10 Players the Tennessee Titans Should Target on Day 2
Finally, after weeks and weeks of trying to figure out how the top 10 selections of the draft would fall, we have our answers.
From the get-go, most draft analysts had Alabama G Chance Warmack slotted for Tennessee the moment the draft order was set. But enough about the first round, it's time turn all of our attention toward Day 2 and the second and third rounds.
The Titans hold the ninth pick of the second round (40th overall) and the eighth (70) and 35th (97) picks of the third.
These next three draft choices can easily become immediate contributors to a roster that has grown increasingly young and is in search of some playmakers on both sides of the ball.
With the offensive line officially no longer an issue, the Titans can begin to plug the remaining holes on their overhauled roster. The top positions of need are defensive end and cornerback, with lesser needs at wide receiver, tight end and middle linebacker.
Let's take a look at the top prospects left for the Titans to target on Day 2.
WR Justin Hunter
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Although general manager Ruston Webster has made it clear that he has no intention of dealing WR Nate Washington, the Titans could still decide to bring in some more help at receiver in case the whole Kenny Britt experiment ends up failing.
If Britt fails to be capable of staying healthy for yet another season, Hunter could step in and help fill the void. Also, should Webster change his mind and decide to clear some cap space by cutting Washington, Hunter has the talent to play both inside and out.
At 6'4" with a 4.44 40-yard dash time, Hunter has all the physical tools to develop into a quality receiver for the long haul.
CB David Amerson
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With Gregg Williams in town, the Titans intend to field a more aggressive, blitz-happy defense than in previous years. In order to run more blitzes, the team will need another corner capable of being left on an island in man coverage.
David Amerson has the size, strength and ball skills to handle everything the Titans would ask of him. Amerson is 6'1", 205 lbs, fitting the new mold of bigger corners to combat with the growing number of tall receivers in the NFL.
He set a single-season ACC record in 2011 by intercepting 13 passes and added another five in 2012. His stock has fallen off because he was repeatedly beaten in several key matchups
It's a bit of quandary as to what exactly the team would be getting. Amerson obviously has the ball skills and route recognition to force turnovers, but he will need to work on his coverage technique to stay at corner rather than being moved to safety.
DE Cornelius "Tank" Carradine
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Carradine is a prospect that flashes the size, speed and, most importantly, production that the Titans are looking for in a pass-rusher.
Tank took full advantage of an injury to teammate Brandon Jenkins and put together a terrific senior season with 80 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and one forced fumble and recovery.
A torn ACL is the only thing that kept Carradine from being a first-round pick yesterday. The Titans would be wise to scoop up a first-round talent that they don't necessarily need to rush back or put too much pressure on to produce.
S Jonathan Cyprien
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The Titans knew they needed to do something to solve the team's issues at safety in 2012. They quickly snapped up former Buffalo Bills SS George Wilson after he was cut and then proceeded to also sign former Baltimore Raven SS Bernard Pollard.
With those two signings, the Titans' needs at the position aren't immediate, but they have been delayed. Pollard was signed to a one-year contract and Wilson is on a two-year deal.
The Titans will need to have someone on the roster to develop and have ready for the following season. Cyprien is a very physical in-the-box safety who really put himself on the map in the Senior Bowl.
He would bring the physicality and leadership that this team needs and desires.
DE Damontre Moore
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At the beginning of the offseason Moore was seen as a clear-cut first-round draft pick, but poor showings at the scouting combine and his pro day have caused his stock to nosedive.
Even so, Moore is a player that is just barely scratching the surface of his potential. He generates incredible speed off the edge and a has the closing speed to put down quarterbacks and running backs.
In Moore's final two seasons as an Aggie, he finished with a combined 21 sacks, 157 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.
Titans fans, I introduce to you a difference-making talent on the defensive line.
CB Tyrann Mathieu
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The Titans let their famous pest of a corner, Cortland Finnegan, take more money in St. Louis last offseason. They can replace that feisty attitude with the enigmatic Tyrann Mathieu.
Mathieu is a proven playmaker that just needs to convince the Titans brass that he's matured. He has all the traits of a starting-caliber defensive back, but his stature and off-field antics have dropped him on people's boards.
Coach Munchak may be hesitant to bring him in while the team is still dealing with Kenny Britt, but Mathieu can step in immediately and solve the team's nickel defense problems.
Mathieu is a perfect fit as a slot corner and the veteran presence of Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner should be enough to keep Tyrann out of trouble.
DE Margus Hunt
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After nine seasons with Michael Roos being one of the league's premier left tackles, the Titans could decide to dip back into Estonia's well of talent for a second time in the form of Margus Hunt.
The Titans may have already found a 6'8" defensive end in Ropati Pitoitua, but having seen firsthand the effects of being able to knock passes down at the line of scrimmage when playing against the Houston Texans and J.J. Watt, Tennessee may still opt to bring another tower to the unit.
He's a better athlete than football player right now, but his combination of size and explosion can only be ignored in this draft for so long.
He finished his collegiate career with 17 blocked kicks. That is an insane contribution to a team. More than anything, the Titans need depth at end rather than a new starter. This would give Hunt the time he needs to better develop his game and become a truly dominant player.
WR Quinton Patton
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The Titans will need to begin thinking about the future of its receiving corps. After the upcoming season, Kenny Britt's contract is up, Nate Washington's contract becomes even more expensive and Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins have failed to develop into anything more than depth.
Quinton Patton was highly productive during his time at Louisiana Tech. He used his physicality and speed to consistently gain separation from defenders. He doesn't have the long speed to blow the top off of defenses, but he is excellent after the catch.
Patton can come in and immediately take over Hawkins' roster spot. He will be able to develop and possibly take up a larger role in 2014.
ILB Kevin Minter
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Kevin Minter may be too good of a prospect for the team to pass up on if there are any concerns about the durability of Colin McCarthy.
Minter won't wow you with his athleticism, but he has been productive in his career with LSU, racking up 130 tackles in 2012 (15 for loss) and four sacks.
There has been a clear emphasis on getting younger on defense through the draft the past couple of seasons.
With the exception of Kamerion Wimbley and the recent signings of George Wilson and Bernard Pollard, the team has a solid young corps that can develop into a fast, physical and athletic unit.
Minter would contribute the physicality and run-stuffing ability the team desires from McCarthy but haven't gotten due to injury.
S D.J. Swearinger
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With safeties becoming more interchangeable and offenses using more three-wide and two-tight sets, the ideal safety has the ability to play with the physicality and fearlessness of a linebacker while still possessing the range and coverage of a corner.
Swearinger showed his versatility by playing both free and strong safety, and corner at times, in his time with the Gamecocks.
While he lacks the ideal height sought after for the position, Swearinger is a ferocious hitter in the mold of Bernard Pollard. He's played in every game since coming to South Carolina and was a four-year starter at the university.