There are three basic directions the Titans could choose to go with the tenth overall pick in the draft. These three directions are at an offensive guard to fill the vacant starting right guard spot, for a defensive lineman to throw into the defensive line mix, or, less likely than either of the first two in my opinion, another direction. I covered the top guards available yesterday and will cover the defensive linemen in this post before turning my attention to the other options tomorrow.
What exactly do the Titans think of their current group of defensive linemen? Do the Titans think their defensive line corps is good enough? If not, what kind of player are they looking to add? I tried puzzling my way through that when I wrote about the Ropati Pitoitua signing. When I wrote about drafting to win the AFC South, one thing that really stood out to me was how much importance I assigned to the Sammie Lee Hill signing and what a player with his size and ability meant to what I thought the Titans think about the defensive line. Hill played about 40% of the defensive snaps for the Lions last year; is that really the type of player who can be counted on to make that much of a difference by himself?
If I'm running the Titans, I'm thinking about two specific defensive line roles in the draft, a quick penetrating 3-tech defensive tackle and a defensive end who can contribute as a rookie and take over for Kamerion Wimbley as a pass-rushing starter in 2014 if the Titans make him one of the cuts they'll be making. Another type of player I would not target but think they might target would be a player who could more of a run-stopping end in a base situation who also has some pass rushing ability inside in sub packages-think what Gray wanted Jason Jones to be in 2011 or what appears in a different flavor in J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith in Houston.
With that in mind, and keeping in mind I'm not better at evaluating hand use and the finer points of technique with defensive linemen than I am with offensive linemen, let's take a look at the defensive linemen-type people who are candidates to go in the top half of the draft.