Through the years, the Tennessee Titans have been more than willing to devote draft picks towards players hailing from small college football programs.
The likes of Cortland Finnegan (Samford), Michael Roos (Eastern Washington), Jacob Ford (Central Arkansas) and more recently, William Hayes (Winston-Salem State) and Jason Jones (Eastern Michigan), are prime examples of overlooked draft prospects who have emerged as valuable contributors for the Titans.
Let's take a look at five small-school prospects who could potentially hear their names called by the Tennessee Titans on draft day.
At 6'6", Barden has the potential to be a great red zone threat in the NFL. One of the draft's best kept secrets prior to the combine, Barden has become everyone's favorite sleeper as we get closer and closer to late April.
If the Titans do the expected and pass up on the opportunity to draft a WR in the first round, "King Ramses" would be a great target in the second or third round.
If drafted, Titans' fans will have a lot of fun attempting to pronounce this guy's name. Everette is a 6'6" 305 lb. defensive end who, similar to Jason Jones, is also a former standout basketball player.
I agree with Andrew that it's not likely that the Titans will spend a first-rounder on a DE. However, an under-the-radar type of player such as Everette would be a nice pickup in the 3rd or 4th round.
Though still productive, Outside linebackers Keith Bulluck and David Thornton aren't getting any younger. Needless to say, the Titans could use the services of a young OLB with the potential to develop into a starter down the road.
Jason Williams, who's already scheduled to visit Baptist Sports Park, is a player with some upside who could emerge as a draft day target for the Titans. Maybe he (or Pedescleaux) could follow in the footsteps of William Hayes by becoming the latest Titan to be drafted who wasn't invited to the combine.
Jovan Haye and Kevin Vickerson will assume the unenviable role of replacing the presence of Albert Haynesworth on the defensive line next year. However, the Titans could be willing to devote a draft choice towards a younger DT to develop for the long haul.
I'd love for the Titans to select behemoth Ron Brace but if he isn't available, little-known DT prospect Sammie Lee Hill could be a sleeper target in the middle rounds. Like Brace, Hill has a ton of size (6'4" 330 lbs.) and could become a nice DT developmental prospect for D-line coach Jim Washburn.
With Daniel Loper's departure to Motown, the Titans are lacking adequate depth at both backup offensive tackle positions. As a result, don't be shocked if the Titans select an OT on draft day.
Joel Bell is a 6'6" 315 lb. sleeper with great size and athletic ability who could emerge as a middle/late round target. Despite facing lesser competition and lacking some strength, I'm confident that if Bell is drafted, offensive line coach Mike Munchak would find a way to get the most out of this small school prospect.
Are there any small-school guys that you would like to see the Titans draft later this month?