I did the offense yesterday, so now it's time to see what an ideal draft would be for the Titans' defense.
The defensive side of the ball is where the Titans have spent most of their attention this offseason, resigning Rod Hood and adding Jason Babin, Tye Hill, and Will Witherspoon. It's also where they're expected to spend their first round pick; per the odds, it's 12/5 the 16th pick in the first round is used on an offensive player and 1/3 for the defensive side of the ball.
Despite the additions, a defense-oriented draft also offers significantly more options. Witherspoon removes linebacker from the list of immediate needs, but aside from maybe OLB there's not a single position on defense where this year's 1st round pick shouldn't be expected to start in 2011, if not this season. And, much like on offense, it's a sort of interlocking puzzle, with the first round pick affecting the 3rd round picks, which in turn affect the later picks, and so on. So, what to do?
We've known the opponents since the season ended, but now we know the dates and times of the Titans' 2010 regular season schedule. Behold:
Week 1: Sept. 12, vOakland, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 2: Sept. 19, vPittsburgh, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 3: Sept. 26, @NY Giants, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 4: Oct. 3, vDenver, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 5: Oct. 10, @Dallas, 3:15 PM (CBS)
Week 6: Oct. 18, @Jacksonville, 7:30 PM (Monday Night Football, ESPN)
Week 7: Oct. 24, vPhiladelphia, 12 noon (FOX)
Week 8: Oct. 31, @San Diego, 3:05 PM (CBS)
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Nov. 14, @Miami, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 11: Nov. 21, vWashington, 12 noon (FOX)
Week 12: Nov. 28, @Houston, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 13: Dec. 5, vJacksonville, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 14: Dec. 9, vIndianapolis, 7:20 PM (Thursday Night Football, NFL Network)
Week 15: Dec. 19, vHouston, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 16: Dec. 26, @Kansas City, 12 noon (CBS)
Week 17: Jan. 2, @Indianapolis, 12 noon (CBS)
We're only a few days away from the long-awaited, highly-anticipated event of the offseason: the 2010 NFL Draft.
With draft-day fast approaching, the mostly consensus opinion regarding what the Tennessee Titans should do with the #16 selection in the first round has been centered upon picking up an impact defensive end. Names such as Jason Pierre-Paul, Derrick Morgan and Brandon Graham have frequently been mentioned as potential candidates to fill the team's void at the DE position.
Outside of defensive end, there's been talk in some circles about the possibility of selecting a cornerback such as Joe Haden, Kyle Wilson or maybe even Earl Thomas in the first round.
Personally, whether it's the DE or CB position, I'm hoping that the Titans will utilize the best player available approach as their modus operandi on draft day.
Ripping off some other site's brilliant idea, I thought I'd do a sort of "ideal draft" for the Titans from the perspective of both sides of the ball, and started with the offense. I ran into a basic problem, though.
Back when I did a post on setting roster expectations, I counted thirteen absolute locks on the offensive side of the ball. Realistically, though, in Kropog, Otto, and Ringer/White, there are three more essentially locks, bringing you up to 16 offensive players. Considering that the 53-man roster will be roughly split between offense and defense, that leaves room for 8 more offensive players.
The question, though, is how you allocate those players. I started this exercise by taking WR Dez Bryant in the first round, for a couple reasons: I think it's realistic he could be there, the character issues are a minor concern and not a severe one for me, and he'd be an additional gamebreaker for the Titans' offense.