The 2017 NFL Draft gets underway Thursday and midst the excitement and anticipation, fans are left wondering “What will the Titans do with picks 5 and 18?”
“I think it’s a defensive back at 5, Marshon Lattimore or Jamal Adams,” said Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. “And I think it’s a wide receiver at 18. There are three of them. They’re all different. I think any one of the three could fit what Tennessee does. Because whether it’s speed, whether it’s size, whatever, I think it’s Lattimore/Adams at 5 and one of the three top wideouts at 18.”
Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said there’s little chance of trading the 5th pick. “Probably not going to happen on the first phone call. There would be a little bit of back and forth, I would imagine.”
The three top wide receivers are Corey Davis (6’3″, 209 pounds; Western Michigan), John Ross (5’11”, 188 pounds; Washington) and Mike Williams (6’4″, 218 pounds; Clemson). The Titans do need an impact player on the outside that will stretch the field, take the top off defenses and have a high catch radius. Davis and Williams best fit those needs. Meanwhile, John Ross ran the fastest 40-yard dash at Lucas Oil Stadium in the digital era. Many NFL Draft beatniks believe Mike Williams will be gone before the Titans pick at 18 and are split on Davis and Ross.
“I think we have said it multiple times – there’s really two things (we are looking for) and we have incorporated a third,’’ Robinson said. “Get open, catch, and block. That is what we are looking for. There’s some guys that could potentially fit that criteria.”
Meanwhile, the name Christian McCaffrey has been brought up in press conferences. When Mike Mularkey was named Head Coach last season, he wanted to establish a brand of “exotic smashmouth football” in Nashville. While running backs DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, fullback Jawlston Fowler and QB Marcus Mariota have provided huge contributions in the run game, Mularkey believes there are more players in this year’s draft that fit the “exotic smashmouth mold.”
Mularkey asked McCaffrey and other players questions such as “Did you play quarterback, have you been put in position to throw, what gadget plays?”
In the later rounds, expect the Titans to add depth in the secondary, receiver and linebacker.