Now that the Combine is in the rear-view mirror people are starting to speculate about who the Titans will take with the first pick in the draft. Everyone seems to have an opinion about who Roger Goodell will announce when new GM Jon Robinson turns in the pick. Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil has emerged as the favorite while Florida State corner Jalen Ramsey has emerged as a darkhorse.
Ideally, Tennessee would trade back since they have so many holes on offense and defense but assuming they stay put at #1 here are five guys that are getting a lot of buzz who won’t be going first in the draft.
1. Carson Wentz
Wentz emerged from the Senior Bowl and the Combine as the #1 quarterback on the board. However, the Titans don’t need a QB. Last year by picking Marcus Mariota at #2 Tennessee has made a commitment to the former Heisman Trophy winner and he will be the starting quarterback for the future. Mariota put up decent numbers and showed flashes of being a star in the league. With him under center the Titans won’t be picking Wentz or Paxton Lynch, Jared Goff or any other QB with the first pick this year.
2. DeForest Buckner
Buckner is widely considered a top ten pick in the draft this year but the Titans aren’t in the running for his services. Even though Buckner would fit great into Dick Lebeau’s 3-4 scheme he just so happens to be playing the same position as the teams’ best player, Jurrell Casey. Tennessee has other needs such as offensive line, corner and running back. It doesn’t make sense to waste a high pick on a position you don’t need.
3. Joey Bosa
Depending on which mock draft you look at Bosa is the top prospect in this year’s draft. He’s a great pass rusher and will upgrade any team’s defense instantly. The problem is that the former Buckeye played in a 4-3 at Ohio State and Tennessee runs a 3-4. It’s very possible that he could pick it up and adjust easily but after the team invested in Brian Orakpo last year another pass rusher isn’t a position of need considering how bad the secondary and offensive line. Bosa’s name will be linked to the Titans for another month and if Jon Robinson is smart he will keep blowing smoke to try to entice a team to trade up.
4. Ezekiel Elliott
Going into the Combine Ezekiel Elliott was clearly the best running back on the board. Derrick Henry has risen and could have made his way into the first round with his performance in Indy. The problem with running backs is that you can find them in later rounds. Unless you are Adrian Peterson or Todd Gurley it’s hard to justify taking a running back in the first round. The fifth leading rusher in the NFL last season, Chris Ivory was an undrafted free agent. The sixth leading rusher, Latavius Murray was picked up in the sixth round. #7 in rushing in 2015 was Devonta Freeman. He went in the fourth round. Tennessee will grab a running back on day two or three in the draft. It’s a need but with other holes they have to prioritize and fix the offensive line and find a cornerback or safety first.