NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s Mel Kiper’s turn to play general manager leading up to the NFL Draft.
The ESPN draft guru has posted a three-round mock draft for all 32 NFL teams, including the Titans. Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Todd McShay did his three-round mock draft for the league, and made his pick for the Titans.
Kiper has the Titans taking a tight end, an interior lineman and a receiver in the first three rounds.
Here’s a look at Kiper’s picks:• Round 1 (25): Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State.
• Round 2 (57): Austin Corbett, C/G, Nevada.
• Round 3 (89): Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State.
And here’s Kiper’s rationale:Can you name the last South Dakota State player to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft? Too slow. It’s guard Lynn Boden, who was the No. 13 overall pick of the Lions in 1975. He started 47 games over five NFL seasons. Goedert will have earned it, though — he’s really, really good and the most complete tight end in this class. South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst is a better blocker, but Goedert is much better as a pass-catcher and has shown that he can stay inline and block.
If Tennessee passes on a tight end — the coaches might think 2017 third-round pick Jonnu Smith is Delanie Walker’s long-term replacement — pass-rusher or interior offensive line makes sense at pick No. 25. Corbett started 49 games at tackle for Nevada but will move inside at the next level. Gallup would be a nice addition at the end of Day 2.
At the start of his 32-team mock, Kiper wrote: “I’m not projecting picks based on what I’m hearing around the league. This is me making three full rounds of picks based on what’s best for each team at that slot, so that each team gets an “A” grade. And it’s not easy to get an “A.”
He presented his ground rules:• At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick.
• No trades. I try to address team needs, but as with the actual draft, value can supersede need.
• I’m not projecting picks. This is more of a look at where I see value up and down the board, based on my rankings.
This offseason, the Titans have signed a pair of interior linemen in Kevin Pamphile(Tampa Bay) and Xavier Su’a-Filo, and also tendered guard Quinton Spain, who has signed. The Titans added former Ravens receiver/returner Michael Campanaro on Tuesday, but the team has not added a tight end in free agency.
Kiper, by the way, gave the Browns former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the first overall pick.
The NFL Draft begins on April 26.