Now that the dust has settled and we know who every team has selected in the draft it’s time for the annual grades of each team. The Titans came into the draft needing help at offensive tackle, cornerback, safety and receiver.
Lets review the picks,
Round 1 Michigan State OT Jack Conklin #8
Round 2 Clemson LB Kevin Dodd #33
Round 2 Penn State Austin Johnson #43
Round 2 Alabama RB Derrick Henry #45
Round 3 MTSU DB Kevin Byard #64 overall
Round 5 UMass WR Tajae Sharpe #140
Round 5 Southern Utah CB LeShaun Sims #157
Round 6 Arkansas G Sebastian Tretola #193
Round 7 UCLA LB Aaron Wallace #222
Round 7 Southern Miss CB Kalan Reed #253
The Titans traded up to get Conklin at #8 giving up a second round next year and a third round selection this year to jump seven spots to get the Spartan tackle. Tennessee had to address the problems on the line but I think they overvalued him when they could’ve had Taylor Decker from Ohio State or even addressed receiver with Laquon Treadwell or a cornerback.
In round two they went with defense and are clearly looking to the future with Johnson and Dodd. I like the Dodd pick but I would’ve gone with Alabama DT AShawn Robinson who was still available. The Titans hit a home run with Derrick Henry. The Heisman winner will give Tennessee a 1-2 punch and is the future at running back for the team.
Sitting at the top of round three the Titans opted to go with local kid Kevin Byard from MTSU. Byard did well against Conference USA opponents but I think they reached for him and should’ve went after a playmaker at receiver like Braxton Miller or Pharoh Cooper who had yet to come off the board.
In round 5 Tennessee went after receiver Tajae Sharpe from UMass, who like Byard who had a decent career at a smaller school. Southern Utah corner LeShaun Sims is a burner who has good speed but didn’t face top level competition. Jon Robinson must’ve liked him because he traded up to get him and gave up a sixth round pick next year.
Sebastian Tretola in round 6 is one of those nasty linemen from Arkansas who made Alex Collins look so good last year. If he can stick he will add some depth to the line.
In round 7 the Titans went defense with UCLA LB Aaron Wallace and Southern Miss CB Kalan Reed. Reed was projected to be a fifth or sixth round pick so I’m ok with that pick. He will have the opportunity to make the roster due to thin corps or cornerbacks on the roster. Wallace is a head scratcher and a luxury pick. With Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan and now Kevin Dodd on the team they added Wallace who battled injuries at UCLA. I would’ve gone for Temple LB Tyler Matakevich who is a tackling machine and very under-valued.
The Titans drafted a lot of talent. I am a big proponent of the Dodd and Henry selections and give them A+ for both players. They reached for Conklin and Byard though and drafted the wrong DT with Johnson from Penn State. Tretola could be a big contributor and add some depth to the offensive line this season. With all that taken into consideration I give Jon Robinson a B-.