Tennessee Titans: Where Do They Go in the 1st Round of 2014 NFL Draft?

Chad MintonCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2014

Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, left, leaves a news conference with general manager Ruston Webster, right, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans introduced Whisenhunt Tuesday as their 17th head coach and only their third different coach since moving from Houston to Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

No other draft in recent memory has raised more questions about who the Tennessee Titans should target in Round 1 than this year.

Despite finishing a disappointing 7-9 in 2013, the Titans are still way better off than they were at this point a year ago. They have stable talent at wide receiver, a formidable secondary and a new sense of energy surrounded by new head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

The lingering problem still revolves around two players: Jake Locker and Chris Johnson.

For Locker, it's do-or-die time. The Titans will probably stick with him at the start, but there's still that uncertainty that existed heading into last year's draft.

Then there's Johnson, who is almost 100 percent gone. So the Titans have uncertainty at running back as well, but it's not their biggest need.

The biggest need for the Titans right now falls between quarterback, defensive line and linebacker. Which one of those the Titans choose to address in the first round is a tough question to answer right now.

Linebacker seems to be the popular choice by a lot of mock drafts, including Rob Rang's current mock draft on CBSSports.com. He has the Titans currently taking Anthony Barr out of UCLA.

It was a down year for the Titans at linebacker, with Zach Brown really being the only guy that seems to be a lock in the future. Akeem Ayers didn't play well at all, and Colin McCarthy has fallen off due to injuries.

As for defensive line, the Titans are still missing that one guy who can line up and put consistent pressure on the quarterback from week to week. Derrick Morgan seems to slowly be coming along, but it gets thin after that. 

The problem is that with the 11th overall pick, it will be hard for the Titans to take a defensive lineman that early without reaching. Kony Ealy from Missouri is a possibility, but he's projected as more of a late first-rounder to early second-rounder.

Then there's the small probability that the Titans decide to take the leap for a quarterback. There's plenty to choose from, but do the Titans really want to use a first round pick on another project at quarterback?

It would make more sense for the Titans to wait until later in the draft to take a quarterback, but it's still a possibility that you can't completely discount.

Another position that's not the popular pick is taking an offensive tackle. There are a handful of promising offensive tackles that will be available for the Titans' taking at 11th overall, including Jake Matthews from Texas A&M.

Since David Stewart is on his way out most likely, offensive tackle isn't a bad idea to consider. They're also getting older at offensive tackle with Michael Roos on the other side.

With all of these possibilities for the Titans at the 11th overall pick, it will make for an intriguing first round. Whisenhunt definitely has a tough decision to make when his new team gets on the clock.