NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The annual trip to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl is always one of the highlights for NFL personnel folks. It presents an opportunity to get a first-hand look at prospects in practice and during meetings. This importance of this year's Senior Bowl, which took place last week, is ramped up even more because the NFL combine and college pro days won't present as much access to prospects as they have in past seasons.
The Tennessee Titans brought eight personnel staff to the Senior Bowl, including GM Jon Robinson.
"There is something about the personal interaction that is beneficial," Robinson said. "This may be our only face-to-face interview time with some of these players. It's kind of like speed dating. You try to get to know them as people but you don't have much time to see if they're going to fit into your building."
Robinson will have holes to fill on both sides of the ball. But the defense will likely be the Titans' biggest target area for improvement. This year's group of talent at the Senior Bowl was stocked with playmakers, some of whom can provide much-needed help to Tennessee's pass rush.
Here's a look at five players who could be of interest to the Titans:
Rashad Weaver, edge rusher
Pittsburgh | 6-foot-4, 265 pounds
Entering the week, a lot of attention was already being paid toward fellow Pittsburgh edge rusher Patrick Jones II. But Weaver was an impressive player during Senior Bowl practices. Despite not playing on the interior during the season, Weaver showed his versatility by moving inside at times in Mobile and showed his strength on bull rushes. Weaver flashed a series of moves when given the chance to rush from the outside during one-on-ones in practice.
Keith Taylor, cornerback
Washington | 6-foot-2, 191 pounds
Taylor is a long corner who showed excellent coverage ability during the week. Receivers tested him with double moves both in practice and during the game but Taylor's fluent movement skills kept him from being caught out of position. His experience as an outside corner showed when asked to cover vertical routes where he would guide receivers toward the sideline, using it as an "extra defender".
K.J. Britt, inside linebacker
Auburn | 6-foot, 239 pounds
The Titans are in danger of losing starting linebacker Jayon Brown to free agency and are thin at the position behind Rashaan Evans and David Long. Britt was named the top linebacker on the American team in a vote from the running back and offensive line groups at Senior Bowl practice.
Britt's coverage skills wouldn't warrant him being used in man defense, but Britt held his own in one-on-ones during practice. Britt's strength is as a downhill run-stopper who uses his instincts and intelligence to flow to the football and strike running backs.
Marvin Wilson, defensive line
Florida State | 6-foot-3, 319 pounds
The Titans have to be salivating at the chance to pair Wilson with Jeffery Simmons. Wilson lined up all over Florida State's defensive front but mostly played from the interior during his week in Mobile. The biggest thing that stands out about Wilson is how powerful he is, starting with his heavy hands that he used to grab offensive linemen and throw them off him. Wilson will play mostly on the interior in the NFL which is where he'll be able to maximize his quickness against guards.
"Marvin has a very likable personality, loves football, and is an extremely hard worker," Florida State defensive coordinator Adam Fuller told Fran Duffy on the Journey To The Draft podcast. "He's very much a pleaser. He just wants to know how and why. He's kind of an old school approach guy. 'Don't tell me what's wrong. Just tell me how to fix it.' That was his mindset."
Pretty impressive how @marvinwilson21 is able to line up all over the front and be effective. This is a cutup from FSU vs. Boise in 2019. #21 should be on the #Titans radar. pic.twitter.com/HdUmVdBw6z— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) February 1, 2021
Amari Rodgers, wide receiver
Clemson | 5-foot-9, 211 pounds
Rodgers is the kind of player who would help the Titans' offense by getting what coach Mike Vrabel refers to as "free yards." The former Clemson wideout can turn a short pass into a big gain because of his skills as a ball carrier.
"Perfect skill set for a multifaceted role next year. Going to feast from the slot," ESPN's Louis Riddick said of Rodgers.
New Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing could devise a nice package for a playmaker like Rodgers who has a diverse skill set. Rodgers worked primarily from the slot in Mobile but could be used all over the formation. It's no wonder that Rodgers is a polished receiver; his father, Tee Martin, was a national championship-winning quarterback at Tennessee in 1998 before he coached wide receivers at Kentucky and USC and then served as Tennessee's offensive coordinator from 2019-20.