Tennessee Titans: 3 Players They Could Take in the First-Round of the NFL Draft

Sam McGawContributor IIApril 11, 2012

Tennessee Titans: 3 Players They Could Take in the First-Round of the NFL Draft

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    With the NFL draft right around the corner, many teams are currently bringing in players for pre-draft visits.

    The Tennessee Titans possess the 20th overall pick in this year's draft, a spot that can be used to fill a position of need for this promising franchise.  

    In Mike Munchak's first draft as head coach, the Titans produced a draft class that set a foundation for the future.

    Rookies Colin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers, Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug all put together solid 2011 campaigns. You also can't forget rookie quarterback Jake Locker, who played great when given the opportunity.

    After a 9-7 record in 2011, it appears the sky is the limit for this young team.

    Following a hectic offseason, Tennessee will look to address some needs on both sides of the ball.

    But who should the Titans choose with their first-round pick?

    The possible positions Tennessee could draft for include defensive end, interior offensive line, wide receiver, cornerback and even weak-side linebacker.

    As we all know, the draft isn't necessarily about teams getting who they want; it's about who falls to them that decides the direction they take.

    With that being said, here are three players the Titans could select with the 20th pick of the 2012 NFL draft. 

1. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

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    With the loss of Cortland Finnegan, the Tennessee Titans could look to select Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with their first-round pick.

    Even though the Titans already have two solid corners in Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner, drafting Kirkpatrick can add another dimension to Tennessee's defensive scheme.

    As a junior, Kirkpatrick was a key piece to Alabama's No. 1 ranked pass defense. Even though he didn't record an interception in 2011, Kirkpatrick's presence was felt as teams often threw to the opposite side.

    Kirkpatrick's size and athletic ability are exceptional and give him the tools to switch to safety if needed.This could be the deciding factor for the Titans as there is a possibility Michael Griffin may not return to the team after the 2012 season.

2. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

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    The Titans' interior offensive line was horrendous last season.

    To help fix that, Tennessee signed former Minnesota Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson to a three-year deal. However, that may not be enough to help rebuild this once dominant rushing offense.

    That is why Tennessee may reel in Wisconsin center Peter Konz.

    A first team All-American, Konz started 31 games for the Badgers while blocking for the nation's 2011 leading rusher, Montee Ball.

    If Konz is available at the 20th pick, which he likely will be, Tennessee may pull the trigger and bring him in to help strengthen this offensive line.

    If the Titans do take Konz, expect him to be named the starting center on day one.

3. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

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    I said it during the season and I'll say it again: Tennessee should not be content with the receiving corps they currently have.

    Wide receiver Kenny Britt played outstanding last season before he tore his ACL. This forced Nate Washington, Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams to all step up as the Titans were desperate for a playmaker.

    Even though all three receivers played outstanding last season, there needs to be serious consideration to add another playmaker opposite of Britt.

    South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery may fit this profile.  

    At South Carolina, Jeffery earned All-American honors while catching 183 passes for 3,042 yards and 23 touchdowns in his three-year tenure.

    After a dismal junior season, some experts have Jeffery falling into the second round.

    However, due to his enormous potential and obvious playmaking ability, I believe he is worth a first-round pick.

    If Jeffery is available when the Titans are on the clock, they should give serious thought into taking him. After all, Nate Washington isn't getting any younger and Kenny Britt could still have issues with his knee when the season comes rolling around.

    With all that aside, drafting Jeffery would only give the Titans another weapon as they continue to build their team around their future franchise quarterback, Jake Locker.

    After all, drafting a good receiver to play opposite of a proven playmaker isn't a bad idea. Just ask the Atlanta Falcons.