Tennessee Titans Mock Draft: Instant Contributors Titans Can Find in Every Round
A common, but tough choice that teams find themselves faced with in the draft is whether to take the guy who's ready to start right away or the guy who needs some seasoning but has a ton of potential.
I tend to think that teams do better by not drafting unknowns, so if I were the Tennessee Titans' general manager, I'd be looking for guys ready to contribute to the team right now.
With that mindset, here's a full mock draft for the Titans focusing on instant impact from every round.
Round 1: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
Anthony Barr has become the default pick for the Titans lately—and for good reason. Both Khalil Mack and Jadeveon Clowney will be long gone by the time the Titans are on the clock, and Barr is the best remaining pass-rusher.
The Titans' need for a pass-rusher is a bit relaxed now that they've signed Shaun Phillips, but considering the fact that he's 32 already, more depth wouldn't hurt.
Barr is fast, had a productive college career and is still new to the position. His ceiling is sky-high, and if he falls to the Titans, he'd provide an instant impact in the pass-rush department.
Round 2: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
The Titans re-signed Ropati Pitoitua, a critical piece for the defense as it shifts to playing out of the 3-4 a lot more, but they're still light on defensive ends.
At 6'5" and 304 pounds, Stephon Tuitt is the ideal size for a 3-4 defensive end, and despite his size, he's pretty fast and can get to the quarterback as well as any other college player out there.
Derrick Morgan isn't a great fit for the 3-4 defense, but picking up another starting quality defensive end would at least give the Titans some more flexibility with Morgan and the other guys who aren't precise fits.
Tuitt would also likely be one of the best players available when the Titans pick, so there's that too.
Round 4: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
If Lache Seastrunk does fall to the fourth round, where some are projecting him, he could be the steal of the draft at the running back position.
Carlos Hyde, Tre Mason and Jeremy Hill are getting the hype as the top running back prospects, but Seastrunk gives them a run for their money (no pun intended).
Seastrunk is a powerful north-south runner with surprising speed. The biggest black mark on him as a prospect is that he didn't catch a single pass in the 2013 season.
That could concern teams who want running backs to be able to catch passes in a pass-oriented league, but in the pass-catching drills at the scouting combine, Seastrunk looked great.
Unless the Titans are satisfied with the Shonn Greene/Dexter McCluster/Jackie Battle combination (and I can't imagine they are), then they'll take a running back some time in the draft. I have my fingers crossed for Seastrunk.
Round 5: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Cody Latimer is a bit of an under-the-radar guy right now, but he has potential. He had a productive season for the Hoosiers on paper, with 1,096 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, but he wasn't consistent.
Ohio State and Wisconsin's defenses were too much for him, but he did have a great game against Missouri.
What he really has in his favor is a great pro day and a good frame. At 6'2" and 215 pounds, he's got plenty of muscle for the next level.
The Titans still need depth at receiver, so a late-rounder on someone such as Latimer who has some upside would be a good move.
Round 6: Anthony Fera, K, Texas
One of the few positions where you can regularly find starters in the last couple of rounds is kicker, and the Titans may be needing one.
Now in all likelihood, the Titans plan on starting Maikon Bonani or at least giving him a chance to start, but don't rule out them trying to bring on additional kickers in the last rounds of the draft or in undrafted free agency.
Anthony Fera had a fantastic senior season, only missing on two of 22 kicks. What's better is that both misses came from under 40 yards out, so he isn't missing for a lack of leg strength.
That said, he didn't do nearly that well as a junior or sophomore, so the Titans may look elsewhere.
Round 7: Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
In the seventh round, you do well to pick players who make the roster, so it's tough to find contributors.
However, for depth purposes, they can be found. Case in point: Hakeem Smith.
The Titans are pretty set at safety for the time being. They have Bernard Pollard and Michael Griffin as their starters, and George Wilson to back them up and play the nickel safety.
However, beyond that, all they have is Daimion Stafford, and they could definitely use more depth. Smith is a free safety, and right now, the only one of those on the Titans roster is Griffin.
They need a backup, and in a draft class that's deep with talent at several positions other than safety, someone like Smith could easily be available in the last round.