Tennessee Titans Mock Draft: Full 7-Round Projections at Season's End
Even though they went out on a high note, there are a lot of problems that the team needs to fix, and the best way to do that just happens to be through the draft.
Even though the draft is in April, we now know where the Titans will be picking (10th overall), and we know the teams in front of them as well.
Even though the remaining bowl games and the combine will shift where prospects are being mocked drastically, for now, we can start to piece together an idea of what the Titans' draft will look like.
*Note: The Titans do not have a sixth-round pick, as it was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for Scott Solomon.
Round 1: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Titans' first pick will likely come down to either a corner or a defensive end, and they'll probably pick the best one available.
Johnthan Banks is currently the No. 2 corner prospect on my big board, but he could leapfrog DeMarcus Milliner if he has a better offseason; the difference between the two is very small.
For the season, Banks has four interceptions, seven broken up passes, a forced fumble, a hurry and two tackles for loss. He also has great size at 6'2" tall.
He also managed to all but shut down top wide receiver prospect Justin Hunter; something that top corner DeMarcus Milliner failed to do.
Banks played through an injury most of the season, so if he comes to the combine in top shape and performs well, he'll certainly be a very early pick.
Round 2: Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
The more I look at Margus Hunt, the more I like him. The Estonian born pass-rusher has tremendous size, standing 6'8" tall and weighing in at 280 lbs.
He's a little raw, and he's had an up-and-down season, but he had a tremendous performance in SMU's bowl game against Fresno State. Hunt had two sacks, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two hurries.
Watching him play reminded me of J.J. Watt in the Rose Bowl. If Hunt turns into half the player that Watt is, then he'd be a tremendous pick in the second round.
Also, the last time the Titans picked a big Estonian man in the second round, it turned out pretty well (Michael Roos).
Round 3: Travis Frederick, OG/C, Wisconsin
The Titans desperately need help on their offensive line, and even if they need to reach somewhere, they need to come out of the first two days of the draft with an interior lineman.
Travis Frederick is a road grading run blocker, which is exactly what the Titans need to bring into their interior offensive line. He also has the capability to play either center or guard, which is good since the Titans may or may not want to keep Fernando Velasco where he is.
He also comes from the same coaching staff that produced Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt, Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz, which should help his status.
The only knock against him is his quickness. He can be beaten by speed rushers, but you don't see that many of those on interior defensive lines.
Round 4: Cyril Richardson, OT/OG, Baylor
Another position that the Titans need to prepare to replace on the offensive line is right tackle. David Stewart had a good season, but he broke his leg against the Texans, and ended his season on IR.
When Stewart comes back, there's no guarantee that he'll be playing at 100 percent, and Byron Stingily is destined as a backup.
Luckily, Cyril Richardson is more than capable of playing either guard or right tackle. I mocked Richardson to the Titans last week for similar reasons.
If Stewart returns, then Richardson can play guard. If Stewart doesn't return, or doesn't return in playing shape, then Richardson can take over at tackle.
Versatility is worth a lot in the NFL, especially on the offensive line, which is why the Titans need to eye guys like Frederick and Richardson.
Round 5: Chris Gragg, TE, Arkansas
There's a very good chance that Jared Cook will not be retained by the Titans. If that happens, then the Titans will need to pick up a pass-catching tight end somewhere in the draft.
Chris Gragg is a tight end who could fall to the fifth round since he's a little shorter that teams prefer at 6'3" and has a history of injury. Because of his limited playing time this season, he only has 22 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
If he shows up at the combine fully healed, then he could be a reliable pass-catching target for the Titans down the road.
Of course, if his injuries continue to cause problems, his draft stock will free fall. I expect he'll be fine by the time the Senior Bowl starts up.
Round 7: A.J. Klein, MLB, Iowa State
With as much time as Colin McCarthy has spent injured this season, the Titans will be seriously thinking about replacing him.
That said, when he has played healthy, he's looked very good. If his injuries are just a one-time thing, then there's no reason to remove him as a starter.
Until then, the Titans need better depth at the position, which is what A.J. Klein would provide. Klein has great size for an inside linebacker, standing 6'2" and weighing 244 lbs. He also racked up nearly 100 tackles, 2.5 of them for a loss, a sack, an interception and a defended pass.
With Will Witherspoon getting older and Tim Shaw a tackle-missing machine, Klein will be an improvement over the backups Tennessee currently has.