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ESPN's Mel Kiper Targets a Pass Rusher to the Titans in His First Mock Draft


MOBILE, Ala. – ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has rolled out his first mock draft of 2021.

And he's rolling out an edge rusher for the Titans at pick No. 22.

Kiper released his Mock Draft 1.0 on Tuesday morning, and he gave the Titans Miami Hurricanes defensive end Gregory Rousseau.

Here's a look at Kiper's take on the pick:

This has to be an edge rusher, right? The Titans had a putrid pass rush last season, finishing with 19 total sacks, which was only two more than the last-ranked Bengals. They got very little from free-agent signing Jadeveon Clowney, and their leading sacker Harold Landry finished with only 5.5. That's not good enough for a team that thinks it's a Super Bowl contender. The 6-foot-7 Rousseau, another opt-out, had 15.5 sacks in a breakout 2019 season, but he doesn't have an elite first step and needs to add some moves to his repertoire. With only one year of production and no live football in a year, he's another wild card in his class. But again, teams love pass-rushers, so he could be in demand.

Rousseau (6-7, 267) was named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 15.5 sacks in 2019, second in the nation behind only Ohio State's Chase Young, who had 16.5. But he opted out of the 2020 season and his 2018 season end after only two games because of a fractured ankle.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 29-May 1.

Senior Bowl practices begin here today at Hancock Whitney Stadium.

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