Tennessee Titans' 2019 draft: Analysis for every pick

NFL draft profile: Jeffery Simmons (0:52)

Jeffery Simmons is a defensive tackle out of Mississippi State who is a projected first-round pick in the draft, but tore his ACL in February. (0:52)

Breaking down the Tennessee Titans' 2019 draft class:

Round 1, No. 19 overall: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

My take: This should be an excellent future investment for the Titans once Simmons gets healthy -- he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during training. Simmons is the caliber of player who's capable of wrecking offensive game plans. Teams will pay for double-teaming Jurrell Casey with a player like Simmons lining up next to him.

Overcoming the past: A top prospect coming out of high school, Simmons was captured on video hitting a woman; the incident took place before Simmons arrived at Mississippi State. He later pleaded no contest to simple assault. Simmons was allowed to enroll at Mississippi State and was suspended for one game.

Simmons won Mississippi State’s Newsom Award in 2017 for his work on the field, in the community and the classroom. He majored in human development and family science while being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

When can he contribute? Having their first-rounder start on the reserve/physically unable to perform list isn't ideal for a team looking to take the next step. There is still a ways to go for Simmons in recovering from the ACL tear before he can return to the field. Titans GM Jon Robinson spoke briefly after selecting Simmons, saying he expects the defensive tackle to be an impactful player when he is ready -- but the timetable for a return is unclear.

What’s next: There is still a need for an edge defender, whether that be an outside linebacker or five-technique. There likely will be options such as D'Andre Walker from Georgia or Jaylon Ferguson from Louisiana Tech on the board when the Titans pick in the second round (No. 51). Tennessee also will need to address the right guard position. Players such as Oklahoma's Ben Powers and Dru Samia could be targets.

Round 2, No. 51 overall: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

My take: Brown is a complete receiver who's tough and able to consistently get yards after the catch. He can play any WR position for Tennessee but excelled mostly in the slot at Ole Miss after D.K. Metcalf's injury. Brown has a large catch radius and could become a reliable favorite for Marcus Mariota. It's all about getting a clean evaluation of Mariota as he enters his fifth season for the Titans -- Brown will help them do that.


NFL draft profile: A.J. Brown

A.J. Brown is a receiver from Ole Miss who was a two-time first-team All-SEC selection for the Rebels.

Round 3, No. 82 overall: Nate Davis, OL, UNC-Charlotte

My take: Davis is a versatile offensive lineman who will compete for the starting spot at right guard. He is capable of playing center and tackle as well. The departure of guard Quinton Spain via free agency created a void at right guard. Davis believed his meeting with the Titans was one of the most relaxed ones he had at the combine.

What’s next: The Titans will still need to select an edge defender on Day 3. They've gotten great value so far in Simmons, Brown and Davis. Look for OLB Maxx Crosby and DE Charles Omenihu as options.


NFL draft profile: Amani Hooker

Amani Hooker is a safety out of Iowa who is best lining up in the slot and making plays on the ball.

Round 4, No. 116 overall: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa

My take: Hooker should be a good addition to the Titans, giving them another defender to cover move tight ends. His physical, in-the-box style of play matches the Titans' emphasis on toughness. Hooker will likely be a special-teams standout as well.

Round 5, No. 168 overall: D'Andre Walker, OLB, Georgia

My take: Walker is a solid pick for the Titans, especially in the fifth round. He has drawn comparisons to Justin Houston because of his size and strength as an edge defender. Walker sets the edge against the run and gets after the quarterback on passing downs. He should instantly compete for a spot in a rotation at outside linebacker.

Round 6, No. 188 overall: David Long Jr., LB, West Virginia

My take: Long will compete with veteran special teams ace/LB Daren Bates for a roster spot. He is slightly undersized but has a nose for the football as shown by his 9.3 tackles per game last season. Long was a productive player at West Virginia, leading the team in tackles (111) and sacks (8) last season. His full-throttle approach to the game should make him a special teams dynamo for the Titans.