Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Tennessee Titans enter the upcoming NFL draft having to address multiple needs. News 2’s Kayla Anderson spoke with The Athletic’s NFL Draft Analyst Dane Brugler this week to get his thoughts on what the Titans might do next week.
“Tennessee, after last year, needs to hit on these players, especially when you talk about the strength of this draft being those positions that they could potentially be looking at,” said Brugler.
The Titans were let down by last year’s first round pick, Isaiah Wilson, so getting it right this year is crucial. Brugler feels Titans’ general manger Jon Robinson could be looking to improve the defensive line by adding a player like Alabama’s Christian Barmore, with their 22nd pick.
“If you add in Christian Barmore to be part of this rotation, that’s big. Watching him down the stretch for Alabama, this is a player who does not like to stay blocked. When he has that explosiveness at that size, with that power and still a young guy, he’s at least in consideration,” added Brugler.
But there is still a chance Robinson goes offense in round one, and with the recent departure of Corey Davis, Brugler isn’t counting out the Titans taking a wide receiver. If Elijah Moore is there, it might be hard for the Titans to not take him.
“It’s not going to take much to talk yourself into taking Moore. They force fed him the ball there at Ole Miss, in Lane Kiffin’s offense,” said Brulgler. “He responded in a big way, leading the FBS in catches per game. They lined him up all over the formation- inside, outside and in the backfield. There’s so much to like about what he brings to an offense, and the fact you can use him in so many different ways.”
With a down year on the defensive side of the ball, Brugler believes the Titans will try and address the EDGE position in the second round, focusing on a pass-rusher like Joseph Ossai out of Texas.
“He’s still learning the pass-rush position, he was more of an off-ball player as a sophomore. He’s a big guy, who can run. He tested really well, has that first step, and I think what you love most Ossai is the motor. He does not quit pursing the football. If you can get him outside the top 50 picks, love the value,” said Brugler.
The Titans will have two third round picks in this year’s draft, and Brugler said that’s huge, considering there will still be plenty of talent available at the offensive tackle, cornerback and wide receiver positions.
Brugler added, “They could use more cornerback help and if they wanted to wait until the third round they could do that and land a player like Paulson Adebo out of Stanford or Aaron Robinson out of UCF. There is a lot of quality at that position that will stretch.”
And while it might not be a ‘fan favorite’ move to draft a kicker, the Titans’ need to find consistency at that position long term. Brugler said if there is a good one available in the later rounds, they should go for it.
“If you feel strongly in a kicker, than throw that dart and see what happens,” he said.
Brugler likes the Titans taking Florida place kicker Evan McPherson in the sixth round.
“He is 5’11, 185 pounds and has a pretty big leg. Most importantly he was accurate, setting an SEC record for career accuracy. He had the most 50 plus yard field goals in Florida history this past season. I think special teams coaches will really like McPherson,” said Brugler.
With nine picks for the Titans, Brugler reiterated how important it will be for the Titans to hit big in the upcoming draft, but with lack of in-person workouts and interviews, Robinson might not be willing to take many chances.
“With all the restrictions in the draft process, we might see the Titans be a little more conservative with the type of player they pick. It will be interesting to see how last year affects the Titans drafting moving forward. At the end of the day it’s all about getting the right players,” said Brugler.