- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Team needs: Receiver, cornerback, outside linebacker, offensive tackle
Dream scenario: This is a team that could be poised for a first round like 2000, when Keith Bulluck fell to them at No. 30 when they weren't hunting for linebackers. The good player who falls could be their man, regardless of position.
The Titans have a long history of holding off on receivers; they have not drafted one in the first round since Kevin Dyson in 1998. But here is a draft in which they are not desperate for help at any spot, so the best-case scenario would be they are enamored with one of the receivers who could still be around at No. 30 -- Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina, Kenny Britt of Rutgers or Percy Harvin of Florida. Tennessee doesn't traditionally give rookie receivers a lot of work, and if the Titans go against tradition and pick one here, they'd likely give him the time he needs to develop while counting on Justin Gage, free-agent addition Nate Washington and second-year man Lavelle Hawkins in 2009. Whether a first-round receiver would be in line to help now or later, the goal is to threaten down the field and keep teams honest, opening some room for running back Chris Johnson.
Plan B: The Titans are run by a couple of former NFL defensive backs in GM Mike Reinfeldt and coach Jeff Fisher and are of the belief they can never have enough quality cornerbacks. Cortland Finnegan should be a fixture for years and Vincent Fuller is a solid nickel back. But Nick Harper is getting older and having a quality replacement on board for beyond 2009 would be a sound move. Prospects such as Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith, Vanderbilt's D.J. Moore and Connecticut's Darius Butler all lack height, but may be possibilities as quality cover guys.
Scouts Inc. take: "While they have long-term questions at the quarterback position, the Titans need to take a win-now approach to this draft and have to find a wideout with both short-term and long-term potential on the edge. Signing Nate Washington wasn't a bad maneuver, but they still very much lack anyone resembling a No. 1 wideout. Finding someone of that caliber will not be easy with the 30th overall selection, but a player like Rutgers' Kenny Britt or North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks would be a great addition. Losing Albert Haynesworth will not be easy to overcome, so it wouldn't be out of the question for Tennessee to look at a defensive tackle like Boston College's Ron Brace or Missouri's Ziggy Hood if a suitable wideout isn't available. The Titans' goal will be to find one top playmaker on offense and some players to contribute and compete for playing time along the defensive line, at middle linebacker and cornerback on defense." -- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.
Who has final say: Fisher isn't going to find himself with draft picks he didn't want, but Reinfeldt runs the draft room.
Now on the clock: New York Giants, March 18.