Mock Draft Monday: 7 Round Pre-Free Agency Titans Mock

Welcome to our fourth Mock Draft Monday installament here at Broadway Sports (check out the first, second, and third if you missed them). With free agency set to start Wednesday and the legal tampering period already well underway, I figured this would be a good time to look at the current state of the Titans roster.

The roster has voids everywhere, and with this team in a Super Bowl window, they need to add players throughout this draft that can help contribute to the success of this team early on. Whether they contribute as starters, role players, or even just on special teams, the Titans need to nail this draft (as well as free agency).

I am going to be using the mock draft machine over at TheDraftNetwork.com. If a trade pops up, you will see below. I am also going to do something a little different and show the top three players that were on the board at the time I made the pick, so you can let me know if you agree or disagree with my selection.

So let’s get this started…

*TRADE* Round 1, Pick 28: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

*Trade Details: Tennessee Titans trade pick #22 to the New Orleans Saints for Pick #1.28 and Pick #3.98

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board:
  • Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
  • Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
  • Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

The Titans under Jon Robinson always seem to want to trade back, and in this scenario, they were able to grab an extra 3rd round pick and still get a high-end EDGE player.

I know, another Georgia player in the first round… However, scout the player, not the helmet. Maybe in the Titans case, they should scout the player better.

Azeez Ojulari, to me, is the safest EDGE pick in this draft. He can play all three downs for the Titans and can be used a chess piece for this defense that wants to have front multiplicity.

Ojulari led the University of Georgia defense in sacks and pressures in back-to-back years. He also amassed 12.5 tackles for loss in just 10 games. He’s very violent against the run and can set the edge well.

You could also make the case that he has the best cornering ability in this entire draft class. He can get really low. His football IQ and awareness is probably tops in this class as well. He does a good job with attacking offensive tackles in a timely manner and with a game plan, and keeps them off-balance.

He lacks the desired length you want from an EDGE rusher, but he has an explosive first step and has some good strength to swat down punches.

At this stage of the game you’re looking for someone who can come in Day 1 and contribute, and Ojulari is that guy.

Round 2, Pick 53: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Jay Tufele, DL, USC
  • Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
  • D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

This one will possibly have people in an uproar. I surprised even myself with this pick. Why pick an OT in the 2nd round that may not even start? Alex Leatherwood is that good.

I was tempted to go with Elijah Molden here with this pick, but for Leatherwood to fall this far in the draft is a godsend for the Titans who need to get younger on the offensive line.

Some people are saying Leatherwood projects more as a guard, and while he’s had some experience there, Leatherwood is the Titans’ right tackle of the future. I am not a big fan of now spending valuable draft capital on OL, but the value is there.

He’s a very fluid player in his pass sets, and is super violent in finishing his blocks, maybe a little too much on some plays. In the 2019 season he didn’t allow a single sack at left tackle. In 2020, he allowed three.

There is some risk with drafting Leatherwood, he does much better work in tight spaces, rather than out in space. While he is super athletic, he tends to rush to his blocks when it comes to outside zone blocking, and sometimes causes unnecessary troubles for his running back.

However, he’s athletic enough and with a high level of explosiveness, I have faith that Keith Carter can get the most out of him and get him ready to anchor that right side of the line when his name is called on Sundays.

Round 3, Pick 86: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top-3 Players on the board
  • Alim McNeil, DL, NC State
  • Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
  • Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

As I was in the middle of writing this, news broke from Dianna Russini that neither Corey Davis nor Jonnu Smith are expected to be back with the Titans. So how appropriate that our Round 2 gamble paid off and we are able to get D’Wayne Eskridge in the third.

Eskridge is of course from the same school as the aforementioned Davis. Let this be clear though, he is not a CD84 replacement. At 5’9″, Eskridge would be mainly a slot guy, but man he is going to be so good at the next level.

Some may not know this, but Eskridge used to play defensive back before transitioning to wide receiver. I really like the idea of that because that kind of knowledge is so valuable.

Eskridge was on Bruce Feldman’s “freak list” due in part to running a 4.33 forty. Not only that, but the dude can bench 350-pounds, handle a 505- pound squat, and has a 37.5 inch vertical.

The Titans have desperately needed more speed on offense, and this kid is blazing fast and super slippery at the line of scrimmage. Over the last two seasons, he’s averaged over 20 yards per catch.

This guy will block the ever living daylights out of whomever he is lined across from. That is important to what this team wants to do. It also speaks to his competitive nature.

There are some issues. He basically had it easy at the college level and could run straight by opposing defenders. And while he has corrected it some over the years, there were drop issues when he first transitioned to the wide receiver position. He also is already 24-years old, and that is pretty old for a rookie in the big scheme of things.

Ultimately, he will be a third wide receiver in the NFL with the upside to be a WR2. He can also be used a special teams returner as well.

Round 3, Pick 98*: Alim McNeill, DL, NC State

*Trade Details: Acquired from New Orleans for Pick #1.22

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
  • Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU
  • Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU

The Titans get younger on the DL. With DaQuan Jones set to become a free agent, like most Titans players it feels, he leaves behind a massive hole on the defensive line.

While Jones excelled as a run stuffer, he provided very little in the ways of pushing the pocket and creating pressure. Alim McNeill is basically that guy, but with pass rush upside.

McNeill projects as a 3-4 nose tackle, but he does have the necessary skills to develop as a pass rusher, and the Titans would have to bring that out of him sooner rather than later. He also shows the ability to learn and develop in a short amount of time.

Case in point, McNeil was much better at holding his owns when it came to double teams in 2020 compared to his 2019 season. He was still able to move the pocket on most players. He has some of the best explosiveness I have seen from a 320-pounder.

I think putting him on the line with Jeffery Simmons will create match up problems because of how explosive both of those guys are at the whistle and the strength they play with.

Round 3, Pick 100: Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh
  • Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
  • Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU

Cornerback is still a massive hole, but I have my eye on a guy in the later rounds. Same thing with tight end. So here I decided to double down on the EDGE position, and I am choosing Rashad Weaver.

Weaver collected 34 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks in nine games in 2020, and he is a lengthy and powerful rusher. He may not project as a true 3-4 OLB as well as maybe a hand in the dirt 5-technique, but that’s okay, the Titans need guys who can rush the passer.

He has a pretty good toolbox of pass rush moves and is also an above average run defender who can use his length to set the edge.

One of the problems with Weaver is his lack of speed, both physically and mentally. While that can be an issue, he’d be serving as a compliment to the already speedy Landry and Ojulari in this scenario.

He is one of the more polished edge prospects in the class as his technique is super consistent. He can be a quick contributor to this defense and line up either with his hands in the dirt on obvious passing situations, or on the edge for early downs.

Round 4, Pick 127: Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
  • Robert Hainsey, OL, Notre Dame
  • Ben Cleveland, OG, Georgia

Cornerback, come on down! This may be a slight reach, depending on who you ask, but I love the fit of Ambry Thomas on this defense.

This defense had a cornerback shortage last year, and everything we’ve heard from the staff is that the available players didn’t allow them to play the style that they wanted.

This team wants to play man coverage and be physical off the line, and Thomas helps them do that from the Nickel position. This would hopefully allow Kristian Fulton to kick outside.

Thomas opted out of the 2020 season, so he is a year removed from playing competitive football; one would hope he has maintained his football playing shape throughout the year.

However, when he last played, he was most effective in press man coverage. He did a lot of dirty work at the line, by getting physical with wide receivers in their initial route stem to disrupt their timing with the quarterback.

In his career at Michigan, he only allowed one touchdown. That is pretty remarkable considering the Ohio State receivers he’s faced.

While he is one of the faster corners in the draft, he often doesn’t play up to that speed on the field. However, with as physical he is in the slot, that may not be an issue.

He only missed 4 tackles in his entire career as a defender, and on top of that, he has never allowed more than 72 yards into his coverage in a game. You will still need to grab either another cornerback later in the draft or in free agency, but Thomas could develop quickly into an A.J. Bouye type of slot corner with the right coaching.

Round 5, Pick 167: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Bryce Thompson, CB, University of Tennessee
  • Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia
  • Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri

This is a Pro Powell website. I also get the sense the Titans are a Pro Powell team. They’ve now been to the Clemson campus twice, once for Trevor Lawrence’s throwing day and again for the actual Clemson pro day. They’re probably not their to see Lawrence.

When Lawrence was throwing a few weeks ago, he was only throwing to Cornell Powell, and when it was reported the Titans were there, that piqued my interest. In my research, I found that this guy is everything that Titans say they’re about. Look no further than this interview below:

This guy is a hard worker, and he is rising up draft boards fast. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he rises all the way into the third round by April.

After years of being buried on the depth chart in Clemson, he burst onto the scene grabbing 53 receptions for 882 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020. Powell’s biggest plus is his physical strength. He has elite body control, and attacks the ball at the catch point with ease.

He also has a strong route package and can get some separation from defensive backs down the field using a little physical pushing. That pushing sounds like a former Clemson WR the Titans know all too well in DeAndre Hopkins.

A drawback for him is going to be his age. Much like Eskridge, Powell is an older wide receiver who is already 23.

He is the total package when it comes to wide receivers. He has strength, strong routes, reliable hands, and he can get you some yards after the catch. He can step right in more than likely and be the WR2 on this team if need be.

Round 6, Pick 185: Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Reed Blankenship, S, MTSU
  • Shaka Toney, DE, Penn State
  • Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas

I gambled on the Cornell Powell pick hoping that Tre’ McKitty, the tight end out of Georgia, would be here at this pick. He was not, and the Titans are probably going to have to rely on Kyle Rudolph, MyCole Pruitt, and Anthony Firkser to fill that void.

Shakur Brown is another defensive back for our rotation who excels in press coverage, this time though he is more of a perimeter guy. Shakur Brown has a pro comp of Jaylon Johnson for what its worth.

That aside, his greatest asset is his ability to track the ball. In fact, he often did it better than the wide receivers he was covering. You are going to be in a battle with Brown every time you line up against him.

He is as physical as they come, and he will probably go much higher than most “mocks” currently have him, because he is every bit a third round talent.

The biggest reason for him being here in the sixth is more than likely the limited amount of starts he has under his belt. He only has 12 starts in his career which is less than a full NFL season, but ultimately that won’t matter.

Brown will be one of those players people will be asking about in a few years wondering why he dropped and how everyone missed the mark on this guy.

Round 6, Pick 215: Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
  • Aashari Crosswell, S, Arizona State
  • Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke

Very tempted to have gone Chris Rumph, because I love his tape and we need pass rush for days, but hopefully we have done enough in this mock draft and in free agency that the Titans don’t need him.

Tennessee does need a tight end, and while he is not an exceptional athlete, Tony Poljan is a throw back tight end who has size and exceptional hands. Poljan is 6-7 weighing in at 265 pounds. He has massive arm length and his catch radius is ridiculous.

What’s great about his size is that he actually knows how to use it to win and catch off-target throws. He also extends and catches with his hands and isn’t a body catcher. Additionally, he has the ideal size and technique to be a very good inline blocker.

He has some upside, but like I said earlier, he is not an exceptional athlete. He also just recently transitioned to the position of tight end after being a college quarterback for Central Michigan.

He has some fumbling issues, which comes with the lack of experience catching the ball.

Poljan could develop into a starting tight end one day, but he definitely will be good enough to fill a team’s second tight end role.

Round 7, Pick 256: Riley Cole, LB, South Alabama

Biggest Needs: EDGE, WR, CB, DL, OT, LB, TE, S

Top 3 Players on the board
  • Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
  • Manny Rugamba, CB, Miami (OH)
  • Josh Palmer, WR, University of Tennessee

Let’s use our 7th Round pick on a linebacker with NFL speed but who lacks ideal play size. Kind of sounds like Jayon Brown.

Look, this is a dart throw of a pick. The other player I considered here is Jamar Johnson, the safety out of Indiana. However, I love the elite athleticism that Riley Cole brings, and we have seen the one thing this defensive staff can do is bring out the best in undersized linebackers with athletic traits.

I wouldn’t expect much out of this pick no matter who it is, but you can at least use Riley Cole to push the back end of the depth at linebacker and maybe even see him used as a special teams ace.

Ultimately, in the 7th round that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

So what do you think, Titans fans? Does this mock draft do enough to keep the Super Bowl window open? Leave your comments below!

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