The draft is going to be here before you know it. We have three Monday’s before the draft and I wanted to do something different with the whole Mock Draft Monday schtick.
Most people who have a problem with mock drafts is that they feel these types of articles are inaccurate and fruitless. While there is no one in the media that has released a perfect mock draft in the last five years, there are some people that get a lot of their mocks right.
There is also other types of information that are worth your time as a fan to stay informed with the draft prospects themselves, but also what the NFL draft rumors are that circle the internet this time of year.
So this week, I wanted to compile a list of accurate mock drafters, the best prospect draft guides, and the best goto’s for the rumor mills. Today we will start with the most accurate mock drafters.
The Best Mock Drafters
TheHuddlereport.com is doing the Lord’s work by grading analysts’ final mock drafts compared to how the first round actually goes. Analysts will get 1 point for every player they correctly predict goes in the first round, regardless of team or when they’re drafted. If an analysts matches the right player with the correct team they get 2 points.
This is about as close to a perfect grading system as you can get, because no one can predict trades which cause teams to move up and down the draft board. They have done this for 10 years as far as I can tell.
Brendan Donahue, analyst at Sharp Football Analysis, has the highest rolling five-year average in scoring. Josh Norris, analyst at Underdog Network, was the 2021 champion. He matched 8 players to the correct team, while correctly mocking the right 27 players in the 1st round in last year’s draft. There’s also been only one two-time champion and that is Ben Standing of TheAthletic.com.
What I like about looking at these analysts mocks, is that generally they get the top of the draft closer to what it is, which directly affects what teams later in the round generally have available. So let’s take a look at the mock drafts currently available that the top three from 2021, and the top three with the best rolling five year average, and see who they have Titans taking in the draft.
Top-3 From 2021
Josh Norris: Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa (4.6.22)
Still on the Board: All quarterbacks not named Malik Willis
My Take: Tyler Linderbaum is arguably the best center prospect of the last 6 years. The most common pro comp is that he is Jason Kelce. The only issue I have with the Titans taking him, is that does this really help the offensive line? He’s under 300-lbs and I am not sure that a guy who was a defensive lineman, who switched to Center, and has never played the guard position, can be asked to start or compete at left guard. While this sets you up nicely for the future, how does it help in year one?
Do you pull a Radunz and have him learn a position he’s not accustomed to? How much weight can he add between now and the start of the season? It’s a pick for the future, not for now, and the Titans need OL help now. I would much rather they spend a 4th Round pick or later on a guy like Dylan Parham who has extensive experience at guard, but is projected at a center, than spending that 1st rounder on Linderbaum. I think the Titans would take one of the quarterbacks that fell to 26 before they take Linderbaum.
Xavier Cromartie: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa (4.6.22)
Still on the Board: Zion Johnson, Jameson Williams, Desmond Ridder, & Sam Howell
My Take: This would be an absolutely stunning pick with the players listed above still on the board. I think Jon Robinson would be sprinting up to the podium to draft Jameson Williams unless someone has offered a massive haul to trade up for Williams or one of the quarterbacks.
The draft board falling this way is a perfect scenario, but the draft pick is the worst scenario. I am not as down as Tyler Smith as others, because I think you have to have faith in Keith Carter fixing the pass pro issues, but this would be the third year of the Titans taking a project right tackle with one of their higher round picks. I think it would either be Williams or Zion Johnson here, and Williams had better be the pick.
Trevor Sikkema: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa (3.18.22)
Still on the Board: Zion Johnson, & every quarterback not name Malik Willis
My Take: You can see most of my thoughts on Tyler Smith above. He’s coachable, and sometimes you just need faith in the position coach. However, I think this is a spot, much like the scenarios above, where the Titans skip on Smith to draft either a quarterback they believe in at 26, or they go with arguably one of the best guards in this class that also matches a position of need in Zion Johnson. My gut their board would fall in this instance as Ridder, Zion, Howell.
Top-3, rolling 5-year average
Brendan Donahue: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College (4.11.22)
Still on the Board: Kenyon Green & Desmond Ridder
My Take: This pick comes down to just personal preference. Are the Titans planning on protecting their veteran quarterback in 2022, or drafting his eventual replacement. This one is truly tough. The case can be made for any of the three players. Johnson is a massive guy who moves with great speed, but Kenyon green is absolutely more athletic than him.
I have written and talked extensively about the quarterbacks in this class, and how the Titans would be wise to invest in the position sooner rather than later, but I have watched two additional games of Desmond Ridder, and his projection at the next level has become even murkier. I think the Titans end up taking Guard because of the massive question mark currently on their depth chart.
Brian Philpot: Jameson Williams WR, Alabama (3.27.22)
Still on the Board: Desmond Ridder
My Take: We did it! All the guards were off the board, and three quarterbacks, including Matt Corral, went off the board. While I am sure there will be some discussions about Desmond Ridder vs Jameson Williams, this is one of those scenarios where you take the impact guy to pair with AJ Brown.
This is a build around Brown kind of move, and its the right scenario, because a rookie quarterback drafted in 2023 would have a very easy time stepping in year one (if the Titans chose this route) with Brown, Williams, and Woods as his three wide receivers.
Ryan McCrystal: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa (4.11.22), Travis Jones, DT, UCONN (3.28.22)
Still on the Board (4.11.22): Desmond Ridder, Kenyon Green, Jordan Davis
Still on the Board (3.28.22): Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Christian Watson, Jahan Dotson
My Take: I am including his last two, because we have already talked about Tyler Smith multiple times. I will say that Kenyon Green would be the pick here at 26 in the April scenario.
As far as the March scenario, I would be utterly shocked if the Titans passed on a quarterback. However, this pick is not as crazy as what people would make it out to be. All the wide receivers are gone, and so are the viable offensive linemen. Then maybe they don’t believe in the quarterback, so they go best player available. Travis Jones & Jeffery Simmons, with Denico Autry moved around as a chess piece, would make an already formidable front that much better. This also says that the Titans want to maximize their investments at EDGE.
Adding another space eater that has developed pass rush moves over his college career next to Simmons, allows Dupree and Landry to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. Sometimes the best offense is a great defense, and the Titans are looking around the AFC and have decided to figure out the best way to disrupt those best laid plans by the rest of the AFC.
My 1st Round Mock Draft v1.0
|7||Giants||Jermaine Johnson||EDGE||Florida St.|
|8||Falcons||Garrett Wilson||WR||Ohio State|
|9||Seahawks||Ikem Ekwonu||OT||NC State|
|11||Commanders||Kyle Hamilton||S||Notre Dame|
|12||Vikings||Derek Stingley Jr.||CB||LSU|
|13||Texans||Charles Cross||OT||Miss. State|
|15||Eagles||Andrew Booth Jr.||CB||Clemson|
|17||Chargers||Trevor Penning||OT||N. Iowa|
|22||Packers||Chris Olave||WR||Ohio State|
|23||Cardinals||Kenyon green||IOL||Texas A&M|
|27||Buccaneers||Zion Johnson||IOL||Boston College|
|30||Chiefs||Jahan Dotson||WR||Penn State|