A question is raised as we look back on the 2018 season..
Say what you will, but I am in the camp of those that considers 2018 a disappointment. The question I am referring to is not if the 2018 season was a success or not, but where do we go from here? Jon Robinson has a To-Do list about a mile long between decided which FA’s he’ll bring back for the Titans, which players he’ll target in Free Agency, and of course, who he’ll be taking with the 19th pick.
Let’s take a look at the early Mock Drafts..
19. Titans — Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma: Tennessee’s offense tended to be plodding even when at its best, as the unit generated less than half as many pass plays of 20-plus yards (37) as the league-leading Chiefs (76). Though listed at just 5-10 and 168 pounds, the dynamic junior college transfer nicknamed “Hollywood” could provide a spark for Marcus Mariota on deep throws and quick hits alike.
19. Tennessee Titans | Noah Fant | TE | Iowa – This offense sorely missed Delanie Walker in 2018, and the veteran tight end will turn 35 in August. If Marcus Mariota is going to live up to the expectations of a No. 2 overall pick, he could certainly use another dynamic playmaker like Fant, who can create serious matchup problems for opposing defenses.
19. Tennessee Titans – Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State. The Titans smartly started building for the future of their edge rush in the last draft by taking Harold Landry, and now they give him a running mate with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan a free agent. There’s no question what you bring Burns in to do: get after the quarterback. He’s an ideal fit for a 3-4 team at his size, but his explosiveness will make him difficult to handle for all but the most athletic of offensive tackles.
20. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Jurrell Casey has been great for years for the Titans, but they badly need a partner next to him on the inside of the defense. Brown is a powerful defensive tackle who can work a gap or play over the nose.
19. Tennessee Titans: Marquise Brown
Position: Wide receiver
Bolstering the line blocking for Marcus Mariota is the offense’s top need, and pass rusher Brian Orakpo’s retirement means sign free agent linebacker Derrick Morgan or add more help.
Another clear need exists in the pass game. As a certain Tom Cruise character might say, there’s a need for speed, and nobody brings that more in this class than the Sooners’ zoomer.
18. TITANS – IOWA TE NOAH FANT
Iowa has not maximized the potential of tight end Noah Fant. He is much more dynamic the Hawkeyes have shown. He is capable of catching a bubble screen, breaking a tackle and outracing defenders down the sideline. The Tennessee Titans have relied on injury prone Delanie Walker for far too long. Jonnu Smith has shown glimpses of his potential but the upside is much higher with Fant. He has recorded 39 receptions for 519 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
Alright.. we’ve got some options here, and as I started this post, I didn’t intend it going this route, but here is my question – “WHERE IS THE HELP TO PROTECT MARIOTA?” I get these skill spots are much needed and frankly the Titans have quite a few holes to fill to get past the 9-7 mark, but if you look back on this year, the Titans season would’ve drastically different had the Offensive Line shown up and open holes for Henry and Lewis and protected Mariota like they should’ve. To the few people who think that Josh Kline, Ben Jones, Quinton Spain, and dare I say, Jack Conklin are worth a d***, forgive me, but they were pitiful this year. The one guy who has a pass is Conklin, who missed training camp and struggled after recovering from ACL surgery.
I am not one to throw the towel in on Mariota just yet. Say what you want – “He’s soft! He doesn’t care about this team! He quit on them in Week 17!” But the fact when Mariota is on the field he forces Defensive Coordinators to scheme against him specifically, and when Mariota is playing, he makes Derrick Henry better by taking pressure of the run game.
Now with that off my chest, I would be fine if the Titans draft a WR, TE, DL, or Pass Rusher, but only as long as they address the Offensive Line issue in Free Agency.
Bleacher Report put out a list of Free Agents who will hit the market, and I believe there are some good players who could help fill the holes. Let’s take a look.
1. Teddy Bridgewater
2. Tyrod Taylor
3. Josh McCown
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
5. Robert Griffin III
Tres’ take:Of this group, I would honestly love to see Jon Robinson get Teddy Bridgewater, but two things; 1. Very doubtful the Saints let him walk and 2. If JR is still looking at Mariota as the future, he’s not going to drop the money kind of money that Teddy will be looking for.
1. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Adam Humphries
3. Tyrell Williams
4. John Brown
5. Golden Tate
Tres’ take: Here again we see Nashville native, Golden Tate popping up. I’d like to see him signed, however, for a player who is entering the later years of his NFL career I see him asking for more money than JRob is looking to shell out. I would also, love to see DeSean Jackson in two tone blue. Reports keep bubbling up of him wanting out of Tampa Bay and I think he could be a great guys for Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Tajae Sharpe to learn from. Note: for anyone thinking that Antonio Brown will be pursued, I seriously doubt that JRob is going to inherit his current deal with the Steelers.
1. OT Jared Veldheer
2. G A.J. Cann
3. C Mitch Morse
4. G Mike Iupati
5. G John Greco
Tres’ take:Not the greatest options here. Honestly, at first glance, the one guy who “pops off the page” is Mike Iupati since he started consistently for San Fran and Arizona, but having only played one game in ’17 and just 10 games in ’18, I don’t see him being a worthwhile aquistion. Knowing Jon Robinson and seeing how he stole a guy like Dennis Kelly from the Eagles for Dorial Green-Beckham, I would love to see JRob trade for a solid O-Lineman this offseason.
2. Tyler Eifert
3. Tyler Kroft
4. C.J. Uzomah
5. Jeff Heuerman
Tres’ take:You know him! You love him! You want him!!! But Jared Cook ain’t leaving the Raiders. Even Jon Gruden knows a good Tight End is a must have for a young QB and seeing how the Titans went through hell and back with Tight Ends this year, I could see this being a position that will be fill in the 2-3 round of the Draft.
1. DE Demarcus Lawrence
2. DT Ndamukong Suh
3. DE Ezekiel Ansah
4. DT Grady Jarrett
5. DT Malcom Brown
Tres’ take: Man, we all know that this Titans Defensive Line is in need of some help. In this day and age, a deadly pass rusher is a game changer. It was evident that the aged Brian Orakpo, now retired, and Derrick Morgan weren’t going to cut it. Getting Harold Landry III in the second round is something that I still see as a steal, and Sharif Finch is a great depth player, but versus going to Free Agency to address the DL need, I would love to see the Titans take Clelin Ferrell from Clemson with the 19th pick.
Yes it sucks the 2018 season is over, however, the off season tends to be fun as well. Plus, and like our header image shows, the NFL Draft will be in Nashville this year which is something you don’t want to miss.
As always, Titan Up!