Tennessee Titans Draft Report
Round 1 (29): Isaiah Wilson, OL, Georgia
We all know the Tennessee Titans new identity. Get behind Derrick Henry, and let the man go. Well, this was the right pick to support the running back, essentially replacing Jack Conklin who the team lost via free agency. Just because this was the correct pick, does not make it a good one. 21 year old Isaiah Wilson is Conklin's replacement, but the Titans are in a win-now mode, and it's not a sure thing that Wilson will have a noticeably positive impact in 2020. Going offensive line was the right pick for the future, and a pick that had to be made, but many question Wilson's ability to contribute in his rookie season.
Pick Grade: B+
Round 2 (61): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Again, the Titans went with a positional need here, replacing Logan Ryan, who the team had known was not going to stay with them in 2020, and was coming off a great season at cornerback. Although, this is again not the right pick in order for the Titans to win now. Not only has Fulton struggled with some off the field issues, as he was suspended for the entire 2017 season for attempting to pass someone else's urine as his own during a drug test. Fulton is an athletic, and possesses the size to be an effective outside corner in the league, but has lacked the physicality to make tackles, and had some confidence issues. We all know, you have to have confidence to be a successful corner in the league, and as a rookie, on a team in a win-now mode, they can't afford to have a liability when it comes to tackling on the outside.
Pick Grade: B-
Round 3 (93): Darrynton Evans, RB, App. State
The Titans picking a running back is going to get an A grade for me, regardless of the round. You can't live and die by Derrick Henry, and we all know that, so the Titans went out and got the perfect side kick, a smaller, elusive, third down capable Darrynton Evans out of Appalachian State. Derrick Henry is now up over 1,400 carries including college and the NFL, and it is widely accepted that star running backs start to decline around 1,800. I believe that Darrynton Evans is the perfect handcuff to Henry right now, and as well as the perfect man to take over the job when Henry's time is up. Tennesee paid Tannehill instead of Henry for a reason, they're thinking the same thing. Evans is elusive, good for his size in pass protection, can attribute in the passing game far more than Henry, and adds some value as a proven return man. Evans lacks interior run game production, and vision when running between the tackles, which is the only reason this pick is an A, and not an A+.
Pick Grade: A
Round 5 (174): Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State
Can't go wrong here, as the Titans address one of the strongest needs on their defense, which is the interior of the defensive line. The rest of the defensive is stacked, with Vaccaro and Byard at safety, Adoree Jackson, Malcolm Butler, and now Kristian Fulton at corner, and Vic Beasley, Harold Landry, Rashaan Evans, and Jayon Brown at the linebacker positions. The only thing missing are the 3-4 defensive end's and the nose tackle. Murchison is a productive pass rusher, with relentless effort. He is as well productive against the run, but he lacks any obvious traits. He does make up for this absence of traits with 100% effort on every snap, but some fear the absence of go to moves or traits will be his downfall.
Pick Grade: B+
Round 7 (224): Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Now, this was an interesting pick to say the least, but if the Titans saw something in McDonald, and they got their guy in the seventh round, then hey, all power to them. McDonald ran a 4.58 40 yard dash, so maybe they plan to use him in some wildcat packages? Anyway, McDonald is a smart quarterback. He is able to effectively read defenses, and work through his progressions at a quick pace. He also puts some very good touch on the ball, but not enough to make up for his poor arm strength, and subpar ball placement. He can't make throws all across the field due to his lacking arm strength, but is able to move safeties well. It's hard to dock the Titans for spending a 7th round pick on an athletic quarterback, but I don't see much in McDonald.
Pick Grade: C+
Round 7 (243): Chris Jackson, S, Marshall
Hard to go wrong adding depth to the secondary on day 3 of the draft. Jackson was a 4 year starter at Marshall, who is tied for third in FBS history with 45 PBU's at Marshall. He possesses top end speed, running a 4.44 at his pro day, and makes a point of staying tight with every route on the tree. He lacks footwork, technique, and overall athleticism, but is well worth the 7th round pick, as he has a high motor, and knows how to produce with consistency.
Pick Grade: B
The Titans did what everyone expected them to do, grabbing an offensive lineman, a running back, some secondary help, and some defensive interior support. They did a good job of replacing key players lost in free agency, as well as filling pre existing holes. One knock on this draft is that the Titans did not put themselves in the best position to get back to the AFC Championship game, and potentially the Super Bowl in 2020. The players that they picked were necessary, but not quite the correct picks in win-now situations. It all rides on the first three picks, and their ability to contribute as rookies. As long as Wilson, Fulton, and Evans can bring some productivity to Tennessee as youngsters, this will be a successful draft.
Overall Draft Grade: B+