I've broken down the Titans' visits and workouts. I've written about what I think they might do on offense and defense. Now it's time to turn those evaluations into picks. I did this last year, and managed to nail precisely zero of the Titans' actual picks, so I have something to shoot for this year.
As I did last year, I'll be using the full seven-round mock on NFL.com, courtesy this year of Josh Norris, who spends most of his time writing for Rotoworld. The same rules apply: any player Josh has off the board at that point I can't pick. Unfortunately and unlike the Titans, I've read Josh's entire draft, so I'm doing this exercise with pre-knowledge of later picks. C'est la vie.
So, here's my take:
#10: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Josh's pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Analysis: The last of the defensive players I realy like. Both Cooper and Warmack are still on the board at this point, but as I said, I'd rather take first round defensive lineman and a guard later than one of the top guards and a later D-lineman.
#40: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Josh's pick: Dallas Thomas, OL, Tennessee
Analysis: Josh is a big Thomas fan, while I've noted my difficulties with him before. Is he a first-year starter at right guard? I'm not convinced he is. Hayden I noted in my visits report. Reasonable size, good movement, can play the slot. Is he a perfect press corner prototype? No, but I don't think the Titans are limited to that.
#70: Brian Winters, OL, Kent State
Josh's pick: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
Analysis: As I've said before, I don't think the Titans are that interested in adding a tight end. Kelce's an intriguing player. He could the most complete tight end in the class, but he has a one-year suspension for a violation of team rules. I think everyone reads that, likely correctly, as "drugs." I think the Titans take an offensive lineman no later than here, but I think there's a good chance here is where they take that first offensive lineman.
#97: J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Josh's pick: J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Analysis: A player with a visit. Small school safety.
#107: Brian Schwenke, C, Cal
Josh's pick: Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky
Analysis: I don't think Fernando Velasco is a long-term solution at center. Schwenke could be a good one and has a Titans link. Some people like Smith, others are less high on him.
#142: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Josh's pick: Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut
Analysis: Montgomery has some work ethic issues, but the Titans noted last year that if they think they can reach a player they'll take him. This is a reasonable place to take a gamble on Montgomery, who could be a good rortational player and be stout against the run while providing some pass rush help. If he played like he cared all the time, he might go in the top half of the second round.
#202: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Josh's pick: Steve Bauharnais, ILB, Rutgers
Analysis: Random collegiate developmental tackle. Wagner played on the left side at Wisconsin, but is more likely a right side guy in the NFL. Lance Zierlein has him as a 5th/6th rounder, so I'm sold on him in the late sixth.
#216: Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
Josh's pick: A.J. Klein, ILB, Iowa State
Analysis: An intriguing tight end with big size, Fauria is a guy who could have been a mid-round pick midseason but now probably goes where he deserves to.
#248: Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
Josh's pick: John Boyett, S, Oregon
Analysis: Graham has an extensive injury history, but in the seventh round I'm willing to gamble on huge upside.
So, what would Sour Gower think of this draft? Unsurprisingly, since I was the one taking it, I like it a lot. A top three of Floyd, Hayden, and Winters would be awesome-Floyd is the kind of impact defensive player the Titans don't have enough of on defense, Hayden is an immediate contributor in the slot and moves very well, and Winters is a guy they're interested in who could be a day one starter at right guard. Beyond them, we get some interesting developmental prospects, a couple of whom could fill roles in 2013 if needed. The biggest need I didn't hit was linebacker, but given the youth among the starters, I think the Titans would be fine with the right veteran to fill the empty backup role.
Feel free to tell me why you'd hate this draft, and to do better using the same guidelines.
#10 D.J. Fluker -- plays RG and blocks JJWatt with LONG arms and power. Also, provides tackle insurance and moves outside in the future.
#40 Margus Hunt -- I think they'd rather have a strong-side end to let Morgan move around some.
#70 Jamie Collins or Zaviar Gooden -- athletic linebacker who provides depth for McCarthy's injuries, Ayers moving to DE, and Special Teams.
#97 Sanders Commings -- If there is one position they would most like a dirty, competitive guy with anger issues, it is CB. Big, so fits the press CB idea they are supposedly hoping to add.
#107 Le'Veon Bell or Marcus Lattimore -- RB3 is probably open. Someone with the talent to be RB1 in 2014 makes sense. I like Schwenke here too.
#142 Barrett Jones -- big enough, smart enough, and moldable for Muchak and Matthews.
#202 Quinton Dial or Kwame Geathers -- might make the team, might not. 3rd Bama guy or 2nd Georgia guy, but I went to UTK so...
#216 Joseph Faria -- I like your pick, maybe beats Taylor Thompson or confirms that we have something in Thompson.
#248 John Boyett -- Might beat out Robert Johnson or Markelle Martin.
I liked Floyd until I fell in love with the idea of Fluker as the anti-JJWatt. Plus they really don't have room for a DT with Hill, Casey, Pitoitua, Martin, and Klug.
Here's my guess for the top of the Titan's draft board: Jordan, Fluker, Floyd, Ansah, Mingo, Warmack, Cooper, Lotulelei, Milliner in that order. Last week I had: Jordan, Ansah, Floyd, Lotulelei, Milliner, Warmack, Cooper, Mingo, Fluker.
I am surprised you chose Floyd. I felt from your D-Lineman write up that you were not too high on him, but perhaps I misinterpreted. I would prefer Warmack or Cooper because the Titan's season really rests on Jake Locker's shoulder and he needs as much help as possible. Warmack will help keep him upright and will improve the Titans greatest weapon, CJ. Also, I feel Warmack has potential to hold up decently against the likes of JJ Watt, who the Titans are going to see twice a year for the next 8 years. Therefore, I think his impact is likely to be greater overall than Floyd, especially as a rookie. Floyd to me is a little undersized and if I recall your write-up correctly was not a special pass rusher from the tackle position.
I love the Hayden pick. Titans do not need a press corner, they have him on the roster...Tommie Campbell. They just need to let him play. He did well in coverage during the one game they let him play against the Jags (but it was against the Jags).
Not bad. Hayden scares me because of the massive injury. I like the Swenke and Montgomery picks. But I like Norris' third pick (Kelce) more. I know you disagree, but I just can't believe that in this era of the NFL, the Titans would rely on the short, slow and stone-handed Walker to be the starting TE. I am hoping they take a pass-catching TE somewhere in the first three rounds (even though they didn't have any of them in for a visit).