Free-agency moves change priorities for Titans Mini-Mock Draft 2.0

By John Glennon

It all seemed so obvious two months ago.

Desperate to do a better job attacking quarterbacks after posting a meager 19 sacks last season, the Titans’ biggest draft priority clearly appeared to be edge rusher at the time. That’s why I mocked Michigan’s Kwity Paye to them in the first round, giving the team a monstrous edge rusher who was big enough to be effective against the run as well.

But just as is always the case, free agency has a way of changing draft plans.

The Titans invested heavily in former Pittsburgh edge rusher Bud Dupree earlier this month, figuring Dupree’s high motor – not to mention his 19.5 sacks, 32 quarterback hits and 24 tackles for loss over the past two seasons – would be a huge benefit to the pass rush.

That doesn’t mean the Titans should ignore the edge rusher position in next month’s NFL Draft, as the team is paper thin on experience behind Dupree and Harold Landry. But having two bona fide starters on the outside at least takes edge rusher off the Titans’ top priority list, pushing it down a notch or two.

The Titans’ top two draft priorities at this point would appear to be cornerback and wide receiver, two more positions that look much different following free agency. At cornerback, the Titans released their top two corners from last season – Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler – while adding Janoris Jenkins and Kevin Johnson. At receiver, the Titans parted ways with Corey Davis and Adam Humphries, adding Josh Reynolds.

It’s with all those moves in mind that I put together a mini-Mock Draft 2.0, predicting which players the Titans will select in the first three rounds, with picks No. 22 (first round), 53 (second round), 85 (third round) and 100 (compensatory third round).

So without further ado, here are the picks:

Pick: First round (22nd overall)

Player: Jaycee Horn

School: South Carolina

Position: Cornerback

Ht., wt.: 6-1, 205

2020 stats: In seven games last season, Horn posted 16 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defensed. He opted out of South Carolina’s final three games after coach Will Muschamp was fired.

Why the pick: One could make a good case for going with a wide receiver at this position as well. But at wide receiver, the Titans have at least one young, high-quality starter in A.J. Brown. At cornerback, they have one experienced cornerback in Jenkins and one young talent with unrealized potential in Kristian Fulton. It remains to be seen if Fulton will live up to his second-round selection last year. With that in mind – and also knowing one can never have enough talented corners – I’ll boost that position before looking anywhere else.

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Comments

  1. I like this mock draft very much and would be very happy if this works out. It covers the four top needs and in the order I would draft for those needs.

    After the show that Elijah Moore put on at his Pro Day, I’m hoping he is still there at pick 53. Speed kills! And, to JRob’s point about speedy receivers, he can actually catch the ball and do something with it after the catch.

    1. Thanks, James … Yeah, Elijah may well end up going before 53. But I’ve seen a number of mocks that have him going later, even into the third round. I think he’d be a great add here — a slot presence and a vertical threat.

    1. Thx, Nate. I like that “A.” … We’ll have to see if Horn, Moore, will be available at those spots. They definitely appear to be “risers” as we get closer to the draft.

  2. Love this draft. Then if they could somehow get a better IDL to take Tarts place after these four that would be incredible. Maybe a backup IOL and OT and backup QB in the later rounds.

    1. Yeah, think DL is a big need as well, could even see that being one of top three rounds. Have to replace that beef in the middle if Jones isn’t returning.

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