With the peak of the free agency period officially behind us, 2023 NFL draft talk for the Tennessee Titans and the rest of the league will only start to pick up as the weeks pass.
Mock drafts, of course, are going to be everywhere as everyone loves to have their own opinion regarding what each NFL team should do on draft weekend, which begins on April 27.
Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus recently took his shot at a three-round mock draft consisting of 102 picks in total. With the Titans’ first selection, he, like many, has the team selecting Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Sikkema’s reason being:
With Taylor Lewan no longer in the building, the Titans would be wise to invest in the offensive trenches, especially if they have their pick of any in this class. If they do, I expect Paris Johnson Jr. to be their choice.
I agree with this selection 1,000 percent.
The Titans made some solid additions to the offensive line in free agency in Daniel Brunskill and Andre Dillard, but that group needs a true pillar to build around, and preferably on the blindside.
— Shaun Calderon (@ShaunMichaels31) March 9, 2023
With his next selection, the PFF draft analyst has the Titans selecting Minnesota center, John Michael Schmitz.
The former Golden Gopher would be a fantastic addition to the Titans’ zone-blocking scheme that will benefit from his fluid movement skills.
Today’s IOL prospect:
C John Michael Schmitz, @GopherFootball
2022 grades (@PFF):
-Run Blocking: 92.4
-Zone blocking: 91.5
-Gap Blocking: 80.6
-Pass Blocking: 81.0
-Schmitz has earned an overall grade of at least 82.9 in each of the last three seasons pic.twitter.com/42Fs68f2Ik
— Shaun Calderon (@ShaunMichaels31) January 24, 2023
Schmitz would instantly create a legitimate competition with Aaron Brewer, who figures to be in line to replace Ben Jones at center.
Lastly, Sikkema has the Titans adding one of the best blocking wide receivers in the draft who also possesses real playmaking potential on the boundary in Stanford’s Michael Wilson.
This mentality matches his tape (#4).
We all saw the type of playmaker Wilson can be this week, but look at how he clearly embraces the blocking aspect of the position.
At the very least, he’s going to thrive on special teams early on.
Teams are gonna love this guy.
He’s a DAWG! https://t.co/OKaIDvXqy1 pic.twitter.com/9KsLTMWKeO
— Shaun Calderon (@ShaunMichaels31) February 5, 2023
Wilson is one of the few receivers in the draft who can win off the line of scrimmage in a variety of different ways, including using his unique blend of burst (1.5-second 10-yard split) and power (23 bench press reps).
Wilson averaged 2.77 yards per route over the 133 snaps against press coverage since 2020, per PFF.
The approach with Sikkema’s picks is the right one with Tennessee having so many holes on offense. In my latest seven-round mock, I went heavy on the offense, also.