough, but he cashed in while he could. Will Compton is a solid player with good depth to potential starting capabilities. Wesley Woodyard is coming off his best season as a Titan, but even his new vegan diet won’t stop father time. And our two prominent pass rushers in Morgan and Orakpo are getting a little long in tooth. This also hasn’t yet to be addressed in free agency. Look for Titans to go here early in the draft.
2. Safety depth
Kevin Byard is the Titans number one fan. See what I did there? He is an absolute playmaker who makes this secondary with Butler, Ryan and Jackson look more and more formidable. Cyprien is the odd man out. He’s a great inside the box tackler, and makes the occasional big play he needs to make, see Chiefs playoff win. Hits like that were the reasoning for stealing him from division rivals Jacksonville. He is a solid starter, but behind him there is much more to be desired.
I put safety before receiver because I still believe in Corey Davis, see that playoff loss to New England. A healthy Davis can transform this new offense. Also, I still believe in forgotten darling Tajae Sharpe, who returns from a season ending foot injury. Another year in the pros should help Taylor and Rishard Matthews has been more productive than household name Dez Bryant. With secondary free agency still out there and some potential mid round receivers out there we could finally look at our passing game as a strength.
Well there you have it. Three areas I think the Titans should address firstly in the draft. This is a good time to be a sports fan in our city. The Preds fighting for a cup, Nashville SC grabbing a foothold into the city while introducing the sport and the Titans, looking to take the AFC south by storm and competing for more than top draft picks.