NFL Draft 2011: 6 Reasons Why the Titans Will Trade Down in the First Round
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The Tennessee Titans need help at multiple positions, and Head Coach Mike Munchak, his coaching staff and scouts have a daunting task ahead. They will try to improve a very thin Titans roster using the Draft alone.
Recently, Coach Munchak said the team would have likely pursued a veteran QB if given the opportunity in free agency. Without the advantage of free agency to acquire talent, the Titans only QB locked in for next season is Rusty Smith and his pro debut last season was far from encouraging.
QB is the Titans biggest area of need but WR, CB, LB and DT also remain huge positional question marks facing the Titans come draft day. With that in mind, here are six reasons why the Titans will trade out of the No. 8 spot in the 2011 Draft.
1) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
2) Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
3) Blane Gabbert, QB, Missouri
4) Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
5) A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
6) Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
If these players are gone when the Titans pick at the No. 8 spot, Tennessee will likely trade down and acquire additional draft picks. A team that needs to improve its talent level at multiple positions like the Titans, could package extra picks to move back up for a player they have rated high on their draft board. They could also use the extra picks to fill the roster will players that fit into Head Coach Mike Munchak's philosophy.
Who will the Titans select with the #8 pick?
At QB, I don't believe Cam Newton is high on the Titans draft board, but if they trade back into the middle of the first round, they may feel his value makes more sense. The Titans would also have the ammo to trade back into the bottom of the first round, to acquire either, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder or Jake Locker if they miss out on Blaine Gabbert.
Outside of the QB position, the only CB's that belong in the first half of the first round are Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. If neither are available, the Titans could target Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado or Aaron Williams, CB, Texas. Both could be available early in the second round.
DT, Marcell Dareus is a lock to be drafted within the first three picks. That being said, I think the Titans pass on Nick Fairley if he is available with the eighth pick. There are more and more questions surfacing about Fairley and the Titans need a "can't miss" prospect.They could also target DT's Muhammed Wilkerson or Corey Liuget later in the first round. Both are ascending players that fit well in the Titans 4-3 scheme.
At WR, Kenny Britt is having his share of off-field issues and the Randy Moss experiment was a failure to say the least. If A.J. Green is off the board, I think the Titans may consider drafting WR, Julio Jones but they may be willing to trade back and take their chances. The Titans will need to rely heavily on their scouting department when making decisions at the WR position. This years WR Draft class is relatively weak.
At LB, this years most "pro-ready" prospect arguably could be Von Miller. If he drops to No. 8, which wont happen, the Titans would draft him without hesitation as his athleticism would vastly improve the Titans front seven. Other options available to the Titans, if they trade back, are LB's Akeem Ayers or Martez Wilson. Both prospects are likely to be available at the top of the second round.
The Titans would love nothing more than to add one of these "top six" prospects to their roster. Coach Munchak is looking for tough, well disciplined athletes. He has a plan in place and based on his reputation I would expect every player on the Titans roster, either current or drafted, to fit into the Munchak mold.
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