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ESPN's Todd McShay Discusses His Best-Case Scenario for the Titans in First Round of NFL Draft


NASHVILLE – In a dueling mock draft for ESPN earlier this week, draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay took turns making picks for all 32 NFL teams.

Kiper made the first two picks for the Titans – he took Kentucky QB Will Levis at No.11 and Georgia TE Darnell Washington at No.41 in the second round – while McShay made Tennessee's third pick. McShay went with North Dakota offensive lineman Cody Mauch.

On Wednesday morning, McShay was on a conference call with reporters leading up to next week's NFL Draft.

So, I asked him the best-case scenario for the Titans in the first round.

His reply went a number of directions.

"Well, it depends on how hungry they are for moving up for a quarterback," McShay said. "And now there's a lot of speculation that C.J. Stroud is not going to be the pick at No.2.

"I was standing there with Stroud at the (Ohio State) Pro Day and (Mike) Vrabel came over and said: 'Hey, go take a shower and let's meet in the wide receiver room.' So, there's a relationship there, obviously with Vrabel and his background at Ohio State. That doesn't mean they are going to take him or want to move up for him. I'm just saying there is a relationship there, and it is interesting. But if Houston stays at 2 and takes a defensive lineman, then (Tennessee) has a real good chance to move up to 3 to the Arizona spot, but you're going to be competing with the Colts (who have the 4th overall pick), and you're going to be competing potentially with the Raiders at 7. So, how much are you willing to go up and get that guy?"

The Titans are currently scheduled to pick at No.11 in the first round of next week's NFL Draft.

After Thursday, the team is scheduled to make five more picks – 41, 72, 147, 186 and 228.

Twice on Wednesday's call, McShay mentioned the Titans have a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill who is older, with a big cap hit.

"This seems like the time to draft a quarterback for your future," McShay said. "So, I'm interested to see how aggressive they get."

McShay wondered who might be there if the Titans stay at 11.

"Maybe they love (Florida's) Anthony Richardson? Maybe they love Will Levis and one of those guys falls?" McShay said. "Maybe it gets to pick 7, 8, or 9 and they can make an easy deal and move up a couple of spots and make sure Houston (who also has pick 12) doesn't trade up ahead of them, or Washington (at 16) doesn't trade up ahead of them, although I think they are comfortable with their situation for whatever reason. And then at 19, Tampa Bay. So, that will be interesting to see."

McShay also mentioned a scenario where the Titans might not even want a quarterback, or their options by the time they are scheduled to pick aren't what they have in mind.

McShay said he has 17 "true first round players" in this year's draft.

"If it's not quarterback, then I think offensive line and edge are probably the two areas I would look for them to attack," McShay said of the Titans. "And at 11 you'll have some pretty good options."

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