1. First round, 10th overall: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
I had Warmack graded as the best overall player in this class, not because he is the flashiest player or because he can come in and change a franchise, but in a “meat and potatoes” draft as it has been called, I think he has been the most consistently dominant of the group. Warmack will step in and start at right guard for the Titans immediately, who also spent a lot of money to get a top tier left guard in Andy Levitre from the Buffalo Bills. Warmack isn’t as athletic as Jonathan Cooper, who was the first guard selected in the draft, but he really fits what the Titans want to do offensively, and he is as powerful an offensive lineman as they come. This was a pick that many have been putting in mock drafts since before March, and it’s one that Titans fans should be really excited about. Warmack could be a Pro Bowl caliber starter from day one, and for years to come.
2. Second round, 34th overall: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Hunter is an explosive athlete at the wide receiver position, and while he doesn’t fill the biggest need on the Titans in my opinion, I think he adds an element of explosiveness to their offense. He has had some issues with drops in his career, but I think if he adds some weight to his 6’4″ frame, he could be a top tier receiver in this league. The Titans used a first round pick last year to pick up Kendall Wright, who showed flashes last season, and now they have added even more speed with Hunter. He can stretch the field vertically, and it will be interesting to see what direction they take with Kenny Britt and Nate Washington now that this move has been made.
3. Third round, 70th overall: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn
Wreh-Wilson has great size at 6’1″ 195 pounds, and even though he only had one interception last year, I think he provides the Titans with a guy who can possibly start for them at some point in the near future. He has the size to compete with some of the top receivers in the league on the edge, and he was dominant at times in his career at UConn. There were some who thought he could have been a first round pick not too long ago, so this is also a good value for the Titans. In a cornerback class that stands out as incredibly deep, Wreh-Wilson is one of the better players and fills a position of need for the Titans on the back end of their defense.
4. Third round, 97th overall: Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri
This is a very athletic linebacker who can come in and give the Titans depth right away, and provide them with an ace on special teams. The team plans to use Akeem Ayers more in pass rush situations this year, so the plan could be for them to rotate Gooden in on passing downs to cover tight ends with his 4.47 speed. The Titans are struggling for depth behind Ayers and last year’s stud rookie Zach Brown, the 2nd rounder out of North Carolina. I think this is a great fit for their scheme, getting a guy who is a bit smaller but very athletic and fast, and can contribute in a lot of different ways. He could also be a capable starter if they needed him to be. Good value in the third round.
5. Fourth round, 107th overall: Brian Schwenke, C, California
I had Schwenke ranked as the third best center in the draft, and my pre-draft evaluation for him was that he would be a day one starter for some team, no matter where he was picked, and that he’d be a top 100 selection. He just barely missed the top 100, but I think he has a good chance of winning the starting job with the Titans over former undrafted free agent Fernando Velasco in the middle. Schwenke is a very quick center who plays with a nasty streak, and while he’s played a variety of positions on the offensive line, he is clearly one of the best centers in the draft. This was, without question, one of my favorite players in the draft, and I had him rated in the top 80 players. I think the Titans got a steal here in the fourth round, and they’ve solidified the interior of their offensive line for years to come with this pick combined with the additions of Levitre and Warmack.
6. Fifth round, 142nd overall: Lavar Edwards, DE, LSU
Even as a fifth round pick, Edwards will have a good chance to step in and contribute right away for the Titans. They are hurting for pass rushers, and many believe the only reason this guy didn’t see more action at LSU as a starter is because he was playing behind first rounder Barkevious Mingo and third rounder Sam Montgomery. Even despite those two being ahead of him on the depth chart, Edwards may be the more well-rounded all-around player with size, speed, strength, and instincts. It will take him some time to grow, but this is a good risk/reward pick in the fifth round for the Titans.
7. Sixth round, 202nd overall: Khalid Wooten, CB, Nevada
This is a corner prospect with really good size and speed who will be an immediate factor on special teams, but he can also play some press corner and could factor into their nickel/dime situation right away. He has great athletic ability, and can cover in the slot if he has to. I think in the sixth round, you are looking for guys who can be key backups or contribute on special teams, and the Titans found a guy who can do both.
8. Seventh round, 228th overall: Daimion Stafford, S, Nebraska
Stafford is a former JUCO transfer who is a decent athlete, and with the Titans’ current situation at safety, he is going to have to make this roster on special teams first. They go about four deep right now with the free agent pickups of George Wilson and Bernard Pollard, and those are both good players for Stafford to learn from. He adds depth to the secondary.
The Titans nailed it with their first five picks, and added some potential in the later rounds. I think that’s as good a draft as you’ll find right now in the league. They significantly upgraded the interior of their offensive line this season, which could help Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene pair up and be one of the top RB duos in the league.