Tennessee Titans 2012: 7-Round Mock Draft
The Tennessee Titans were the league's only team over .500 that didn't make the playoffs last year. This year they will look to break away from mediocrity and break into the playoffs.
Pictured above is one of the main reasons why the Titans had their share of struggles in 2011, and when (or if) he starts will be key in determining whether the Titans earn a spot in the 2012 playoffs.
After two key moves in free agency, the Titans will most likely go back to their way of building a team—through the draft.
Names like David Decastro and Melvin Ingram will likely be off the board by the time the Titans chose at 20, but there are still some talented prospects that could fall into the Titans lap late in the first round.
Of course, every Titans fan knows that our best value usually doesn't come from the first round; it is the later rounds where we find our stars and fan favorites.
1st Round Pick: Nick Perry, DE, USC (6'3", 245 lbs)
Round 1, Pick 20
The Tennessee Titans select: Nick Perry, DE, USC
Nick Perry is one of the most explosive players in college football with an 83.38 explosion rating (second overall and top at DE), and he plays with that intensity.
Perry has a nasty bull rush for such a small guy, and he has already developed a nice counter-speed rush off the edge. Nine out of 10 fans that watched the Titans games last year would agree that they needed upgrades to both DE spots, and Derrick Morgan is more of a run-stuffer than a rush specialist.
The move fits the Titans perfectly if you look at last years draft, which is the only draft in the last decade without Fisher's fingerprints on it, for better or worse.
Last year, the Titans addressed the biggest need in Round 1, and this is arguably the Titans biggest need this year. Also, the Titans' first three picks last year came from the PAC-10, and there is no reason to think they won't value that scout's opinion once again, considering it gave them Jurrell Casey, Akeem Ayers and Jake Locker.
2nd Round Pick: Brandon Washington, OG, Miami (FL) (6'2", 320 lbs)
With Wimbley donning Titan blue this year, and another USC defensive lineman on the way, Mike Reinfeldt and Ruston Webster should take a strong look at RG and C.
Of the guards, Decastro, Zeitler, Osemele and Glenn will likely be taken in the top 50. And in this year's top-heavy center class, Konz should be long gone by this point, and the drop off behind him is sizeable.
Speaking of sizeable, Brandon Washington could add 35 pounds to the right side of the Titans offensive line, considering it doesn't look like the smaller Jake Scott (295 lbs) will be re-signing any time soon.
Washington is quicker than his size would indicate however, and his blocking in space has vastly improved since his 2010 campaign. He does a good job jarring defenders with first contact, and hits harder than his bench press indicates.
With some polish in the passing game, he could thrive in Tennessee, and what better mentors (on how to be a great guard) than hall of fame linemen Mike Munchak and Bruce Mathews?—not to mention his new teammate Steve Hutchinson.
3rd Round Pick: Sean Spence, WLB, Miami (FL) (5'11", 228 lbs)
Round 3, Pick 84
The Tennessee Titans select: Sean Spence, WLB, Miami (FL)
At this point in the draft you have to start considering taking value over need, and luckily for the Titans they can still match both.
Teams will love watching film of Sean Spence because he is very quick, he knives into the backfield and he can cover quicker tight ends step for step. However, 5'11" is definitely on the short side for a linebacker, and teams may feel that while he has the speed to stick with TEs, he may not have the size to beat them on jump balls.
Having said that, I love what I have seen from him. In addition to what I listed above, he has also played in 47 college games, racking up 317 tackles, 56 TFLs, 10.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. His body of work is impressive and I expect great things from him if he can line up next to his former Hurricane teammate, Colin McCarthy.
Even though the coaching staff may want to use him in a situational role his rookie year and have him contribute on special teams, I have a hard time thinking that by the end of the year, he won't steal the starting job away from the veteran Will Witherspoon.
4th Round Pick: Philip Blake, C, Baylor (6'2", 311 lbs)
Round 4, Pick 116
The Tennessee Titans select: Philip Blake, C, Baylor
Philip Blake was RG3's center this year, and next year he gets to work with another mobile QB in Jake Locker. Blake has impressive stamina after running the hurry-up offense that Baylor employs, which will be invaluable on two minute drills.
Aside from the on the field production, teammates have said that he is a vocal leader that holds fellow players accountable.
At 26, he is mature as a person, but his age will scare teams away from taking him in the first three rounds. Despite being an older prospect, he is still raw and could stand a year of polishing, so if the Titans had to, they could wait it out with Eugene Amano one more year if it meant getting a significantly better product in a year.
Either way, by the year 2013 the starting lineup from left to right would be Roos, Hutchinson, Blake, Washington and Stewart. That would put a smile on CJ's face and maybe even regain him the title CJ2K.
5th Round Pick: Janzen Jackson, CB/S, Mcneese State (6'0", 187 lbs)
Round 5, Pick 148
The Tennessee Titans select: Janzen Jackson, CB/S, Mcneese State
A former Tennessee Volunteer, Janzen Jackson was highly touted after his first year in Knoxville and looked like a future top-16 pick. However, issues with drugs and other off the field incidents left Tennessee with no other option than to cut Jackson from the program.
While not especially great in coverage (though he has the speed to compete with most WRs), he is known for his ability to fly around and lay big hits on the ball carrier. If Janzen can actually earn the Titans' trust, he would be a great developmental project for next year, and could quickly become a special teams fan favorite like Tommie Campbell was this year.
If he doesn't develop his skills at all and he plays to the level he did in college, he can at least add some high quality depth to the DB group. At his best, he could be the answer to the new joker TEs the league is falling in love with.
6th Round Pick: Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State (6'2", 235 lbs)
Round 6, Pick 180
The Tennessee Titans select: Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
Some Titans fans may recognize the picture above as special teams ace Tim Shaw. He is a free agent this year, and the Detroit Lions are supposedly taking a long look at him. While he may still be back with the Titans, Demario Davis would be an attractive option to replace him if he was available here.
Davis has the third-highest explosion number of anyone I calculated, and he could develop into a rangy linebacker if he is mentored by the right people. Davis could come in and compete for a roster spot, and if he made, it he could take someone off special teams and let them spend their energy elsewhere (i.e. tight ends Cook and Stevens)
Why would the Titans need another linebacker?
Well, first and foremost, talented depth is the key to championships, but besides that, he could be key in developing a situational 3-4 look.
Davis could play either MLB or the strong side OLB/DE and allow Akeem Ayers to work opposite him. With Wimbley/Morgan/Klug rotating as the five techniques and Casey at nose tackle, that could be a nice curveball for opposing offensive coordinators.
7th Round Pick: Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa (6'0", 291 lbs)
Round 7, Pick 212
The Tennessee Titans select: Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa
This Iowa guy is a high-motor player that knives into opposing backfields and wreaks havoc, however he is overshadowed by a possible first-round defensive lineman.
Sound familiar? It should if you are a Titans fan, because this guy has A LOT of Karl Klug in him.
From a play standpoint, these two are almost twins—Daniels keeps his pads down and keeps his motor going at all times. Even though he has so much upside, scouts seem to be missing him when they talk about some of the top defensive linemen this year. Well that plays right into the Titans hands.
While defensive tackle is not a huge need for the Titans, it can help establish some continuity next year when we rotate defensive lineman. Two groups (Klug and Casey, and Clayton/Smith and Daniels) could rotate in and continue the relentless interior rush that championship teams need.
Defensive: Nick Perry headlines the group of young talent and should be an immediate starter opposite Wimbley. Sean Spence and Janzen Jackson could also both push for serious playing time, and should at least see supporting roles early.
Offensive:No splash players this year, but needs were definitely filled. With Kenny Britt healthy again and Nate Washington looking like he still has years left to play, I disagree with the notion that wide receiver needs to be addressed. If the new offensive line can protect whichever QB starts opening day and open holes for Chris Johnson, then that would be a young, talented offensive machine.
Summary: With a bolstered defense, a few supporting pieces on the offensive line and some special-teams stars, this draft would make the Titans better across the board. Loaded with young talent and the veteran savvy at key positions, this team could be deadly in the playoffs.