Tennessee Titans 2012 Mock Draft: Full Seven Round Draft
Over the last few days, myself and 31 other Bleacherreport columnists got together and did a full seven round mock draft, with trades, supplemental picks, and all the other bells and whistles. There were a few bumps along the road, but we've finally finished, with some surprising results.
The mock will be posted in its entirety later this week. For now, here are the results for the Tennessee Titans.
Round 1, Pick 20: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
While I had my eye on Fletcher Cox, he was off the board. I also considered Mark Barron, Nick Perry, and Whitney Mercilus, but they too, were gone.
Instead of trading down, I used the pick on the best player available that fit a need: Alabama's standout corner Dre Kirkpatrick.
Even with Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner in the backfield, the Titans will need another corner. Dre Kirkpatrick is the second best one in the class.
Kirkpatrick has a long frame (6'2"), allowing him to cover even the tallest wide receivers. He'll be a great replacement for Cortland Finnegan and will keep the Titans defensive backfield dangerous.
Round 2, Pick 52: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
The Titans stuck with defense and got great value with Kendall Reyes, Connecticut's stud defensive tackle.
Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug had great rookie years, but Karl Klug is an interior pass-rushing specialist, not an every down defensive tackle. Reyes is.
Reyes started climbing up draft boards after his great week at the Senior Bowl. He then boosted it further with a great Combine performance (he tied for second among defensive linemen on the bench and notched an impressive vertical jump of 34.5").
With great on-the-field performance and explosive athletic ability, he'll strengthen an already promising defensive interior.
He was also a low first rounder on my big board, so he's a great value pick.
Round 3, Pick 84: Philip Blake, C, Baylor
This might seem like a reach, but the center class is thin, and Mike Mayock has pegged Philip Blake as the second best center in the class as has the sports site walterfootball, so he actually makes sense in the third round, even if there are slightly better players available.
He also fills a big need. With the signing of Steve Hutchinson, the Titans are set at left guard and can move Leroy Harris to the right side. That makes a center the biggest need for the Titans on offense.
If the Titans draft an NFL-ready center, they'll also have the freedom to move Eugene Amano back to guard, where he was far more effective than he's been as a center.
Round 4, Pick 118: Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas
With Kamerion Wimbley signed, defensive end is no longer a huge need for the Titans, but with only Wimbley, Derrick Morgan, and Malcolm Sheppard on the roster, they could still use another end.
Jake Bequette is the best end left on the board, and at 270 lbs, is a great fit for the Titans system. He's also an avid pass rusher, averaging a sack a game in the tough SEC, despite missing three games to injury in the middle of the season.
He had a fine showing at the Combine, and could conceivably take over for Derrick Morgan as a starter down the road if Morgan keeps having issues with injury.
Round 5, Pick 158: Senio Kelemente, OG, Washington
Even though Hutchinson and Harris/Amano are a good fix for now, Hutchinson isn't getting any younger, and so the Titans could use another guard. Senio Kelemente is also a steal this late in the draft.
The Washington tackle was a second team All-Pac 12 player this season, but he would be better served by moving inside to guard, which is what the Titans will be doing with him.
He's certainly a bit of a project player, and he needs to improve his strength, but having one of the best guards in the NFL in front of him (Hutchinson) and a great staff of offensive line coaches, he'll do fine.
I'm also sure that Jake Locker wouldn't mind seeing a former teammate join him in Tennessee.
Round 6, Pick 194: Tim Benford, WR, Tennessee Tech
This is an incredibly strong wide receiver class, so the Titans not taking one would be a little ridiculous. Tim Benford is the best one left.
Mocked as high as the third round on some boards, as a small school prospect, he's hard to place. Teams are going to have him all over the place on their draft boards. As a consequence, he falls to the sixth round.
Picking a local guy is also a little way to make the fanbase happy.
The late rounds are made for taking gambles on athletic, small school prospects, which is exactly what the Titans do with this pick. After all, he could be the next Victor Cruz.
Round 7, Pick 232: Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss
With only a few quarterbacks off the board, grabbing an athletic quarterback who can make plays with his feet and his arm to be Jake Locker's long term backup makes sense.
For those of you who remember when Rusty Smith had his very short time as a starter a couple of seasons ago, he was awful. He threw multiple interceptions against what was, at the time, the worst pass defense in the league (Houston).
While backup quarterbacks are not a priority, when you have a mobile quarterback like Locker, he's likely to get injured every now and then, and so you need a capable backup. Why not back up Jake Locker with a poor man's Jake Locker? That's exactly what Austin Davis is.
He had a great season, leading Southern Miss to their best season in recent memory. He also threw for 30 touchdowns, nearly 3500 yards, and only 11 interceptions. He also ran for 352 yards.
If nothing else, he's an upgrade over Rusty Smith and will be able to run the same offense Locker will.
UDFA: Drake Dunsmore, FB/TE, Northwestern
This is a guy I considered drafting in the seventh round, but since fullbacks are usually obtained in undrafted free agency, I figured there's no reason to waste a draft pick when no one else will either.
While Ahmard Hall is a great player and leader, he's a free agent right now, whom the Titans may not re-sign. Even if they do, Hall was not that good last year, and he isn't getting any younger.
Drake Dunsmore was the leading receiver as a tight end at Northwestern, but he'd probably do better as a fullback. With his already developed blocking skills and good size (241 lbs), making the move should be easy for him.
Since he's also a pretty good receiver, he could also be a dump-off target for Locker.