We continue to approach the end of the 1st Round with the Tennessee Titans selection at #24. cgolden fills in as the Titans' GM for a day, and as he mentions below, Titans executives would certainly be ecstatic if Devon Thomas fell in to their lap. Next up? The Seattle Seahawks, represented by vherub.
The Titans have two big areas of need: Wide Receiver and Defensive Line. Outside of the top two needs, the linebacker corps could use an infusion of youth and talent.
Need Area #3: Line Backers
The group of line backers is pretty unspectacular with Keith Bulluck being the only name that many outside of Tennessee that people may recognize. Bulluck is now on the wrong side of 30, having turned 31 earlier this month and it showed in his play last season. After averaging just over 138 tackles and 3.5 sacks a season for the past five seasons, he managed just 88 tackles and zero sacks in 2007. The MLB is Ryan Fowler who managed just 54 tackles in his first season as a starter, but he's young enough (25 years old) that Tennessee might hold out hope for him becoming more. David Thornton is the other outside backer and at 29 years old they're probably holding out hope that he can turn in another 122 tackle season like he had in 2007.
Prospects available include: Dan Connor
Need Area #2: Defensive Line
The defensive line was decimated by free agency as they lost Antwan Odom, Travis LaBoy and Randy Starks. In case you didn't watch much Titan football last year those three guys combined for 49 tackles and 14 sacks. The DL will be anchored by Albert Haynesworth (franchised in the offseason) who when healthy last year was nothing short of dominant. The Titans were just 2-3 in games that he missed (8-3 otherwise) and the defense suffered as well giving up nearly 25 points a game in his absence (15.7 in games others). Most of his help will come from Kyle Vanden Bosch who has averaged over 10 sacks a season in his three seasons in Tennessee. The rest of the line will consist of Tony Brown (52 tackles and four sacks in 07) and Bryce Fisher who didn't start a game last year. The Titans signed 'The Freak' Javon Kearse in the off- season but he'll likely be nothing more than a pass rush specialist at this point in his career. He might be able to put up some decent numbers if his snaps are limited.
Prospects available include: Philip Merling, Calais Campbell & Kentwan Balmer
Need Area #1: Wide Receiver
The wide receiver position is nothing short of an absolute joke. The fact that a team can manage a winning record with starting receivers, Justin Gage & Roydell Williams is amazing. The Titans signed Justin McCareins in the off season but he's just another guy and by no means should be counted on as a legit #1. Their current depth chart of wide receiver doesn't contain a single guy who's ever had more than 813 yards and 7 touchdowns (and that was McCareins 5 years ago). Gage and Williams combined for just over 1,400 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2007 and those were career years for both players. If the Titans enter the season with the current group of wide receivers it'll be the worst in the league by far. If the Titans have any hope of helping VY turn into a quality starting quarterback and improving the 27th ranked passing attack they'll have to get a receiver early in the draft.
Prospects available include: Devin Thomas & Deshean Jackson
On the Clock
If I'm the Titans in this situation (oh wait I am), I'm doing back flips that both Thomas and Jackson fell this far as they're ranked #1 and #2 among wide outs by some scouts. If one or both of these guys were gone, I might have to give some consideration to Connor or some defensive line help, but with both guys here for the choosing it's a no-brainer. Even though neither player is as 'NFL ready' as Limas Sweed or Malcom Kelly, they're still both explosive playmakers who should contribute immediately in the return game. Jackson might be a bit more explosive but I see Thomas as being the better wide receiver long term mainly because of his size (6'2 215), so with the 24th pick the Tennessee Titans select Devin Thomas.
#1 - Miami Dolphins, Darren Mcfadden
#2 - St. Louis Rams, Chris Long
#3 - Atlanta Falcons, Sedrick Ellis
#4 - Oakland Raiders, Vernon Gholston
#5 - Kansas City Chiefs, Jake Long
#6 - New York Jets, Glen Dorsey
#7 - New England Patriots, Dominique Rodger-Cromartie
#8 - Baltimore Ravens, Jerod Mayo
#9 - Cincinnati Bengals, Keith Rivers
#10 - New Orleans Saints, Aqib Talib
#11 - Buffalo Bills, Malcom Kelly
#12 - Denver Broncos, Ryan Clady
#13 - Carolina Panthers, Chris Williams
#14 - Chicago Bears, Brandon Albert
#15 - Detroit Lions, Leodis McKelvin
#16 - Arizona Cardinals, Jeff Otah
#17 - Minnesota Vikings, Derrick Harvey
#18 - Houston Texans, Rashard Mendenhall
#19 - Philadelphia Eagles, Jonathan Stewart
#20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Limas Sweed
#21 - Washington Redskins, Mike Jenkins
#22 - Dallas Cowboys, Felix Jones
#23 - Pittsburgh, Kentwan Balmer