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Team needs: Tennessee Titans

Mike Munchak AP

A year ago the Titans pulled off one of the big surprises of the NFL draft by taking quarterback Jake Locker eighth overall. There’s not much they could do with the 20th pick in this year’s first round that would be as shocking, but it would be a surprise if they don’t bolster their pass defense in the draft.

Cornerback: The Titans gave up too many big plays to too many opposing wide receivers last season, and they’d love it if a player who’s capable of stepping in and starting the season as their top cornerback is available at No. 20. South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore is a cornerback the Titans are reportedly coveting, and if he’s available, they’d almost certainly grab him.

The problem is that there’s a good chance Gilmore will be gone before the 20th pick. If he is the Titans might turn to Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick, or take a chance on the talented but troubled Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama. Or they might just decide that cornerback is a position they can address later in the draft.

Defensive end: The Titans’ top three defensive ends last season, Dave Ball, Derrick Morgan and Jason Jones, combined for a total of just 9.5 sacks. A pass-rushing defensive end who can provide more pressure than that could make a big difference as a rookie in Tennessee, and if there’s a good pass rusher available at No. 20, that could be where the Titans go. Whitney Mercilus, the Illinois defensive end who led the NCAA in sacks last season, would be an option for Tennessee, as would Shea McClellin, the versatile outside linebacker from Boise State.

Offensive line: Chris Johnson got most of the blame for the Titans’ disappointing running game last season, and he deserved plenty of it. But if the Titans want Johnson to become more of a north-south runner, they’ll need their offensive line to open more holes for him. Adding Steve Hutchinson will help, but a player like Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, who can play either guard or tackle, could also be an option for the Titans in the first round. If they don’t go with the offensive line in the first round it’s a position where they’ll almost certainly add depth in later rounds.

As a team that unexpectedly finished last season with a winning record, the Titans enter this draft thinking they could be just a couple of quality rookies away from the playoffs. If those quality rookies arrive in this draft — and especially if they’re players who can bolster the pass defense immediately — the Titans will be content.

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9 Responses to “Team needs: Tennessee Titans”
  1. billhicks666 says: Apr 19, 2012 6:50 PM

    Doen’t matter who they take. They’ll still lose out to the Texans for the division title.

  2. daveeproc says: Apr 19, 2012 7:02 PM

    The Titans managed to go 9-7 despite having the 2nd worst pass rush in the league, Kenny Britt on the sidelines and Chris Johnson completely sucking. If they can improve 2/3 of those, they could be sleepers.

  3. 2ndaryinsanity says: Apr 19, 2012 8:26 PM

    Does anybody think the Titans might pass on J. Jenkins? Adam “Don’t Call Me Pacman” Jones probably left a bad taste in their mouth.

  4. loviesmith says: Apr 19, 2012 8:26 PM

    I thought we were next!

  5. billhicks666 says: Apr 21, 2012 8:53 PM

    Oh well, Titans fans. At least you won’t have to see Cortland Finnegan getting punched out by Andre Johnson anymore!

  6. shanvhere says: Apr 22, 2012 5:33 PM

    Yes, cause a guy who out weighs someone by 100lbs is a fair fight. Get our of here moo moo fan.

  7. billhicks666 says: Apr 22, 2012 7:50 PM

    shanvhere says:

    “Yes, cause a guy who out weighs someone by 100lbs is a fair fight.”

    What?!? I know Andre Johnson is a big guy, but there’s no way he outweighs Finnegan by any more than 30lb.

    Besides, I can’t believe you actually played the weight card. Pathetic. Finnegan just got his butt kicked, that’s all.

  8. shanvhere says: Apr 22, 2012 11:28 PM

    Fine, Finnigan is 188 and Johnson is 229 a 41lbs difference, and Johnson is also 4″ taller with a 2 FEET RANGE, that isn’t a fair fight at all. And I do play the weight card, it is in all fighting events, hence the weight class. It would of been a light weight VS a Cruiserweight. HUGE difference.

  9. billhicks666 says: Apr 23, 2012 1:38 PM

    Well, then Finnegan shouldn’t write checks with his mouth that his butt can’t cash. I can’t believe you’re actually trying to defend a guy with one of the worst reputations in the league, against a guy – Andre Johnson – who is widely seen as one of the classiest guys in the league. Who do you think started that whole business? It certainly wasn’t Mr. Johnson.

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