The Tennessee Titans have a critical offseason ahead of them, since they will most likely move on from head coach Mike Munchak and have a serious question to answer at quarterback. Former first-round pick Jake Locker looked good this season before going down with a season-ending injury, and his injury issues have led to concerns regarding his ability to be the Titans franchise quarterback. If the Titans choose to bypass Locker’s expensive team option, then they will be back to square one at the QB position. Jay Cutler has been rumored as a potential replacement, but can they bank on the Chicago Bears not re-signing or franchising him? If the Titans don’t keep Locker and don’t sign Cutler, then it looks like the draft is their only alternative when it comes to finding their franchise QB.
In Erik Lambert’s latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft on NFLMocks.com, the Titans actually take a safety with their first-round pick. With the tenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans decided to pull Alabama Crimson Tide standout Ha Ha Clinton-Dix off the board, and it is a selection that I am not in agreement with. For the entire mock and explanations of the selections, please follow the link here. It’s worth reading through, as Lambert did an excellent job with it despite my disagreements.
Clinton-Dix is undoubtedly the best safety in the draft class, but he doesn’t make sense as a top selection for the Titans. The Titans don’t need to draft a safety at all, even if strong safety Bernard Pollard is set to become a free agent. Not only are they better off re-signing him, but they have enough depth at safety that they could have a solid starting duo without even keeping Pollard. Michael Griffin is locked in as the Titans free safety, and underrated veteran George Wilson continues to be one of the better starting safeties in the league. If Pollard leaves, then Wilson would actually be an upgrade at SS, and there is no need for the Titans to select a safety despite Clinton-Dix’s obvious talent.
So who do the Titans pick? That’s an extremely difficult question. If they want to go with a quarterback, then they are best off waiting until the second round in this mock draft. Why? Well, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, and Johnny Manziel are already off the board in Lambert’s mock. Unless if the Titans are 100% sold on a quarterback outside of that big four, then there’s no reason to select a QB with the tenth pick. The ideal scenario has the Titans trading down, but I could see them adding another pass rusher.
The best pick, though, is C.J. Mosley. Even though conventional wisdom states that you should wait later on in the first round to take an inside linebacker, the Titans need an ILB so much that picking Mosley with the tenth pick is perfectly justifiable. Trading down would better accomplish this goal, but Mosley is so good that it might not be wise for the Titans to hope that he can last longer. Also, it’s a lot more difficult to trade down when the QBs are already taken off the board.
Clinton-Dix’s teammate at Alabama, Mosley is one of the best players overall in the draft class, and he has everything you look for in an inside linebacker prospect. Mosley has little bust potential, he’s versatile enough to play at any position in the 4-3, he has all the intangibles, and he excels in both coverage and run defense. Plus, he can even blitz when called upon. So while Clinton-Dix doesn’t make much sense due to the Titans needs, Mosley seems like an excellent pick, even if he looks like a bit of a reach. If Khalil Mack weren’t already selected one pick before by the Buffalo Bills in this mock, then Mack would have been a solid choice due to his ability to rush the passer as a potential 4-3 DE and play LB.