|TEN||1||8||@Jason_Madson||Julio Jones – WR – Alabama|
|TEN||2||39||@Jason_Madson||Colin Kaepernick – QB – Nevada|
|TEN||3||77||@Jason_Madson||Quan Sturdivant – LB – North Carolina|
|TEN||4||109||@Jason_Madson||Daniel Thomas – RB – Kansas State|
|TEN||4||130||@Jason_Madson||Andrew Jackson – G – Fresno State|
|TEN||5||142||@Jason_Madson||Chris Neild – DT – West Virginia|
|TEN||6||175||@Jason_Madson||Eric Hagg – DB – Nebraska|
|TEN||7||212||@Jason_Madson||Andrew Gachkar – LB – MIZZOU|
|TEN||7||251||@Jason_Madson||Jake Kirkpatrick – C – TCU|
Overall Draft Grade: B
Team Needs: Tennesee has a dynamic team but is weak at a few key positions that will hinder their ability to compete for the Superbowl. Everyone that pays attention to football knows about the Vince Young experiment and that kept the Titans from ascending further than what was expected. So, in terms of team need, I believe it ranks: QB, OG, MLB, DT.
Player Evaluation: With Julio Jones on the board, I can understand why this could be the pick. He is a great WR with immense talent and potential. He would be a nice fit with Kenny Britt and could move Nate Washington to the slot. That’s a pretty decent duo. However, not only do I think that Nick Fairley makes a great fit, I also think the Titans get Damian Williams involved at the WR position next year and he could do well. Nick Fairley would be an absurdly good fit and I think they jump at the chance to take him if he falls to 8. Kaepernick is a risky pick here because he will not be able to step in and start any time soon. If the Titans selected Kaep, they would have to resign Kerry Collins or another vet QB. Quan Sturdivant is a very talented player and is very versatile, so he could fill in for Stephen Tulloch if he leaves via FA, but I think he is much better suited on the outside where he doesn’t have to shed as many blocks. Daniel Thomas is a pick that I think will work out well for the Titans even though I don’t think there is a ton of need here. CJ and Javon Ringer are both capable backs, but the Titans would make this pick for a short yardage / upside pick. Thomas, although lacking in speed, still ran for 1500+ yards and played well against top competition, although not overly so. Andrew Jackson is a good guard who fits the prototype for a guard at the NFL level and his tape shows it as well. He could step in a start eventually and is good value where picked. Chris Neild is overdrafted in the 5th round in my opinion. He is undersized and slower than the prototype for DT but he has some upside and really is just used for depth here. Some people are low on Eric Hagg and although I don’t think of him as starting material, I do like him here for depth because he has some upside. He is a little slow and is scouted as having bad hips, but I got to watch him at Nebraska some and he is very football smart. He makes plays that belie his tangibles. Andrew Gachkar is a savvy, tough LB who could very well be a surprise. He ran into some durability issues at Mizzou, but he is a guy I really like to be a very late draft pick who could have a better career in the pros than in college. He is fast enough to be a sideline to sideline player, but will have to overcome being unknown and injuries to make enough impression to be drafted. Jake Kirkpatrick is a good pick here and has potential, although he is also undersized a bit.
Reason for Grade: Overall this draft brought in some solid football players, but I think there were some better options still on the board at certain points. Sturdivant, Neild and Jackson all fill needs, but I am not sure any of them are difference makers. I like Sturdivant more on the outside which still would leave a hole at ILB. Overall, I think the Titans could do a little better, but the late round picks were good enough to contribute more depth and players capable of making the team. This draft is not dynamic, but in an offseason with no FA, this might be the best road to drive.
Dustin Ward (@drawnitsud)