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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Shaun Calderon

Titans mock draft round-up: A few new projections for Tennessee

The Tennessee Titans and the rest of the league are officially less than 37 days away from the 2023 NFL Draft, which is set to kick off on April 27th.

The Titans have a ton of uncertainty throughout their roster, in particular on the offensive side of the ball.

New general manager Ran Carthon used the first wave of free agency to solidify his already-stout defense by adding Arden Key,  Azeez Al-Shaair, and Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Carthon also made sure to walk away with a couple of starting-caliber offensive linemen in Daniel Brunskill and Andre Dillard.

These additions could ultimately impact the Titans’ upcoming draft plans depending on how highly they feel about them. However, it’s also important to remember that the draft is used for long-term investments, while free agency is mostly used to find short-term solutions.

I recently took a swing at a seven-round mock draft and I personally refused to walk away without one of the top two tackles (if available) just because the team signed Dillard (with all due respect to him).

Those types of cheap gambles at premium positions are how you constantly find yourself with disappointing results, especially when it comes to protecting the quarterback’s blindside.

If the former Eagles lineman is as motivated as he says he is to play left tackle, then beat the new guy out and force him to play guard instead. I’ll take that problem any day of the week.

With the first wave of free agency in the books, experts have begun releasing mock drafts with updated projections, and we’re seeing some new faces being mocked to Tennessee, and they aren’t all left tackles, either.

ESPN's Mel Kiper: DE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What he’s saying:

Tennessee has used free agency to bring in Andre Dillard to play left tackle and Daniel Brunskill to compete for one of the guard positions, which means offensive line is less of a need now. And with Johnson and Skoronski off the board in this scenario, the Titans don’t have to force a lineman here. That’s why I’m in favor of them going after a high-ceiling edge rusher.

Wilson, who is recovering from a broken foot that meant he couldn’t work out at the combine, has elite talent in a 6-foot-6, 271-pound frame. He had 14 sacks over the past two seasons for the Red Raiders, showing excellent burst off the line of scrimmage. For a Tennessee team that just cut Bud Dupree and ranked 27th in percentage of sacks per dropback (5.3%) last season, he’d be an ideal fit. I’m not as high on Wilson’s tape as other people in the league I trust — he’s too inconsistent — but his flashes of brilliance as a pass-rusher make him intriguing.'s Daniel Jeremiah: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Syndication: USA TODAY

What he’s saying:

The Titans need to add some playmakers on offense. Smith-Njigba is a pure route runner who’s ready to make an immediate impact. 

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

What he’s saying:

They need a speedy player to pair with Treylon Burks in their passing game. Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn’t play much last season because of injury, but he is a pure route-runner who will be the best receiver in this class.

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch

What he’s saying:

After releasing Taylor Lewan, the Titans signed former Eagles first-round left tackle Andre Dillard to a three-year, $29 million deal. That would seem to indicate low starter money, but given Dillard’s NFL career, I’m guessing that the guaranteed money will scream “Swing, and prepare for a miss.” That deal should in no way change Tennessee’s plans for a franchise left tackle in the draft, and Johnson certainly qualifies. Last season, he allowed two sacks, no quarterback hits, and 12 quarterback hurries in 449 pass-blocking snaps, enveloped a lot of the edge-rushers he faces, and has enough on the ball in the run game to fit the Titans’ stylistic preferences right away.

Jeff Risdon, Draft Wire: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

What he’s saying:

The Titans have a lot of holes to fill, and the well-heeled Johnson can be a foundational piece of the offense. Tennessee sure feels like a prime candidate to trade–in either direction. Staying put and bolstering the offensive line makes sense too. 

Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (trade back with LAC to No. 21)

Syndication: The Oklahoman

What he’s saying:

The top tackles were off the board at No. 11, allowing Tennessee to bite on the Chargers’ trade offer to move back to No. 21. Despite a fringe-level Day 1 grade on their board, Anton Harrison is the top available OT and a no-brainer here.

Harrison is long, lean, athletic, and strong; he fills a big need and gives the Titans a big-time player to rely on as they figure out long-term plans at quarterback.

Ryan McChrystal, Sharp Football Analysis: OT Broderick Jones, Georgia

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What he’s saying:

Best Draft Targets for the Titans with the 11th pick:

Offensive Line: Right tackle was already a potential area of need, but the offseason release of Taylor Lewan created a massive hole at left tackle as well. Ohio State’s Paris Johnson, Georgia’s Broderick Jones, and Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski are the most likely targets. 

Quarterback: Tennessee still has Malik Willis as a developmental prospect, but he was only a third-round investment 一 and selected by a previous front office. Although they’re in an awkward draft position for targeting a quarterback, we can’t rule it out. 

The NFL Draft Bible: OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch

What they’re saying:

A freak of nature, Jones has the ridiculous measurables and smoothness to his game to be a strong bookend in the NFL. Whoever they have under center or running between the tackles will enjoy having Jones to be behind.

Curt Popejoy, Draft Wire: OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


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