NASHVILLE, Tenn.–With the busiest days of NFL free agency behind us, a clearer picture of each team’s potential moves in the 2019 NFL Draft has developed.
The Titans were not shy in free agency, signing former Buccaneers slot receiver Adam Humphries who is coming off a career season. The Titans also added Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, defensive end Cameron Wake and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
All the moves provide the team with experienced and solidified talent at their positions.
With needed moves at the WR, DE, and OL taken, the team now can focus on what they will do with the 19th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft in April. As FOX 17 News Sports Anchor Dave Foster points out, the Titans originally needed an edge rusher and interior OL but free agency seems to have addressed those concerns -albeit temporarily.
So what are possible options?
Derrick Morgan is testing free agency and veteran Brian Orakpo has retired. While the team did sign Cameron Wake, his longevity is something to consider given he is 37-years-old.
The problem here is the three edge/OLB players considered NFL-ready should be off the board by the time the Titans pick at 19. There might be better value there at 19 to address other positions, leaving the Titans to look at guys like D’Andre Walker of Georgia or Brian Burns of FSU in the second round.
One potential area of concern looking ahead is tight end. Delanie Walker is coming off a leg injury in Week 1 of the 2018 season which caused him to miss all but the opener. At 34 and with 12 seasons under his belt, Walker still has plenty of productivity under his belt given he never had more than 38 targets in a season until he joined the titans in 2013.
Since then, he has been a model of consistency, receiving over 100 targets and at least 800 yards in 2014 through 2017. However, age is still a concern and he won’t be around forever.
While Jonnu Smith still could be an heir apparent, the Titans would be able to select one of the top three tight ends at the 19 spot. Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant are each considered the top two prospects followed by Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. who has the offensive potential of Walker.
However, with Walker returning and Smith’s potential, tight end isn’t necessarily a pressing need this season.
Dave Foster says current momentum seems to indicate the Titans could still be in the market despite the signing of Humphreys. Humphreys provides a reliability in the slot the Titans have not had in some time but questions remain out wide.
Corey Davis improved drastically from his rookie campaign and is showing promise but he only had two games where he totaled over 100 yards receiving in 2018. In ten games he totaled under 50 yards. On the other side, Tajae Sharpe finished with just 26 catches on 47 targets.
Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf could be around when the Titans select at 19, offering speed to burn at the position. Metcalf has the size (6’3″) and speed (4.33 40 yard dash) which could be enticing for the Titans. Metcalf’s physical measurements and athleticism have been compared to former Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson.
While the Titans did sign guard Rodger Saffold, they were unable to retain guard Josh Kline. That leaves Kevin Pamphile, Corey Levin, and Aaron Stinnie among the potential fill-ins on the other side of Saffold.
The Titans need to protect Marcus Mariota and bringing in an NFL ready, young guard to grow with the quarterback could prove fruitful. One possibility is Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom. Considered one of the top three guards in the draft, Lindstrom could wind up being the safest choice of the three positional possibilities.