The number one priority for the Titans in the upcoming draft has to be a defensive end, in my opinion. OK, I'm fully aware some people will argue that a receiver, cornerback, or running back is the greatest need.
Here's why I believe the Titans will get the most bang for their buck with a DE. One of the big problems with Tennessee's pass defense last year was the lack of a pass rush. Kyle Vanden Bosch was consistently double-teamed with a tight end or back chipping him. A strong pass rush from the other side will help prevent that, as will the return of Rien Long, the Titans' best pass-rushing defensive tackle.
There's nothing like pressuring the quarterback that helps a secondary more. And if the new DE can also help with stopping the run, that's just gravy.
Nebraska's Adam Carriker is the guy I've got my eye on, hoping he'll somehow still be on the board when the Titans select at #19. It's probably wishful thinking, but I'll have my fingers crossed anyway. Gaines Adams and Jamaal Anderson are both projected to be selected in the top ten picks, leaving Carriker as the next best option, followed by Jarvis Moss of Florida.
Why not a receiver with the first pick, you ask? Defense wins games and when the Titans give up 40 points or more, as they did three times last year, they'll have a hard time winning. On the other hand, if the defense can keep the score close, Vince Young will have a chance to win a lot of games. Keep it close and give Vince a chance. Pretty simple, huh?
I am all in favor of using the second pick on a receiver, which I view as the Titans' next highest priority. And to tell the truth, I won't be too upset if the Titans go WR/DE with the first two picks instead of my preference of DE/WR. Especially if the top four DEs are all off the board at #19. One encouraging thing - DE and WR are both considered to be positions with a deep talent pool this year.
With the third pick, I'd like to see Mike Reinfeldt draft a running back, assuming the Titans don't trade for Michael Turner or sign Corey Dillon. A strong running game that can control the ball and the clock will also help the defense a lot.
Next, a cornerback. You can't have too many and the Titans have little depth there.
What else, you ask? A defensive tackle would help. Albert Haynesworth can't be counted on to play a full season, or sometimes even a full game. I'm not impressed with Randy Starks and didn't see much out of Jesse Mahelona last year.
A guard also needs to be on the list. Benji Olson is in the twilight of his career and this would be a good time to draft someone who could eventually replace him.
Don't forget another corner, Mike. Add a third-down scatback and a slot receiver, one of whom can return punts, and you've pretty much got my list covered.
This was almost like making a list for Santa just before Christmas.
What's on your list, Titans fans?