@PaulKuharskyNFL Inside linebacker is a under the radar need. More of a possibility of going for it in free agency or in the draft
— Beau Blaker (@BeauBlaker) February 17, 2017
I agree it’s a need. They should get a big-time, three-down guy.
I’m not sure they see it the same way. They might believe they are good enough with Avery Williamson as that guy. He struggled in stretches in coverages in 2016, but said he believed it was a slump from which he recovered. He’s a good, solid player, but in the Titans era the franchise has had only one giant-impact inside or middle linebacker, and Randall Godfrey played in Tennessee from 2000-03.
Alabama’s Reuben Foster could be the sort of dynamic, all-over-the field presence the team has typically lacked. He’s got a shoulder issue that will keep him from working out at the combine. No. 5 might be early for him, but in a trade-down situation, I could absolutely see him as a target.
Dont'a Hightower would be the huge free-agent prize, but it’s hard to imagine the Patriots won’t find a way to keep him. Todd Davis of the Broncos is an ascending player who could have a lot of suitors. Kevin Minter of Arizona and Washington’s Will Compton might also fit the bill.
If the Titans stick with Williamson as their three-down guy, they need an upgrade at nickel linebacker, as Sean Spence was not consistent enough. He played on a one-year contract in 2016 and seems to be a Dick LeBeau favorite.
— Jason S Maust (@jason_maust) February 17, 2017
If the Titans were to draft LSU safety Jamal Adams with the fifth pick, of course he’d help the secondary. ESPN.com’s scouting report says he has “range to handle center-field responsibilities. Also has the size, fluidity and speed to match up with TEs and some slot WRs in man coverage.” Also: “Above-average anticipation and playmaking instincts. Locates and tracks the ball well in the air.”
Good safety play helps cornerbacks, for sure. But also, taking a safety with a first-round pick doesn’t mean the Titans come out of the draft without a cornerback -- or two. Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller has 15 cornerbacks in his top 100. The Titans don’t currently have a second-round pick, but they can get a good cornerback in the third round.
So yes, Adams would upgrade the secondary, He and Kevin Byard could be a great pairing at safety for years to come.
If the Titans stay at No. 5, getting a great player is far more important that filling a primary need.
— Dwight Creasman (@dcreasman) February 17, 2017
I wouldn’t put pass-rusher at the top of their list. Brian Orakpo had double-digit sacks and Derrick Morgan just missed. Kevin Dodd will amount to a bonus player after doing very little as a rookie. He had offseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot and then never really mentally recovered from it and was put on injured reserve after 10 games, nine of which he played in.
Sure, you can never have too many pass-rushers. Certainly they can take one. But if they have four quality edge rushers, it would be hard to use all of them enough.