Three ways the Titans could ruin their 2021 draft plans

As a football fan, you’ll usually find yourself imagining the many different scenarios that could play out for your favorite team on draft night.

They could find a new franchise quarterback for you to root for. They could select a new bookend left tackle for you to praise and argue in favor of on Twitter with someone you’ll never meet in your life. You could even see your favorite franchise draft a wide receiver that you’ll probably pencil in as a top five wide receiver a few years down the line just because of your extreme bias.

Regardless of the actions you take if your team does a good thing on draft night, the endpoint is that your franchise did something they were “supposed” to do.

But the world isn’t all fairy tales and rainbows, as evidenced by the plethora of draft night mishaps we’ve seen occur so often during this time of year. There’s always the chance a team completely blows it or overthinks a scenario so bad they confuse newfound logic with the actual feeling of panic.

So with the local Tennessee Titans facing a massive few days this upcoming week and weekend, I wanted to see what the team could do to screw up their plan towards filling roster holes at important positions, but trying to stay ultra competitive at the same time.

You might call me negative or maybe even a troll, but the idea of a team shooting itself in the foot always remains a possibility during the draft, so it can’t simply be ignored.

1. They could fail to address the drought known as wide receiver depth

This specific “headline” is tied to mostly the first two rounds of the draft.

Boot up your phone, laptop, desktop, tablet, whatever device you use to travel across the internet and type in “Titans depth chart” in the search bar. You can go to any site you want, it doesn’t matter at all. Once you settle on a site, make your way to where the wide receivers are located.

You see A.J. Brown and Josh Reynolds’ names as the top two receivers in the pecking order for right now. But take a look behind those two names and tell me what you see?

Names like Cameron Batson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Marcus Johnson, and even the likes of Chester Rogers right?

Now sit there and take a moment to think to yourself, let’s call it a little reflecting session. You’re a good football team that’s lost a consistent WR2, an injury prone but highly talented slot specialist, and a WR4 that didn’t make an impact but still counts as depth when it’s all set and done.

Not only that, your offense is coming off a record setting year and needs talent in place to continue the success that was seen in the previous years.

With all of the above information, ask yourself one final question. Do you really believe Cameron Batson can give you consistency as a slot guy? How about Nick Westbrook-Ikhine?

Your answer should be a big fat and resounding, “No.”

TreJean’s Preliminary Titans WR Depth Chart
A.J. Brown
Josh Reynolds
Cameron Batson?
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine?
Marcus Johnson?
Chester Rogers

Look at that and tell me honestly if you want your wide receiver depth chart to look like that.

Draft a first-round receiver. Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, it doesn’t matter who it is as long as it’s a guy that can step in and give you immediate contributions.

Corner? Right tackle? Don’t even think about it.

Just get yourself a shiny, new, first-round rookie wideout to add to your wounded offense.

2. They could fall in love with beef at 22

Big people don’t generally receive a lot of attention in this world. (Well, unless said big people are politicians, entrepreneurs, high-profile businessmen and women, TV anchors, popular journalists, or some other occupation that might draw a lot of attention.)

But the one occupation or activity that big people receive the most love and attention in is sports, and more specifically, the beautiful game known as football.

There’s nothing like seeing a big offensive or defensive lineman do the gritty work in the trenches and look absolutely fantastic while doing it. However, nothing can compare to when those same big guys step into the realm of skinny, slim, and quick, and become the star of the hour when they catch a touchdown pass or use their size to plow over defensive fronts en-route to a short yardage touchdown run.

Sit there with a straight face and tell me I’m wrong… you can’t right?

Obviously!

Who doesn’t like a big man stealing the show?

Okay, TreJean, what’s with the 12 lines full of support for offensive and and defensive linemen across the globe? I’m glad you asked, because the Tennessee Titans are looking at a potential scenario where they could embrace the big man philosophy and welcome an offensive tackle as their 2021 first-round pick.

But I’m here to say they shouldn’t do that. Yes, a driver of the big man support group is telling a football team to not select a road paver of a lineman at 22 overall. There’s a couple of reasons for my sudden traitor-like behavior towards linemen, one of which can be read here.

To keep it short and not waste any more of your time, I’ll summarize the consequences of taking a tackle at 22. If you take one at 22, you’ll run the risk of failing to add valuable first round talent to your wide receiver room. You obviously don’t want to do that when the offense needs competent replacements at valuable depth spots.

Indulging in beef is good, but only at times when it makes sense to do so.

3. They could ignore the cornerback-sized elephant in the room

Malcom Butler… gone.

Adoree Jackson… gone.

Desmond King… gone.

Two starters in the Titans’ secondary for the last 4 years plus last year’s primary slot corner have now been subtracted from this evolving secondary equation. To replace those players, it’s believed the team will roll with an in-house approach for one of those spots with Kristian Fulton being the man for the job. For the other spots, free agent newcomers Janoris Jenkins and Kevin Johnson will likely be in line to complete the corner group makeover.

But with today’s NFL forcing defenses to run out their nickel and dime packages at an increased rate, you need more talent than ever at the corner position to survive in this new aerial age of offensive football.

Right now, the projected nickel corner for the Titans in none other than Johnson, a corner who’s failed to stay healthy for the most part of his career and hard to watch on the field when he’s healthy.

That’s a big red flag, buddy.

I assume the team won’t just sit on their hands and use the dead wood known as Kevin Johnson for fuel on the open field fire. In fact, they can’t do that, it’ll be like conceding defeat before the battle has even begun. But Mike Vrabel’s coaching staff may like the veteran presence Jenkins and Johnson bring, along with the potential they clearly saw in Fulton last year. They may feel fine with that group in the secondary, which would be a huge mistake.

This is an obvious notion and statement that’s been thrown around all off-season, but I’ll repeat it again: draft a corner early. It’s as simple as that.

You simply don’t want to be in a situation where Johnson is your starting nickel.

Comments

  1. A big man to help with the pass rush could help the secondary a lot. It could take time for Bud Dupree to come back from his injury. I wouldn’t mind a guy like Barmore in the first and then receiver, cornerback, and tight end with the next three picks in the top 100

    1. Oh 100%. But lots of more dialed in draft guys have said that this interior defensive line class is poor, and even reaching for Barmore at 22 seems like a mistake. However I can understand your reasoning though. You’re dead right about tight end though.

  2. So we should take a receiver in the 1st even if it’s a reach?

    That’s the kind of thinking that got us Isaiah Wilson.

    I won’t be at all surprised if we trade down from 1st pick or give up a few late rounders to get back in the 2nd/3rd round, there’s a lot of fallers this year due to opt outs

    1. I’m not saying that at all. Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman, those are two premium wideout options at 22 that personally I wouldn’t pass up. I’m speaking on a basis of being realistic that’s all.

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