Tennessee Titans Scouting Guide to the 2014 Senior Bowl
With all of the attention rightfully turned towards Super Bowl XLVIII, it's pretty easy to overlook the upcoming Senior Bowl.
If you're the Tennessee Titans, all of your attention better be on the Senior Bowl and the competing prospects.
The Senior Bowl practices are currently in full swing in preparation of the game that will be held on January 25. These practices serve as good indicators of where these prospects are, and where they could potentially go with the right coaches around them.
The Titans are one of those teams that is just missing a few pieces here and there to make a serious run at a division crown in 2014. Even with all of the missteps last season, the Titans still came up just short of sneaking into the playoffs as a wild-card.
These are six potential prospects who could end up playing a vital role in how Ken Whisenhunt's first season goes with the Titans, and if they can finally break their playoff drought.
Derek Carr-QB, Fresno State
It's no secret that this draft class is loaded with quarterbacks, and they all have certain qualities that make you want to learn more about their potential at the next level.
Derek Carr of Fresno State fits that mold, and he'll get an opportunity to show his value on the South Team at the Senior Bowl.
A big strength that is in Carr's favor is his impressive arm strength, and that has been showcased in Senior Bowl practices according to Eric Galko of Sporting News.
Carr does have mechanical issues that keep him from being a top quarterback prospect, but nothing that can't be fixed through good coaching.
It's still a major mystery if the Titans will choose to take a quarterback in this draft that has plenty to choose from. They definitely need to have a backup plan for Jake Locker, who just can't be relied upon to stay healthy for a full season.
Being the quarterback guru that Ken Whisenhunt is known to be, it would make sense to target a quarterback who has the tools to be groomed into an eventual starter. If Carr continues to show upside, then he deserves a spot on the Titans big board in the middle of the draft.
Dee Ford-DE, Auburn
The Titans still need help at defensive end as it looks like Kamerion Wimbley is on his way out. He's just not worth the money he's due to stay another season. That leaves Derrick Morgan and Ropati Pitoitua as the only edge-rushers on the defensive line whom the Titans can turn to.
That leaves a hole that needs to be filled if the Titans are going to have any kind of respected pass rush next season.
The Titans have to be looking hard at the group of defensive ends in this Senior Bowl, and Auburn's Dee Ford should be towards the top of the list.
Ford is having a great week of Senior Bowl practices according to Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com. He's basically dominated anyone they've put in front of him in practices.
It's worth considering that the Titans beef up their defensive line at some point and get a promising pass-rusher like Ford. He could be a possibility in the second round for the Titans if he keeps surging up the draft boards at the Senior Bowl.
Morgan Moses-OT, Virginia
The offensive line was a focal point last offseason for the Titans, and they could be looking that way once again. It was clear all season long that this offensive line still has a lot of room for improvement, most notably in run-blocking.
Morgan Moses is having a very productive week in practices with his versatility and his raw power. He just doesn't get pushed around, and Dee Ford learned that first-hand in practices.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com really liked all of the things he's seen from Moses this week, including his ability to use a little speed to get up field when needed.
It may not be the popular pick, but this would be a smart pick by the Titans in the second or third round. However, if Moses continues to impress, then he may be gone on Day 1.
Charles Sims-RB, West Virginia
The Titans need to strongly consider a running back at some point in the draft with the probable departure of Chris Johnson. It's been a struggle for the Titans at running back for a couple of seasons now, and that can be directly tied to their mediocre outcomes.
Sims has been the standout at running back so far in practices for the North Team. He's shown the ability to break tackles and also pick up blocks, according to practice notes from Eric Galko on OptimumScouting.com.
The need at running back is flying under the radar a bit right now, but the Titans need to add some depth at this position. Adding a guy who can make contributions in the passing offense would be very beneficial.
Sims is yet another Senior Bowl participant that the Titans will have to take in the first half of the draft if they see enough value in him. Judging by how he's looking in Senior Bowl practices, he's worth consideration.
Trent Murphy-DE, Stanford
If the Titans want to go after a high-character guy, then Trent Murphy has to be on their draft board. His physical frame could turn him into a future Pro Bowl defensive end.
Murphy fits the scheme that the Titans want to employ in 2014, which is a hybrid defense that will mix in some 3-4 schemes. That's a perfect fit for Murphy, who can play in both according to Eric Galko of Sporting News.
However, the Titans might have to pull the trigger on Murphy fast if he continues to shine at the Senior Bowl. His raw, physical talent alone gives him a great opportunity to go on Day 1. His strong performance at the Senior Bowl practices is just icing on the cake.
The Titans aren't going anywhere until they create a relentless pass rush to back up their improving secondary.
Kyle Van Noy-LB, Byu
Kyle Van Noy doesn't get a lot of national attention at BYU, but he's gaining some attention now at Senior Bowl practices.
He's been highlighted by Adam Hoge of CBS Chicago as one of his five standouts on Tuesday. He has moderate size at 6'3" and plays with a physical nature that you love to see in linebackers.
Keep an eye on how Van Noy continues to perform at the Senior Bowl. He has the potential to really climb up the draft boards.
It may not be a glaring need at the moment, but linebacker is still a position that needs depth. If the Titans choose to pass on taking a linebacker in the first round, then Van Noy could be available as somewhat of a steal in the second round.