Tennessee Titans 2012: 7-Round Mock Draft (UPDATED)
It's that time of year, Titans fans, the 2012 NFL Draft is almost here.
The Titans had some great picks and some decent busts during the Fisher Era. However, if last year is any indication of how the Webster-Reinfeldt combo will draft when given full control, Titans fans should be jumping for joy.
The Titans' rare competition in free agency gave us two above-average starters. One of them is past his prime (Hutchinson), but he still has a lot to give. And the other (Wimbley) is just about to hit his, and believe me, when he hits it, you will see what a great addition he was.
Sit back and enjoy. As always, if you have a comment I would love to read it, so send it in. There is nothing I love more than having informed, educated conversations about Titans football!
1. Peter Konz, C/G, Wisconsin
Konz is the top center in a very top-heavy center class, so it makes sense to pounce on him while we can.
During his time at Wisconsin, he and RG Kevin Zeitler blocked so well in the interior that Monte Ball (a relatively unknown RB last year) had Heisman consideration. Obviously Ball made some great plays in the second level, but it was the offensive line led by Konz that allowed him to build up momentum when he hit the hole.
At 6'5", 315 pounds, his frame would suggest that he should move over to guard in the NFL. While he is capable of dominating at either position, his low pad level and leadership make him exactly the kind of player that teams would love under center. In fact, I have heard a lot of comparisons between him and Nick Mangold, which is the highest praise a center can get.
With Konz taking over the line next year, Amano and Harris can have a healthy competition for the remaining guard spot. Whoever wins will get the benefit of combo-blocking with Konz, which will make that average lineman look like a hero.
2. Lavonte David, WLB, Nebraska
David is a playmaker and has first-round talent, so I only half-expect him to be here. However, if you have been watching free agency you know that outside linebackers are somewhere around the seventh-most valuable position behind QB, DE, LT, X-WR, CB, and C.
That makes me think that even if he is very talented, there is a good chance that teams will reach for a less talented CB or WR instead of taking BPA, which at this point would almost have to be David.
During his senior at Nebraska, he was one of the most explosive athletes in the country. During that time, he racked up 133 tackles, 13 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF and 2 INTs. Talk about being productive—what more could he do to prove his worthiness?
Well look no further than how consistently he has been this productive: During his two years in JUCO, he recorded 216 tackles, 31 TFLs, 8 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 4 INTs.
Imagine how productive he could be in a defense with the instinctive and talented second-year starters Colin McCarthy and Akeem Ayers.
3. Antonio Allen, S/LB, South Carolina
Allen is a man without a position, but he can find a home in Nashville. As I said in another post, Allen is a hybrid safety who not only has the size and speed to cover Joker TEs, but also the instincts and skill set to play almost anywhere on the field.
The “Spur” position he played in college was a DB/LB hybrid that only really has one comparison in the NFL: Troy Polamalu. He lines up all over the field, disguising coverage and getting inside the opposing QB’s head. He does a good job baiting the QB into throwing where he wants him to, then either jumps in to break up the pass, lays a big hit on the ball carrier or, if he is lucky, intercepts it.
In the end, the best thing the Titans could do with him is use him as a future replacement for Griffin at safety. He could come in at different situations during his rookie year, and he could also be a special teams star. Then next year, when he is polished up, he could be a huge playmaker in the run game and against the pass.
That would give them leverage in next year’s draft, since Griffin will be a free agent again, and the Titans have never been big enough spenders to get any of the high-priced corners or safeties in free agency.
4. Ryan Broyles, Slot WR, Oklahoma
This should almost be classified as a 2013 pick, because that is when it will truly have an impact.
Broyles was a key piece in the Oklahoma offense this year. When he went down with a knee injury, that fine-tuned machine screeched to a halt, and it really exposed some flaws in Landry Jones’ game (in the top-three QB category). His pro day still hasn’t happened, but if he can show that he is on track to pick up his 2011 pace, then he would be a steal in Round 4.
He could be an amazing slot corner in the Tennessee offense. The best part is that if Jake Locker is relegated to bench duty for another year, he could start building chemistry with his emergency option/dump-off receiver in Palmer’s offense.
Best case scenario for Broyles is that he is able to step into a rotational role at the mid-point of the season, and shortly before or thereafter, Locker gets promoted to a starting role. The WRs would be Britt at X, Washington at Z, Cook at Y and Broyles in the slot. Their respective backups would be Williams, Hawkins, Stephens and Mariani. Not a bad rotation.
5. Ryan Davis, DE, Bethune-Cookman
Please take a moment to watch the video of pure talent above.
For those of you that watched the clip, how impressive is Davis?
He not only has impressive statistics, but he also looks the part on film. His rush skills are great, he is flexible, strong, and quick and he uses a variety of techniques to get to the quarterback.
The thing that makes him worth this pick is that his run defense is equally impressive. He flashes great inside rush ability paired with elite instincts, which show up when he plays the read-option. For my full thoughts on him, here is a post.
At the next level, I would be shocked if he wasn’t at least a rotational player on any team. For a DE-needy team like the Titans, he would be so valuable.
In fact, I liked him so much that I have been asking around about him. While I haven’t gotten any juicy answers from inside sources, I have gotten people that like him and say that he would probably be available here but not much later.
6. Cordarro Law, DE, Southern Miss.
Much like Davis, Law is a productive small-school talent that will help bolster the position depth-wise if nothing else. With an impressive motor and raw natural ability, Law seems like he could be a late-round gem.He has reportedly been told that he is ranked on big boards anywhere from the third round to UDFA.
While that hardly helps to know where he will fall, we have to look no further than last year’s draft to see that if the Titans identify a need at a position, they will attack it multiple times in the draft. Last time is was DT/LB; this year, I expect it will be DE, OL and/or S.
7. Janzen Jackson, S/ST, McNeese State
Jackson may be the toughest pick in this year’s draft for any team, and he is the pick I am least comfortable with in my draft. He has huge upside, he has a elite physical tools and when he puts it all together, he looks like a starting caliber NFL safety.
However, he does have his dark side both on and off the field. He has had his issues with drugs in the past, and there is no reason to think that they won’t continue when he signs his contract. On the field, he can forget his responsibilities and freelance, hoping to land the “highlight hits” on ball carriers.
When you think about it, you just have to figure out if you think that you can put a chip on his shoulder and get him to play with a controlled rage, or if you will get a guy that will be cut a month after you sign him.
I think that if you can get him in a strong locker room (which Hutchinson, McCarthy, Babinueax, Hasselbeck, Roos and Stewart are trying to create), then he could definitely make it through a season. With that much time in the system, I think you can figure out whether he will be a great special teams player or if he could be a starting safety.
Also, healthy competition with Antonio Allen for the empty safety spot next year could be great for both parties.