Tennessee Titans missed out on opportunity to take “the leap” in NFL Draft

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Much good can be said about the Tennessee Titans’ first draft under Ken Whisenhunt.

Zach Mettenberger falling into their lap in the sixth round or having their pick of running backs in the second are huge positives. The one glaring fumble was taking Taylor Lewan in the first round.

He might have been the best available, but does the best available always fit the most glaring hole?

The Titans have Michael Oher, who signed a four-year deal in the offseason, and Michael Roos on the roster. The latter is set to become a free agent, and Tennessee could be preparing for this. With two serviceable tackles already on the roster, it’s odd to have seen the Titans take another one so high.

It’s obvious the Titans have needs all over the field, but a dominant pass rusher is most evident.

Let’s take a quick look at who went after Lewan that could have filled that role:

No. 13 Aaron Donald – St. Louis Rams

A monster on the inside, Donald’s biggest flaw remains his height, standing at 6’1″. He is dominant inside and is projected to be a do-it-all defensive tackle/nose tackle. He was taken just two spots after Tennessee selected Lewan.

No. 23 Dee Ford – Kansas City Chiefs

He won’t necessarily be an every-down player, but Ford has the ability to penetrate the pocket and force passers outside. He’s strong, smart and was a solid selection this late. Obviously Tennessee would have needed to have moved down to get him later as not to overvalue him.

No. 29 Dominique Easley – New England Patriots

A bit quicker than the other two, Easley isn’t quick as strong and doesn’t have quite the technique as the other two pass rushers taken ahead of him. Still a very solid defensive lineman, Easley should make an impact right off the bat.

The three of these defensive linemen would have bolstered Tennessee’s lack of a pass rush. It will be interesting to see how Ray Horton and the Titans utilize what they have and how these four players develop over their first season and onward.

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