Tennessee Titans: Grading the Team's Day 3 Selections
The Titans continued to be unpredictable on the third day, picking a surprise player at the corner position, a project tight end, a safety steal and a small school special teamer.
A bit of a strange draft, but the Titans front office knows what they're doing—they proved that last year—so I'm not going to be too judgmental just yet.
Without further ado, here are my grades for the Titans picks on Day 3.
Round 4, Pick 115: Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Clemson
The Titans taking a corner is no surprise, but Coty Sensabaugh, this high, is.
With Cortland Finnegan gone, the Titans needed to replenish the depth at the position. Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner will undoubtedly be the starters, but grabbing another corner to rotate in would be very helpful in a division with Matt Schaub and Andrew Luck.
Coty Sensabaugh was considered a sleeper prospect, but in my opinion, he's a sleeper for a reason. Sensabaugh only had one interception, but he broke up 13 passes. He's not a great tackler, but he's fast, and he's a native Tennessean.
Antonio Allen was also sitting there, and he's by far the best safety left on the board (more on that later).
Even if the Titans were set on taking a corner right now, there were plenty of better corners on the board: Brandon Boykin, Josh Norman, Leonard Johnson, Alfonzo Dennard and Chase Minnifield all would have likely been better picks.
Pick Grade: C-
Round 5, Pick 145: Taylor Thompson, TE/DE, SMU
The Titans traded up with the Miami Dolphins to grab Taylor Thompson. For that, they gave away their seventh-rounder, leaving them with only one more pick in the draft.
Taylor Thompson played defensive end at SMU, but projects (in most people's eyes) as a tight end at the next level. The Titans could use players at both positions, so the question is which one do they expect Thompson to play?
Thompson had seven sacks, 8.5 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles last year at SMU. That's solid production, but if they are taking him to play defensive end, then they would've done better to take Cam Johnson (who's been the best overall player on my big board for nearly a round now).
Thompson player very well in an All-Star game after the season and ended up playing tight end. Then he lost some weight and starting being scouted as a tight end. He looked great catching passes at his pro day.
He is a bit of a risk, but he does have prototypical size for either position. He stands at 6'6" and weighs around 260 lbs.
This pick is a bit of a risk, but Thompson's versatility and upside makes him a great pickup and worth the trade up.
Pick Grade: A-
Round 6, Pick 190: Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
I have no idea how, 20 picks into the sixth round, the Titans had their choice between Markelle Martin and Antonio Allen. For my money, Allen is the better player, but Martin is a great pickup because he can play at either safety position, while Allen is limited to strong safety.
This is, by far, my favorite selection that the Titans have made.
Martin was probably the best player on Oklahoma State's defense this season. He had 59 solo tackles, five tackles for a loss and 11 broken up passes.
He didn't get any interceptions, but that won't bother Jerry Gray. Gray's system is all about not giving up big plays, and that's exactly what they'll get from Markelle Martin.
Also, since I didn't see Martin mocked lower than the fourth round, he is a tremendous value at the 190th pick.
Pick Grade: A+
Round 7, Pick 211: Scott Solomon, DE, Rice
The Titans traded away a sixth-round pick in 2013 to get back into the seventh round for Scott Solomon.
I'll admit that I know next to nothing about this guy, but here's what I've found:
He's listed as 6'3" tall and 262 lbs. He was an All-Conference USA defensive end last season.
He had 36 solo, and 53 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks, a broken up pass and four quarterback hurries.
He missed all of 2010 with injury, but had good production in 2009 and 2008 as well, so he's pretty consistent. For his career, he has 22 solo sacks and 37 solo tackles for loss. For comparison, Vinny Curry has 24 solo sacks and 39 solo tackles for loss. Good company.
I'm guessing he's going to be a special teamer, mostly, or at best, a backup defensive end.
Obviously the Titans saw something they liked about the guy, or they wouldn't have traded up to get him. I still think, if you're trading up for an end, Cam Johnson would've been the better player to grab.
Solomon certainly has some potential, so it seems like a pretty good pickup.
Draft Grade: B+
Undrafted Free Agents the Titans Should Sign
Now that the draft is over, there are still some great players on the board at positions of need that the Titans were unable to address in the draft.
I was shocked that the Titans didn't draft a center at some point in the draft, but with the many talented centers that went undrafted, it looks like it was a good move. The Titans should do everything they can to secure Ohio State's Michael Brewster, but some other guys they need to look at are:
Quentin Salusberry, Mississippi State
Scott Wedige, NIU
Garth Gerhart, Arizona State
Will Vlachos, Alabama
Fullbacks are rarely drafted, so it's no surprise that the Titans didn't take one. The top two or three fullbacks got drafted, but there are a couple of guys that the Titans might want to look at as possible replacements for Ahmard Hall:
Emil Igwenagu, Massachusetts
Cody Johnson, Texas
Joe Suhey, Penn State
The Titans signed Steve Hutchinson, but he won't last too long, so a guy to develop behind him should be a priority. Here are some of the great guards still on the board:
James Brown, Troy
Lucas Nix, Pittsburgh
Will Blackwell, LSU
Rishaw Johnson, California (PA)
Desmond Wynn, Rutgers