The Tennessee Titans are not known for being an especially strong NFL draft team. They’ve found performers in past years, make no mistake, but they’ve struggled to unearth long-term keepers.
To wit: Just 10 players they drafted between 2012 and 2016 were still on the roster in the 2019 NFL season. There has been a lot of turnover in the past decade. Tennessee finds itself relying a lot on newly inbound players each year.
The Titans will try to remedy their mediocre draft record in 2020. Though there are no assurances they’ll accomplish the feat, they can increase their chances by addressing the following roster holes and questions before prioritizing any other positions.
While the Titans weren’t the NFL’s worst team in the secondary last season, they didn’t do much to inspire big-picture confidence. They ranked 24th in total passing yards given up as well as 17th in touchdowns allowed through the air.
Those rankings need to improve. The Titans play an aggressive style of defense, in which they’re actively chasing interceptions. But they don’t have the mobility right now in their backfield to get the job done. Acquiring some needs to be priority numero uno in the draft.
Sticking with the defense, the Titans have-to-have-to-have-to get someone who can put actual pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They allowed scores on 32.1 percent of their defensive possessions in 2019—the sixth-worst mark in the entire league.
Drafting someone who allows them to run more effective blitzes and gets rival QBs scrambling is a must. Selecting an edge rusher early on is always a bit of a risk, but the 2020 prospect pageant has a couple of first- and second-round candidates—mostly notably Yetur Gross-Metos out of Penn State.
Pretty much every aspect of the Titans’ offensive line could use a little bit of help. Only the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers allowed more sacks in 2019, and Tennessee ranked in the bottom 10 of QB hits, surrendering nearly 100.
It’s no wonder Marcus Mariota was eventually stripped of his under-center duties. Mobile quarterbacks can be at an even bigger disadvantage than pocket passers behind a crummy offensive line.
The Titans need a couple of extra bodies to protect their most important player—whether that’s Mariota, Ryan Tannehill or a new face taking reps under center in 2020 and the years to come.