Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE – Mock drafts are all over the place a few weeks before the NFL Draft.
Questions for the mailbag, well, they’re from all over the place as well.
Let’s get rolling …
Dave Maniaci from Honolulu, Hawaii
Question: Hi Jim. I do not understand why there are so many NFL Mock Drafts suggesting Noah Fant for the 19th pick to the Titans. Yes the TE position is a very important piece in any offense, Delanie Walker is coming off a severe injury, but Jonnu Smith, MyCole Pruitt, Anthony Firkser, and Luke Stocker have done a phenomenal job in Walkers’ absence. AND Delanie, one of the best TE’s in the league! PLUS the Humphries addition in the slot for a quick out! Not sure if the mock drafters got that memo. Anyhow, I still contend, pre and post free agency, the first pick should be the best OG on the board. Next, a dominant DL to compliment Jurrell Casey. Then the rest should fall into place. With the best Nickel DB in the league, Logan Ryan, back to health, resigning the human missile Kenny Vaccaro, and sack master Kamalei Correa, the edge position will also not be as critical as draft experts think. Interior pressure is more important at this point and wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Titans could somehow acquire Christian Wilkins? Keep the flaming ball burning Jim! Love your work!
Jim: Hey Dave. Help is still needed at tight end following Stocker’s departure, but whether it should come at tight end right out of the gate is debatable. The top two tights ends in the draft are special, though, and Delanie can’t play forever, so I get some of the thinking at least. I have to say I disagree with your take on the edge. I get what you’re saying, and how guys like Logan, Kenny et al will help, but teams with game-changing edge players are scary. While Cameron Wake, Harold Landry et al will impact games, you can’t have enough. Another Jevon Kearse-like player would change the defense. But there’s no doubt a big and nasty d-lineman would be a game-wrecker as well.
Steven Crosio from Brick New Jersey
Question: Hey there Jim. With the draft only weeks away and if Titans were to trade up or down which team is the most likely to trade with us Titans during the draft oughta all the other 31 teams?
Jim: Hey Steven. Hard to say in advance. Most of this will be determined by what happens early in the draft, and how certain positions are coming off the board. I asked the GM about the potential of a draft day trade. Here’s what he said: “I’d say all bets are off as far as what I am going to do, what we’re going to do. At the end of the day we’re going to do what’s best for our football team and whether that is move up, move back, or stick and pick we’ll just kind of see how the cards unfold for us.”
Mark Sanderson from Burlington, North Carolina
Question: Hi Jim. I was surprised to read in a previous mailbag that some people within the Titans thought that Ben Jones played well last season. Were his struggles due to an injury we didn’t know about or was there just a slow adjustment to the new blocking scheme? Hopefully, his play improves dramatically so we can get a better production on offense as a whole.
Jim: Hey Mark. I said some folks in the organization, including me, felt he was the best of the three interior guys last season, and that has proven to be correct considering one guard was released (Josh Kline) and the other wasn’t re-signed (Quinton Spain).
Bobby Dreke from Prince George’s County, Maryland
Question: Hi Jim. Do u think if we had the chance to draft Hakeem butler in the second rd ,we would take it? He could be the deep threat we’ve been looking for and another dominating force like Derrick Henry on offense. In the 1st rd it maybe too high but if they feel good about him why not? In reality if one of those stud defensive players up front were to fall ,I’d take them also.
Jim: Hey Bobby. Butler is a heck of a player. I don’t think he’ll be around in the second round, at pick 51. Heck, some folks have him going in the first round, as high as the top 20. Not sure I believe that at this point, but better chance of that happening than in the second, so we’ll see. I do think the Titans will draft a receiver.
Michael Loredo from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Is Marcus ready for week 1?
Jeff Fradsham from Crewe, Virginia
Question: Jim, could you help me out in understanding this new “edge” position. I understand the concept of a defensive player with the ability to rush the passer on the outside. So is the old definition of outside linebacker now called edge, or is edge a defensive end?
Jim: Hey Jeff. Can really be either. Of course the defensive ends in a 4-3 play next to the defensive tackles, at the “edge” of the defensive line. Their primary job is to rush the passer but also stop runs to the outer “edges” of the defense. The outside backers work the same way in a 3-4. That’s why DE/OLBs get referred to as “edge” guys.
Dave Bettlach from Chesterfield, Missouri
Question: Hi Jim. With only 3 Safeties currently on the roster what are the chances we re-sign Cyprien to a reduced contract? I know they kinda left the door open to that possibility when he was released. Would also like to see them draft Darnell Savage Md. or Mike Edwards from Ky. If both of these guys were a couple inches taller…they’d probably be first rd picks! Thanks
Jim: Hey Dave. I think that would be the ideal situation. Cyp is well regarded, as a player and a person. He’d be a great add. But it works both ways. If the opportunity presented itself, he’d have to decide whether there’s a better opportunity for playing time/starting position elsewhere. The Titans currently have Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro as starters, and Dane Cruikshank as a back-up.
Joshua Thomas from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: With all the great play from the tight ends the Titans picked up after Delanie Walker went down, apart from Stocker who signed with the Falcons, how many will you think will make the roster since they all have different things they are really good at? Pruitt showed he can block and catch and Firsker can catch just about anything, I would really like to see us keep both of them and not draft a tight end and let them compete and be situational behind Walker and Smith. Thank you for your great work in keeping everyone up to date with everything going on.
Jim: Thanks Joshua. For now, my bet is four tight ends will be on the initial 53, and one more on the practice squad.
Brandon Hindmon from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. First off, I want to say thank you for the excellent coverage you provide for our Titans. It’s much appreciated. My question is simple. Does Marcus want to be here in Tennessee or do you think he would rather start fresh after this season coming up in a city out west closer to home for him? I would hate to see that happen but I have never heard him say that he wants to be our franchise and that he wants to retire a Titan. I always hear him say its a business and that things happen. I believe in him and his ability to lead us to a championship and I believe he is our franchise QB but I often wonder if he feels the same way and thought you might have some insight. Is he as thrilled to be a Titan as I am to have him in Tennessee? Thanks for all you do Jim and FOREVER TITANUP!!!!!! #SuperMariota
Jim: Thanks Brandon. I’ve heard nothing to make me think Marcus doesn’t want to be here. In a recent interview from Honolulu, he said he enjoys Tennessee and the organization, and would love to be here, but he understands it’s a business as well. Heck, I’ll just share his quote: “Obviously I love Nashville, I love Tennessee. It’s a great organization to play for. With that being said, it’s a business and you can’t take any of that stuff personal. You just got to go out there and do your thing. No matter what, my number one goal is to get healthy and from there just become a better football player and do my best to be my best when the season comes so we can win games.”
Tom Peterson from Piscataway, New Jersey
Question: Does Anthony Firkser have a chance to be the 1 or 2 starting TE? The guy catches everything thrown his way and makes few mistakes in the routes and blocking.
Jim: Hey Tom. Man, tight ends are a popular topic in this week’s mailbag. I like Anthony, and he did a really nice job last year. Caught everything thrown in his zip code. Right now, though, I must say I think he’ll be fighting for a roster spot in camp more than for the No.1 or No.2 job. That’s just the reality with Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith currently ahead of him, and with MyCole Pruitt held in high regard by the head coach. Plus, the team added another player to the competition on Monday in Keith Towbridge.
Carlos Berry from Tupelo, Missisippi
Question: The Tennessee Titans need to draft DT Dexter Lawrence with the #19 pick in the 1st round of the draft give #99 J.Casey a new inside running mate & for 2nd round pick of the draft take a young talent Edge Rusher give #58 H.Landry a new young running mate & for 3rd round pick of the draft take a OG & for 4th round pick of the draft take a young WR with speed and size & for 5th round pick of the draft take a QB & Tennessee Titans need to sign SUH to a 1 year deal 8-9 million WIN WIN for both TITAN UP.
Jim: Hey Carlos. Sounds more like a wish list than a question, and I’m cool with that. Thanks for weighing in. I’m betting some other folks will like your suggestions.
Deborah Berwyn from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Do you have to have an NFL Fan Mobile app for the NFL draft admission or is there an alternative way?
Jim: Hi Deborah. You don’t have to have the app to get in – admission is free, and the app isn’t needed. But it will be very helpful during draft weekend for a chance to be in the drafted fan zone by the main stage, to see a schedule of player signings and appearances, to access photos and videos from the event, for prizes and more, including alerts on the latest event information. You should get it by clicking HERE.
Have a great week everyone!