NASHVILLE, Tenn. – ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's first two mock drafts looked like this for the Tennessee Titans, who have the first overall pick:
*Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
*Even with the Titans' apparent needs on offense, it would be hard for them to pass on the best player in the draft. Bosa is scheme-versatile, with experience playing defensive end on both sides and moving inside to defensive tackle on obvious passing downs. And with 51.0 tackles for loss in 40 career games, he has the production you look for in a top pick.
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
If the Titans are looking to trade this pick, they might be able to find a team hoping to jump the Browns to select a quarterback. If no deal materializes, Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil would fill the team's biggest need. But the move is to pull the trigger on Bosa, the best player in the class. You can never have too many pass-rushers. And remember: One of Bosa's best traits is that he's scheme versatile, so he'd be a fit even if the Titans decide to stick with a 3-4 alignment.
But on Wednesday morning, McShay switched things up:
**Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
Tunsil is the most talented offensive lineman in the draft, so if Tennessee is interested in filling its biggest need — and protecting QB Marcus Mariota for the long term — he would be a great choice. If a QB-needy team is looking to leapfrog Cleveland and trade up to the No. 1 spot, then the Titans could stockpile some extra picks and still potentially get a really good second option at tackle in Ronnie Stanley.
On an ESPN conference call this morning, I asked McShay whether he made the switch because of something he saw or heard at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, or because he now thinks Tunsil is a better fit in Tennessee:
McShay's response:* "Mostly just a better fit. Bosa certainly didn't help himself with the 4.86 (in the 40) and the 32-inch vertical (at the combine) but he worked out well in every other drill and his game is not built on speed. It is built on quickness, power, leverage, hand usage. He is exceptional with his hands and it keeps him off of a lot of blocks and he keeps offensive tackles guessing in terms of inside, outside, what move he is going to use. And he has enough quickness to threaten on the outside but certainly he is not a speed rusher like a Von Miller. They are just different players. I still think he is one of the top two or three players in this draft, I would have no problem if Tennessee took him. I think they could make that work.*
"But the more I think about it, if Tunsil checks off all of the boxes at his Pro Day and during interviews, I think it just makes sense to protect the investment. Marcus Mariota, you are going to win or lose over the next five-plus years at with this organization depending on how Mariota plays. And how Mariota plays will in part be determined by how well he is protected. He wasn't protected well enough last year, and they need to upgrade. He needs to get the ball out quicker, but one thing they control is his pass protection and I think Laremy Tunsil is the most naturally athletic and talented offensive lineman in this draft and it would make a lot of sense to bring him in and now have two first rounders (with Taylor Lewan) as your offensive tackles."