2010 Senior Bowl: Possible Tennessee Titan draft options

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Tomorrow, Mobile, Alabama will play host to its annual all-star game that showcases the talents of college football’s best and brightest senior NFL draft prospects.

The Senior Bowl is an excellent opportunity for NFL teams to get a head-start in the lengthy evaluation process that culminates with April’s NFL Draft.

Let’s take a look at a few Senior Bowl participants who could emerge as potential draft targets for the Tennessee Titans.

Defensive Backs

Considering the advancing age and decline in performance by veteran starting CB Nick Harper, the Titans may have a cornerback on their 2010 draft wish list.

While youngsters Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton were selected in 2009, they were mid-to-late round picks, so the Titans may be interested in securing the services of a first-round talent at the CB position this year.

At the Senior Bowl, Boise State’s Kyle Wilson is emerging as a potential first-round pick due to the combination of his stellar play at corner and his return abilities. With the aforementioned talents, the selection of Wilson could provide the Titans with an answer to two of their biggest offseason needs.

Two other senior corners who have caught my attention this week are Perrish Cox; a talented CB who has a nose for the football and is also a good returner; and a name that may be familiar; Devin McCourty, the twin brother of Titans’ CB Jason McCourty.

I like McCourty’s versatility: in addition to his defensive talents, he’s a demon on special teams via returning punts and also blocking them.

Returners

The loss of Chris Carr played a key role in the Titans’ struggles on special teams last year. There is no question that a dynamic kick/punt returner is on the team’s offseason wish list.

In addition to corners such as Wilson and McCourty, there are two other guys who could make an impact returning punts and kicks as rookies. Alabama’s Javier Arenas is a dangerous returner who also isn’t doing too bad at the cornerback position during Senior Bowl week, despite his lack of size (5’9″).

Another intriguing returner could be Dexter McCluster, the pint-sized dynamo (5’8″, 165 pounds) who is standing out as a potential difference-maker in spite of his small stature.

Defensive Linemen

Albert Haynesworth’s departure definitely had an effect on a Tennessee Titan defense that uncharacteristically struggled in 2009.

At the Senior Bowl, DT Dan Williams has a similar build (6’3″, 330 lbs) and hails from the same college (Tennessee) as Haynesworth and has apparently attacted the attention of the Titans in Mobile this week.

His ability to occupy multiple blockers could be appealing to the Titans if he’s still available in the mid-first round.

According to many, defensive end is the direction the Titans appear to be headed in with their first round selection.

Guys like Everson Griffen and Jason Pierre-Paul have been linked to the Titans in mock drafts, but due to their statuses as juniors, they are not participating in this week’s Senior Bowl festivities.

One DE who is in Mobile this week is East Carolina’s C.J. Wilson, a solid DE who can pass-rush and defend the run. Considering the Titans success with drafting another C.J. from East Carolina, bringing this guy into the fold may not be a bad idea.

For those of you interested in watching the Senior Bowl, it will be televised tomorrow on the NFL Network at 3PM Central.

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4 Responses to “2010 Senior Bowl: Possible Tennessee Titan draft options”

  1. Andrew Strickert Says:

    I’ve been looking at players at just four position groups – OL, DL, LB and CB. The following players in those groups have looked good in practice this week.

    DE Jared Odrick (Penn State)
    DE Brandon Graham (Michigan)
    DE Brandon Lang (Troy)
    DE Alex Carrington (Arkansas State)
    DT Cam Thomas (North Carolina)
    DE George Selvie (South Florida)

    LB Daryl Washington (TCU)
    LB Dekoda Watson (Florida State)
    LB AJ Edds (Iowa)
    LB Phillip Dillard (Nebraska)
    LB Justin Cole (San Jose State)
    LB Daryl Sharpton (Miami)

    CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State)
    CB Chris Cook (Virginia)
    CB Kyle McCarthy (Notre Dame)

    OL John Jerry (Ole Miss)
    OL JD Walton (Baylor)
    OL Mike Iupati (Idaho)

    CB Perish Cox, one of the guys you noticed, Drexel, has also had a good week of practice. However, I doubt if the Titans will have a lot of interest in him due to character issues.

  2. Scott Says:

    If the Titans are looking for an edge rusher in the first round, then after watching the Senior Bowl today that guy might be Brandon Graham. He looked unstoppable a times today, and he also had, by all accounts, a great week of practice. And his production at Michigan was outstanding – 26 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 2009. The guy elevated his draft stock more than anybody this week. The only knock against him is his height – I believe he is around 6-1, but he seems like a one-of-kind talent.

    The other defensive lineman that has gotten good reviews this week and looked good today was Dan Williams from Tennessee. I still believe that the Titans need a more powerful force in the middle and that force will help the pass rush more than another DE. If the Titans want to help the pass rush, they should take Dan Williams in the first round (assuming of course the Suh and McCoy aren’t still on the board).

  3. Shawn Smith Says:

    This draft will be deep along the DL…the Titans have done well the past two drafts in drafting players that are deep in one position (CJ at RB two years ago and KB at WR last year).

    This year, I can see the following players being available at #16/17:

    DT Dan Williams
    DT Brian Price
    DE Everson Griffen
    DE Jason Pierre-Paul
    DE Brandom Graham

    I don’t think you can go much wrong with any of these guys but I like Dan Williams, Everson Griffen, and Brandom Graham the best.

    Dan Williams is Haynesworth-esque…if the Titans draft him, then I can see them moving Jason Jones to DE opposite of William Hayes and having Tony Brown and Williams starting in the middle with Jovan Haye and Marks coming in relief (assuming Brown is re-signed).

    Everson Griffen is a beast and is pretty polished as a pass rusher despite coming out early.

    Brandom Graham reminds me of a stronger, but slower Dwight Freeney…the guy is nearly unblockable and really smart football player.

    Either way, the Titans should end up with an instant contributor along the defensive front. Then, they can focus on the rest of the draft adding depth at LB, CB, S, OL, and returner.

    • Drexel Perry Says:

      I was also impressed by what I saw out of Tennessee DT Dan Williams during Senior Bowl week.

      Sure, the idea of adding a DE is intriguing, considering the possible departures of KVB and Jevon Kearse but I wouldn’t mind if the Titans tried to secure the services of an athletic big-body such as Williams in the first round.

      As always, thanks to all of you for commenting.

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