So, what are the Titans planning on doing at No. 15? Charlie Campbell has reported in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill that Tennessee is planning on taking a right tackle. Jack Conklin is expected to be the target if available, though Taylor Decker is not a bad consolation prize.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Jack Conklin, OT - A better option than Decker, but expected to be off the board.
2. Trade Up - Don't be surprised if the Titans move up for Laremy Tunsil.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
The Titans were going to select Jalen Ramsey had they not traded out of the top spot. They desperately need cornerback help, and Xavien Howard is one of a couple of possibilities atop Round 2.
Rd. 2, Pk. 12
Kenny Clark, DT/NT, UCLA
With extra picks in the second round, the Titans can bolster some areas on their roster, such as the defensive line. Kenny Clark is one of the better players available.
Rd. 2, Pk. 14
Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
With three second-round choices, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Titans used one of them to grab a successor for Delanie Walker, who turns 32 in August.
Rd. 3, Pk. 1
Sean Davis, CB/S, Maryland
I had the Titans upgrading their cornerback situation atop Round 2. The other position in the secondary needs to be addressed as well.
This is the Rams' pick that Tennessee received in the trade back from No. 1 to No. 15 in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Titans need a No. 1 wide receiver for Marcus Mariota, and Williams is a great fit. General manager Jon Robinson was with Tampa Bay in 2014 when they took Mike Evans with the seventh pick. Williams is remarkably similar to Evans. In that same draft, Robinson and the Bucs took Austin Seferian-Jenkins in Round 2. This is a deep tight end class, so I think Robinson would lean toward Williams. O.J. Howard is in the running for this pick though.
In 2016, Williams hauled in 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. It was an impressive return to college football after missing most of 2015 due to injury. In that season's opener, Williams fractured his neck when he ran into the goalpost while catching a touchdown. That ended his year.
With Sammy Watkins in the NFL, Williams took over as Clemson's lead receiver in 2014 and caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns. In his freshman season, he had 20 catches for 316 yards and three scores.
Williams is a dynamic big receiver who is tremendous at using his size and leaping ability to make catches over defensive backs. He is a phenomenal red-zone weapon and is superb on back-shoulder sideline throws. While Williams made a lot of excellent leaping grabs, he does need to cut down on some dropped passes. The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder has a real combination of size and leaping ability.
Rd. 1, Pk. 1
Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC
I believe that minus a trade, Tennessee's plan is to draft a weapon for Marcus Mariota at No. 5 and find a potential No. 1 corner with the 18th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. I think Marlon Humphrey is the Titans' first choice. If he is off the board, I think they would take Jackson.
Jackson notched 55 tackles with 11 passes broken up and five interceptions in 2016. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, returned two punts for touchdowns, and made a 52-yard touchdown catch. Jackson had an awesome game against Alabama as he shut down star wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He held Ridley to only two receptions for nine yards on the night. Jackson has given the NFL proof that he is a serious cover corner prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Jackson played on offense and defense in 2015. He had 35 tackles with eight passes broken up and one interception at corner. As a wide receiver, Jackson had 27 receptions for 414 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore also returned punts and kicks.
Jackson became a starter in 2014 and was a sensation who also contributed as a wide receiver and returner/coverage defender on special teams. Defensively, the freshman had 49 tackles with 10 passes deflected. He also caught 10 receptions for 138 yards with three touchdowns on offense. On special teams, Jackson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged 30 yards per kick return. For the NFL, the 5-foot-10, 186-pounder fits best as a cover cornerback. He is a fast corner to prevent separation, but can struggle with size and defenders making receptions over him.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
The Titans could use multiple receiver upgrades.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Kupp was massively productive during his collegiate career. He combines quickness, toughness, excellent route-running and great hands. The senior totaled 91 receptions for 1,297 yards with 12 touchdowns on the year. He had huge seasons as a junior (114-1,642-19), sophomore (104-1,431-16) and freshman (93-1,691-21). Kupp is a natural football player.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
The Titans could use a receiving tight end to pair with Delanie Walker.
Leggett is a solid tight end who can contribute as a receiver and a runner. The senior notched 46 catches for 736 yards with seven scores in 2016. As a junior, he totaled 40 receptions for 525 yards with eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-6, 258-pounder has the size and athleticism to warrant consideration as a three-down starter.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Garrett Sickels, DE/3-4OLB, Penn State
Here's an understudy for veterans Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo.
Sickels (6-3, 261) decided to skip his senior season at Penn State and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The junior recorded 47 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks in 2016. The previous season, he had 35 tackles with five tackles for a loss and three sacks playing on the other side from Carl Nassib. Sickels would probably fit best in the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Corn Elder, CB, Miami
The Titans grab more cornerback competition and have shown interest in Elder.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Dylan Donahue, OLB/DE, West Georgia
Tennessee could use some young edge-rushing depth behind Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Stacy Coley, WR, Miami
The Titans go best player available and take another receiver competitor.
NFL.com Comparison: Tyron Smith
My Comparison: Duane Brown
20th Runs for 1st Downs(Left)/31st(Right
11th Negative Runs(Left)/8th(Right)
27th Runs on 3rd/4th on 1st Downs(Left)/32nd(Right
1st Sacks Allowed
7th QB Hits
YA, let's start the party right!?! If the Browns need a RT why would they pass on Tunsil. Again, preference. Why would the Titans trade up to draft Tunsil when they like Conklin? Well, because Conklin should make it to 15 so their is no reason to trade up for him. But to gather picks and get at #8 the guy you wanted at #1...why not?1?
Tunsil is not my "Favs", but he is great and will play in this league for may years. If not as a pro-bowler, he'll stay in the league the "Michael Oher" way by being a "well known lineman". That being, the Titans need to protect Mariota. Mariota did well last year, but he spent most of the time running around dodging rushers. If given time to throw in a pocket I think he can easily be a T-15 and maybe a T-10 QB "one day".
From a talent and technique standpoint, Tunsil is easily cleanest offensive lineman in the 2016 draft and might be the cleanest prospect period. Tunsil showed signs of rust against Texas A&M in his first game back from a seven-game suspension, and he still kept Myles Garrett in check. Tunsil lacks pure power, but has the body control to be a quality run blocker in space and on levels. Ultimately, his feet, technique and instincts could make him an all-pro and one of the top pass protectors in the NFL.
Absolute dream scenario here. I don’t know who drops which is why I still have Conklin here, but I don’t know if I can actually see Conklin falling this low. And I know Tennessee knows this too which is why as I stated above I believe they package some of the INSANE draft capital they now have from trading down with LA to move back up slightly and be positive that they can grab one of the top 3 OT prospects. Easily the biggest need on the roster as they gave up a team high 54 sacks last year and MUST protect franchise QB and future of the franchise Marcus Mariota. Conklin can come right in and start at either tackle spot (likely right before hopefully moving Taylor Lewan to his more natural right tackle position and taking over the all-important left tackle position) and hope solidify the bookends around Mariota for years to come. ). Conklin is as hard-nosed blue collar of a player as there is. A former walk-on who earned a scholarship halfway through his redshirt freshman season and has started essentially every game since then at both right and left tackle. His best and most impressive game by far was when he went up against DeForest Buckner of Oregon and completely stonewalled him. That’s a top 5 prospect we’re talking about. Has great strength and very solid technique, but even though he ran really well at the 40 yard dash, he may not have the athleticism to truly dominate and shut down speed rushers on the left side completely. Still, would you bet on this former walk-on at least becoming an average starter? I know I wouldn’t.
The Titans make it 3 straight Buckeyes off the board, with the BPA also representing their biggest need. 15th overall is around where Decker is valued, so this pick makes the most sense for Tennessee.
Alternatively, If the Titans aren't in love with Decker, they could wait to use one of their 3 2nd rounders on a Tackle, and take one of the top CB's or DT's. William Jackson III & Eli Apple are possibilities, as well as any of the top DT's; as one has yet to be taken, and the Titans need help in the middle of their line.
Priority #1 is keeping Mariota upright, and Tennessee cannot afford to start the season with Byron Bell starting again. In Decker & Lewan, the Titans will have their bookends for the next decade, as well as a potential cool new nickname for their new tandem: "The Twin Taylors". That name has been copyrighted by me.
UPDATE: I had TEN moving up to 9 to get Stanley, but now that CLE is no longer moving up, I have them as a more suitable partner.
Jack at 5 is still the consensus mock, but the news keeps getting worse and worse about his knee. I'll leave him to Jax in this mock since I currently have them at 8, but I can now see Jack dropping out of the top 10. Too bad. He sure is a special talent when healthy.
PREVIOUS COMMENT: Before mocking my JAX trade with CLE, I had the Jags taking Jack at 5. I was tentative to mock that pick given the recent unfavorable reports on Jack's knee, but the fit is so good I thought the Jags would make the pick anyways. This feels much better...them moving down a couple slots and still getting their guy.
Tennessee will try to shop this pick, but I doubt anyone will be willing to move up considering the picks they would need to give up to get here combined with the fact that there is no sure-fire home run QB in this draft.
It is sounding more and more like Ramsey is their guy. I say why not? If they have Ramsey and Tunsil ranked similarly, why not go with the high character leader over the guy who may or may not have been present at the Nkemdiche balcony incident. Both are at positions of need, so I say go for it!
I've seen Ramsey compared to Charles Woodson, Patrick Peterson, Eric Berry, and Tyrann Mathieu. While those might all be big shoes to fill, there is no questioning his potential. His instincts and playmaking ability would probably be better suited to playing safety in the NFL, but with some slot corner responsibilities. On top of all that, he is a world class long jumper with Olympic aspirations who ran a 4.41. Ramsey is an elite athlete with elite instincts. The Titans need help all along their secondary so having a playmaker of this caliber anywhere would be great for them.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Jalen Ramsey Going to Titans
Rd. 1, Pk. 8
Jack Conklin, OT
I'm usually not a fan of teams trading up, but the Titans had tons of resources to do so. It would've been ridiculous for them to keep all of their picks, so moving up for a player they weren't going to obtain at No. 15 made a ton of sense. Right tackle was a huge need, and that has been filled with Conklin.
What's interesting is that the Titans passed on Laremy Tunsil. It's crazy that one of the top two players in the draft continues to fall, and teams that need him are passing on him.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Kevin Dodd, DE
This pick makes sense. Kevin Dodd was projected to go somewhere in the 30-35 range. Thus, the range is right, though I'd like this pick a lot more if Myles Jack wasn't on the board. At any rate, I wonder where the Titans will play Dodd. He can play both five-technique and outside linebacker. His versatility is definitely intriguing, and he should be a solid player for Tennessee.
Rd. 2, Pk. 12
Austin Johnson, DT/3-4DE/NT
Austin Johnson tested very poorly at the Combine, so it's nice to see that he didn't slip at all, as this was his natural range. Johnson is a very skilled player, and Tennessee's defensive line will definitely be better with him in the mix. Help was needed up front, so this pick makes a ton of sense.
Rd. 2, Pk. 14
Derrick Henry, RB
The Titans could afford to take a luxury with three selections in the second round, so this isn't the worst decision. However, I'm not a big fan of it. Alabama running backs have a dubious history in the NFL, as Nick Saban constantly runs them into the ground. Teams were concerned about Henry for that reason, and I thought it was possible that he would drop to the end of the second frame. I would've preferred the Titans to fill a big need in their secondary rather than select someone who will just play behind DeMarco Murray - though it is nice that they'll have insurance behind such an injury-prone runner.