Tennessee has quite a conundrum here with the eleventh pick in 2014 NFL Draft. After a 7-9 season last year, Ken Whisenhunt plans on making a tremendous overhaul to the team, starting the movement on defense. Tennessee made quite a substantial move by bringing in a potential future head coach in Ray Horton, to take the controls over as the defensive coordinator, while also bringing in key free agents on both sides of the ball. Shaun Phillips provides a pass rush that was sorely needed the year before, and former Denver Broncos linebacker, Wesley Woodyard, played well his last two years in Denver. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of defensive scheme Horton brings to the Titans after running hybrid schemes in both Arizona and Cleveland his last two years. Both Phillips and Woodyard would provide a key pass rush on the outside if they decide to move Woodyard and his speed to the weak side. Where would that leave the middle of the line backing core?
The Titans have put themselves in position to make a move for the best player available with the eleventh pick; but they really have to identify needs to keep up with the Indianapolis Colts in the division. With the top corner in the draft just picked before them in our recent NFL Draft Daily, do they gamble on taking the second best corner, Darqueze Dennard , with the following pick? The Alterraun Verner loss will hurt the Titans tremendously if they do not find a successor to the position, and determining if Dennard is that player is a priority. Dennard is a ball hawk, very good in man coverage, and proved he could keep up with his speed at the NFL Combine. One thing Horton has always had with his successful defenses, is a play making middle linebacker. Daryl Washington had his best year at linebacker under Horton in 2012 with the Cardinals, and D’Qwell Jackson had one of his best under Horton’s regime in Cleveland just last year. C.J. Mosley can fit that bill at the eleventh pick in the draft.
Mosley was a force to be reckoned with in Alabama, manning the middle of the defense for Nick Saban. The 6’2 middle linebacker can hit the holes in the run game, create tackles for loss and turnovers, along with being able to cover a running back and a possible tight end coming off the line. It is not the prettiest pick for sure, but Mosley is considered one of the safest picks in the draft and has very intriguing upside entering the NFL as a rookie. If the Titans do pass on the talented linebacker, either a corner or wide receiver could be the possible pick up. A guy like Mike Evans may be sitting there, and who knows, maybe the Detroit Lions may pass up on Justin Gilbert, which would leave a dynamic corner sitting there for Tennessee.
In the later rounds there may be a possibility that they may decide to draft another quarterback. Jake Locker has had injury issues since entering the league, and Charlie Whitehurst is an average back up at best behind him. Corners like Bradley Roby and Kyle Fuller will be a possibility in the second round, along with a wide receiver like Jarvis Landry or Davante Adams out of Fresno State. With wide receivers like Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, and Justin Hunter already on the roster, wide receiver may not be a main priority, but they could draft one or two for depth. NFL Draft Daily predicts the play making C.J. Mosley as the Titans first pick in the draft. Look for a possible CB, QB, and K in the later rounds. A quality CB in the 2nd round for Tennessee would be ideal. If the team could avoid injuries just for one season, it will be interesting to see what a young team led by Ken Whisenhunt, can do in their somewhat weak division. Only a few players away from being an above .500 team, look for the Titans to make the Indianapolis Colts work for possible repeat this year.
This article is one in a series, published daily, providing analysis, insight and predictions leading up to the NFL draft and beyond.
Commentary by Justin Huffman