Jim Wyatt, Senior Writer/Editor, TitansOnline.com
NFL Network draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks have differing opinions on what they think the Titans will do in the first round. They discussed on a conference call on Wednesday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — NFL Network draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks believe the Titans will address both sides of the football in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.
They’re just not in agreement on the order, and the players.
Jeremiah and Brooks held a conference call for NFL Network on Wednesday, when they discussed the Titans.
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“I think the big thing with the Tennessee Titans and what they have done really well is they have kind of put together a team that is ready to contend and compete at high level,’’ Brooks said. “This is a team that is very, very physical. Defensively, they played better than maybe some realize and they are not that far away.”
Brooks believes the Titans will add to the defense early. On Wednesday, Brooks revealed his Mock Draft 4.0 and he has the Titans taking Stanford pass rusher Solomon Thomas with their fifth overall pick, and then speedy Washington receiver John Ross with the 18th overall pick.
“Obviously they get Kevin Dodd back and hopefully he can make an impact as a pass rusher. When you look at Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan and some of the other guys, you would like to find a blue-chip rusher that can impact the game, so for me I am thinking Solomon Thomas can be the guy who can certainly fill that need, fill that void if a standout corner isn’t on the board,’’ Brooks said.
“In going later on and thinking about a wide receiver for them, they need a No.1 receiver. They need someone who can grow with Marcus Mariota, someone who can be that nice connection they can build the passing game around. With John Ross, I am having him there because some of the big bodies are gone. (Ross) can take the top off the defense, he is a big-time playmaker and he kind of reminds me a little bit if T.Y. Hilton, a guy who maybe starts out his career as a No.2 but eventually grows into the role of the No.1 receiver. … But I think any of those guys that we talk about as the top three receivers, whether it’s Mike Williams, Corey Davis (or Ross), those guys would fill a big-time void for the Tennessee Titans on the perimeter.”
In Jeremiah’s most recent mock draft, released earlier in the week, he has the Titans selecting Clemson receiver Mike Williams fifth overall, and LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White with the 18th pick.
He explained his thought process on Wednesday.
“Either 5 or 18, I think one of those picks has to be a guy who can help your young quarterback and give him a premier player, be it a tight end or a wide receiver,” Jeremiah said of the Titans. “But give him somebody who can be a premier player on the perimeter for him. So for me, Mike Williams and his skill-set and how he fits … I think he’d be a nice piece to what they have there — they have the smash-mouth. (Williams) kind of keeps in that same mold, the big, physical guy that can make some plays for you at third down and the red zone.”
Prior to the Titans making the fifth overall pick, Jeremiah and Brooks have Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett going to the Browns with the first overall pick. Jeremiah has Solomon going No.2 to the 49ers, however, with the Bears then selecting Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore No.3, and the Jaguars taking LSU running back Leonard Fournette fourth overall.
Brooks has LSU safety Jamal Adams going second overall to the 49ers, and he also has Lattimore going to the Bears at No.3 and Fournette going to the Jaguars at No.4 before Tennessee’s pick.
Jeremiah believes the depth at cornerback in this year’s class is deep. He thinks White can play a number of positions, and be a valuable player on defense and special teams.
“Just meeting with him and talking with other teams, he blows you away with how smart and how competitive he is,” Jeremiah said of White. “I think that is a safe pick, and I think if you look at (Titans GM) Jon Robinson, some of his philosophy drafting wise, and I look back at least year with (Jack) Conklin, is just hit it in the fairway, man. It is a nice double all day long and you might end up getting even better than that, no risk involved. Tre’Davious White, I don’t think there is a whole lot of risk. He may be a little bit limited on upside, but I think he is ready-made. He is ready to play right now.”