The Tennessee Titans addressed needs and found great value in the 2020 NFL Draft. Grading every pick from Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel.
The Tennessee Titans and general manager Jon Robinson were surprisingly stagnant, for the most part, throughout the 2020 NFL Draft. With the only trade being the Titans dealing a seventh-round pick to Kansas City for a 2021 sixth-round pick, Robinson displayed real patience in allowing the draft board to develop naturally.
This is critical as the Titans were able to fill the holes they needed to through this draft process without giving up future draft capital. While the first-round selection was somewhat surprising, overall, the draft fell the way it needed to for Tennessee to remain a contender in the AFC.
While the team may decide to still add some veterans in certain spots, Robinson did a great job of not only filling positional needs but matching players to what the Titans are trying to do as a team. Not only did most of the players come from a scheme in college that transitions well to what the Titans do but they also fit the competitive, team-first mold that Robinson has put a high value on.
Let’s see how the Tennessee Titans fared with their 2020 NFL Draft selections as we hand out a grade to each one.
Round 1, Pick 29: Isaiah Wilson, RT, Georgia
When the Titans brought back Dennis Kelly on a deal that pays him starting-caliber money, as well as bringing in swing-tackle/”jumbo tight end” Ty Sambrailo in free agency, many (including myself) thought the team would be done addressing the tackle position until maybe the later rounds in the draft.
With the team losing Jack Conklin in free agency, they decided to draft Isaiah Wilson with their first-round pick. The Titans essentially replaced Conklin with the same player, just a more athletic and aggressive version. The former Bulldog is a behemoth of a man, listed at 6-6, 350 pounds
In an interview with reporters, Isaiah Wilson was asked what he loved about the game of football. His answer: Beat people up. And that was certainly evident in the tape I watched after the selection.
Wilson’s hands deliver a serious punch and, once he gets his hands on a defender, it’s over. Despite some of his lackluster athletic numbers at the NFL Combine, I saw enough athleticism to make it work, especially within the Titans’ run-heavy offense. Both Georgia and the Tennessee Titans run a zone-blocking scheme, which should ease the transition period for Wilson.
However, there are certain things that stuck out that need some fine-tuning in Wilson’s game. First is Wilson’s tendency to get beat inside on pass protection. You’d think someone as big as Wilson with his slower Combine numbers would get beat on the outside with pure speed but it’s the spin moves and inside counter moves that get the best of him.
The other thing that wasn’t so great in my review of Wilson was his ability to find work in the second level. Wilson does have a little trouble getting to the linebackers in an efficient manner. That’s going to be hard to fix, but there are ways to scheme around that and not put Wilson in that position often.
With all of that said, the fit is certainly there as well as overall talent/potential. Although I felt as if there were more pressing needs, the selection of Isaiah Wilson solidifies the bookend tackle positions with Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan for years to come.