By John Glennon
One of the few downsides to a consistent winning football team is that it makes landing highly coveted prospects in the draft more challenging.
It’s much easier for a team to forecast which players might be available to them – and much easier to draft them – when that team picks early in the first round, as opposed to later.
The Titans, for instance, have only once in the past four years picked in the top half of the draft’s first round. They chose wide receiver Corey Davis at number five overall in 2017, along with cornerback Adoree Jackson at No. 18. Linebacker Rashaan Evans was the 22nd overall pick in 2018, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons No. 19 in 2019 and, yes, tackle Isaiah Wilson 29th in 2020.
Barring a trade to move up, the back-half trend of the first round will continue later this month, as the Titans are scheduled to pick 22nd overall in the 2021 draft.
Who will be available to them after 21 other players are picked? Which position will the Titans choose to fill?
Those are the questions Titans fans have been asking themselves since the end of the regular season, which is why mock drafts become objects of endless intrigue.
Just for the absolute joy involved, I slogged my way through 15 reputable mock drafts over the past couple of days, to see which highly ranked players were most commonly still undrafted at the Titans’ No. 22 spot.
Here’s a look at the best prospects that regularly appeared available at four of the Titans’ positions of need — cornerback, wide receiver, edge rusher and offensive tackle.
Which would you draft for the Titans if he was still on the board, or would you go in another direction entirely?
Why the need: The Titans not only released starting cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson during the offseason, but also parted ways with Desmond King, who averaged about 50 snaps in his nine games with the team. So at present, the Titans’ top three corners are newly signed free agent Janoris Jenkins, unproven Kristian Fulton (six games as a rookie ) and Kevin Johnson (eight starts over the past three seasons).
Best player regularly available for Titans, per 15 mock drafts: Greg Newsome, Northwestern (available at pick No. 22 in 12 of 15 mocks).