NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mock drafters are relying heavily on need, mostly giving the Tennessee Titans cornerbacks, receivers or a tight end with the No. 5 and No. 18 picks in the April 27th first round.
Jon Robinson’s Titans are not reluctant to stock up at the positions that define them. They drafted Derrick Henry after trading for DeMarco Murray. They could draft O.J. Howard from Alabama or another high-ranking tight end to pair with aging Delanie Walker.
But another high pick on an offensive lineman would be extreme.
The Titans have a first-round left tackle in Taylor Lewan and a first-round right tackle in Jack Conklin. They invested last year in a free-agent center, Ben Jones. The left guard was Quinton Spain, undrafted in 2015, and the right guard was Josh Kline, a waiver claim from New England.
Kline replaced Chance Warmack, another first-rounder, who suffered a finger injury early in the season and since has signed as a free-agent in Philadelphia.
From 2013-2015, they spent 23 percent of their draft picks on offensive linemen:
Per my ESPN.com colleague Bill Barnwell, those picks amount to 75 of Approximate Value per Chase Stuart's methodology.
If they use the No. 5 pick on an offensive lineman, they would have invested 99.3 points on offensive linemen over the past five years, which would be the most in the league over a five year period since the Oilers in 1980 and the third-most since the NFL-AFL merger.
If they use the 18th pick on an offensive lineman, they would have invested 91.2 points on offensive line over the past five years, which would be the most since the Oilers in 1982 (since those Oilers kept spending on their line, just not quite as much) and the ninth-most since the merger over any five-year stretch:
I’m OK with positional redundancy, to a point. It can provide valuable identity insurance.
But Tretola should offer the Titans an alternative to Kline, the weakest link last year. If they want an additional option, they have plenty of picks later.
The Titans don’t need a first-round guard in my eyes.