If you want draft intrigue, you might have to wait until about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, when the draft moves into the second half of the first round. That’s where value starts to spike. I have trouble seeing anyone trading up in the first ten picks. Anything’s possible on draft day.
When I started working on my ‘dream’ Titans’ mock draft, player value was important. With Andre Dyson signing with the Seahawks two things happened. First Dyson can stop having nightmares about covering Reggie Wayne. Second the Titans have a top draft need now. It’s almost guaranteed that a rookie is going to be a starting cornerback. You can say that about no other potential draft pick. Because of that it makes a lot of sense for the Titans to draft a top CB in the first round. You could call it a slam dunk.
Or not. No team makes the Super Bowl by being locked into a certain position at any point in the draft. The Patriots keep drafting tight ends in the first round and they often use a linebacker at that position in the red zone. If Mike Williams is there at the sixth pick it would be hard for the Titans to pass, if not use him to leverage a good trade that includes a later first-round pick.
Mike Williams is nearly 6’5, 230 pounds, and is only a hair slower than Tyrone Calico, the supposed speedster on the roster. Williams scored 30 touchdowns in 26 games on a college team stocked with talent. He’s a superstar waiting to happen. Drew Bennett is the team’s number one receiver at the moment. One of the main reasons why Bennett broke out in the season’s second half was the threat of Derrick Mason. Tyrone Calico, while talented, is coming off knee surgery and has zero NFL starts.
Besides, I like the value of Mike Williams and a second-tier cornerback over the value of Antrel Rolle (the current consensus top CB prospect) and a second-tier wide receiver. The Titans might have to trade up a few slots into the end of the first round to get a Marlin Jackson or Justin Miller.
Before I make my official list, I say the following. If I’m right about one player after the third round, it will be a miracle.
1 – Mike Williams WR USC: Best playmaker available.
2 – Justin Miller CB Clemson: Recent arrest may hurt his draft status. Kick returner and solid cornerback.
3a – Adrian McPherson QB Indiana Firebirds (AFL): Upside overrides character issues. Titans have tons of film and inside knowledge of McPherson because Firebirds franchise is now the Nashville Katts.
3b – Adam Terry OT Syracuse: Could be Hopkins’ eventual replacement.
4a – Lance Mitchell LB Oklahoma: Peter Sirmon insurance.
4b – Darren Sproles RB KSU: He’s another playmaker. If he’s 5’10 instead of listed 5’6, he’s a first-rounder. You don’t think Norm Chow could figure out how to use this guy?
5a – Courtney Roby WR Indiana: Put up great numbers with a horrible surrounding cast.
5b – Scott Starks cb Wisconsin: 4.38 speed. Smaller guy but plays big.
6 – Junius Coston c NCAT: Interior OL depth is necessary here.
7 – Steve Cucci TE Houston: The Titans reached for Shad Meier in a big way in 2001. While I’d prefer the team to go UDFA for their third TE, Cucci visited the team and in the seventh round you’re not looking for a starter.
Undrafted free agents: A QB, a couple of running backs, as many wide receivers as we can carry, one or two DL bodies, one or two LB bodies, as many cornerbacks as we can carry, a safety or two, and a kicker.