Tennessee Titans Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projections After the Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl week is always a big one for draftniks. The weigh-ins always come with a few surprises, and those alone can drastically alter a player's stock.
It's during the Senior Bowl that players who've had down years get to distinguish themselves, and small-school guys get to share the field with top prospects.
New prospects emerge, old prospects fall by the wayside. Now that it's over, NFL scouts are rewriting what they know about a lot of NFL prospects.
So who would the Titans take in the draft if the draft were held today? Read on to find out.
Round 1: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
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The rumor is that the Titans are pretty happy with their defensive-end situation, which, if true, makes a cornerback almost a lock for the Titans' first overall pick.
Since DeMarcus Milliner of Alabama will likely be off the board by the time that the Titans are on the clock with the 10th pick, that means their best bet will be Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks.
Banks had a fantastic season in 2012, despite playing a large part of the season with an injury. He ended up with four interceptions, seven defended passes, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and 63 total tackles.
He's also got great height for a corner—listed at 6'2" tall—and despite his long, lean frame, he plays with a lot of toughness. If the Titans are looking for a top-end corner and don't want to trade up, then Banks will be their guy.
Round 2: Dallas Thomas, OT/OG, Tennessee
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Dallas Thomas's stock took a slight fall because of the Senior Bowl weigh-ins and measurements. If you're a Titans fan, that's great news.
Thomas' arms measured only 32" long. That's a little shorter than teams like to see from NFL tackles, so when he gets drafted, it'll likely be as a guard.
Thomas has played left guard for the Tennessee Volunteers for most of the 2012 season after playing left tackle the prior two years, and he excelled in both positions even while facing the toughest defensive linemen in college football.
With Steve Hutchinson near the end of his career and coming off an injury to boot, the Titans badly need a new left guard. Thomas would be able to start immediately and would open up all kinds of holes for Chris Johnson to run through.
The fact that he's a local product doesn't hurt either.
Round 3: Shawn Williams, S, Georgia
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Perhaps the biggest need defensively for the Titans is help at the safety position. Luckily for them, this is a good group of safeties, so they can get a starting-quality safety in the third round.
Shawn Williams has been relatively impressive through the week in the Senior Bowl practices. He hasn't been as good as his teammate Bacarri Rambo, but he's likely to be the best remaining safety when the Titans use their third pick.
One thing that will make Williams appealing to the Titans is his ability to cover tight ends. That has been the Titans' biggest problem on defense over the last few years, so getting a player to help with that will be huge.
Williams won't be a Pro Bowler, but he could be a starter immediately over Jordan Babineaux, and with the addition of Johnthan Banks as well, Tennessee's secondary would be much improved.
Round 4: Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois
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Even though the Titans are happy with the defensive ends they have, they still need better depth at the position. After Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley, there's very little talent. Michael Buchanan ought to fix that.
Buchanan was expected to have a big year, but he was a disappointment overall, and his stock plummeted. However, he's helped himself in the Senior Bowl.
Buchanan measured in at just over 6'5" tall and 252 pounds with long arms and a frame to add more weight. Then he had a couple of good plays in the game itself, including a blocked field goal.
He'll need to add more weight in the NFL to play end, but he has the frame to add the weight he'd need, so he'd be a good developmental player for the Titans to grab in the middle rounds.
Round 5: Brian Winters, OT/OG, Kent State
At the Senior Bowl practices, Titans scouts had an official meeting with only one player: Kent State's Brian Winters.
Winters had a great season playing tackle for the Golden Flashes, and he showed some potential in the Senior Bowl practices.
However, like Thomas, he showed that he's probably more suited to play guard at the next level. He probably isn't a plug-and-play prospect like Thomas is, but the Titans can afford to let him sit a year and develop.
With great size 6'3" and 310 pounds, Winters would be the right guard of the future. There's even a chance—slim though it is—that he could make the transition to right tackle down the road.
Either way, he fits a need, and the Titans must see something in him they like.
Round 7: Steve Greer, MLB, Virginia
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The Titans will still need a reliable backup at middle linebacker, and if they don't acquire a veteran player in the offseason, then they'll need to spend a late pick on one.
Steve Greer is one of the linebackers that could still be there when the Titans use their final pick.
He's a little undersized, at only 230 lbs, but he is a sure tackler and has the frame to bulk up a little more at the next level. He had 122 tackles for the season and an impressive nine tackles for loss, so even if he isn't the perfect size, he's a great football player.
Since the Titans would be picking him as a backup, they can afford to take a bit of a risk. After all, Lavonte David was undersized, and he had a fantastic rookie season.
Greer doesn't have the potential that David did, but he could turn into a solid backup, which is exactly what the Titans would need from him.