The Tennessee Titans have a pretty deep roster overall, but there are still a few positions that they need upgrades at. Since they aren’t likely to take a quarterback with their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, addressing their needs at defensive end or linebacker with the 11th overall pick would definitely make sense, as they could benefit from further bolstering their defense.
In his latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft on the FanSided.com main page, friend of the site Josh Sanchez has the Tennessee Titans selecting Missouri Tigers defensive end Kony Ealy with their first-round pick, and it’s a selection that I don’t disagree with.
While former first-round pick Derrick Morgan has been solid at one starting defensive end slot for the Titans defense, Kamerion Wimbley hasn’t had the impact that the Titans were hoping for. It would be wise to upgrade their pass rush and add a DE to the mix, and Ealy could really help the Titans out. He declared for the draft after the team’s bowl game win, and he is an even better draft prospect than Michael Sam. While Ealy was only projected to go in the third round before the 2013 season, he played so well this year that he is squarely in the first round discussion. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was picked in the top 15, and he’s trending upwards so much that there are some analysts who have Ealy in their top ten.
So taking Ealy with the 11th pick would make sense for the Titans, and he’s showed incredible disruptiveness all season long. He’s a much more polished prospect than he was last year, and his frame reminds some draftniks of Jason Pierre-Paul. Ealy could be the high-impact pass rusher that the Titans have been looking for, and he has plenty of physical tools.
But I actually think the Titans best choice with the 11th pick in Sanchez’s mock draft is Khalil Mack, who was picked one selection later by the New York Giants. If Mack is still on the board, then I don’t think the Titans should pass up on him. The Buffalo Bills are usually the team that selects Mack in most mock drafts, since Mack is a top ten prospect, played his college ball at Buffalo, and is viewed as a fit for the Bills. If he’s still available for the Titans, then he would be a great upgrade for him.
Mack is a very versatile defensive player who had an elite college football career, and he feasted on his opponents so much that it doesn’t matter that he’s a small-school prospect. He’s been compared to Von Miller, and he would be a great fit for the Titans as a 4-3 OLB. Mack can play as a 4-3 DE, 3-4 OLB, 3-4 ILB, or 4-3 OLB, and the Titans could decide where they want to play him. Mack brings a lot to the table as a playmaker in both the passing game and running game, so he’s a very intriguing possibility for the Titans if he’s still available. In my view, it’s hard to go wrong with either Ealy or Mack, though neither are sure-fire prospects by any means; they are just very talented.