NASHVILLE – We're now within a week of the NFL Draft in Nashville.
We know all the musical acts, but not the picks.
We'll have to wait until Thursday to begin finding that out.
But, hey, we can talk about it in the latest Titans mailbag…
Tyler Smith from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, second time writer so thank you for answering my first question regarding Ed Oliver. My second question is this: Second Round, Titans on the clock, your Tennessee Titans select: Deebo Samuel. What are your two cents on this selection and also the possibility of this happening considering the Titans have been very open about drafting a young WR? I understand the injury history, but if he remains healthy there are few knocks you can make on his game. Have a good one! TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Tyler. It all hinges on the first round, of course. My best guess is the Titans will go defense out of the gate, but that's just me. I haven't been in the War Room, and the GM isn't sliding me any inside info. It's just a hunch based on the guys I think will be on the board. And if that happens, then a receiver could be in play in the second round. Of course if I'm completely wrong, then that could change things. As for Samuel specifically, I like him. And I've talked to NFL Network draft analysts Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah in the last week, and they also raved about him. I think a receiver will be added, it's just a matter of who, and when.
Marcus Milling from Idaho
Question: Hi Jim. Many media analysts are selecting either Noah Fant or TJ Hockenson for the Titans in their Mock Drafts, which seems unlikely given Delanie Waker's incredible production, work-ethic, and level of fitness over the years and Jonnu Smith's potential and 3rd round draft status.
The possible exception I see is thinking Fant or Hockenson might be able to play a significant number of snaps as a boundary receiver, some of those possibly starting lined-up next to the tackle and then splitting-out wide before the snap. Do you know of any NFL teams looking at them this way? What do you think of their potential in this regard? Or could Smith be used more in this way?
All this is also assuming the Titans can't find a way to trade down if all the top edge rushers are gone at #19 and the Titans think they can pick up a starting iOL in the 2nd round. Thanks. Marcus from Idaho, who grew-up in Houston watching Earl Campbell run over LA Ram players.
Jim: Hey Marcus. That's definitely been topic of conversation for some, especially with Fant. Those guys will be matchup problems in the NFL. Teams will be able to line them up in the slot, and force smaller defenders to stay with them.
Kellen Robbins from Jackson, Tennessee
Question: Thank you for your honest approach to answering questions for the Titans faithful. With the NFL draft upon us the Titans seem to need another QB. Do you think the Titans will go QB in rounds 4-7 of the draft, or wait till after free agency? Also the Titans would seem to be in big trouble if Henry went down. Dion can carry the load in the pass game, but struggles to produce between the lines. Do you think the Titans could go running back with one of the day two selections to finish that group up, or do you see another back getting more production (McNichols, Dawkins, or Fluellen)? Also will any Titans be at the autograph section at the NFL draft?
Jim: Appreciate it, Kellen. I do my best. And on this one, I'll just say I wouldn't be surprised either way. After signing Logan Woodside, the team now has three QBs on the roster (Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, and Woodside). I think a fourth will be added, but he could be just an undrafted free agent. The Titans would like to develop another QB, so if there's a guy available the team likes, then it could happen again. That's what the team wanted to do with Luke Falk last year, but when he was released from the 53 the Dolphins gobbled him up, and kept him from being added back to Tennessee's practice squad, which was the plan. As for running back, I could see one being drafted third day. And yes, some guys will be signing autographs. Kevin Byard said he's scheduled to do so himself. But I haven't seen a master list, so make sure you have the NFL app and be on the lookout.
Emily Jackson from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: Will the joint practices between the Titans and the Patriots be open to fans/public? I'm a huge Titans fan, and my husband is a HUGE, diehard Patriots fan. We would love to be able to go to the joint practices. If the practices are closed to the public, are there any events that will be open while the 2 teams are together? Thanks so much!
Jim: Hi Emily. Yes, they will be open to the public. The date of that preseason game is now set for Saturday, August 17, so my best guess is practices will be Wednesday and/or Thursday leading up to it. It's just a matter of pinning down some of the specifics, so stay tuned and keep an eye on Titans Online or my Twitter account (@jwyattsports) for more specifics. I hope you enjoy it more than your husband, kind of like that Titans-Patriots game last season. 😊
John Cox from Camden, Arkansas
Question: Schedule released and I'm disappointed we only have one prime-time game against the Jaguars AGAIN! Opening up in Cleveland could be bad; I think the Browns are gonna be a playoff team and possible Super Bowl contender. Also, the final three games are gonna be brutal unless some unforeseen things occur to the Texans and Saints. I'm thinking 9-7 or 10-6. What are your thoughts on the 2019 schedule?
Jim: Hey John. Can't lie – I was disappointed myself. Thought the team deserved more primetime games, and at least one at home. No dice. The three of four on the road at the start of the season is tough, and two of the last three vs. the Texans isn't ideal. As for the Browns, maybe it's good to get them early before they put it all together, because I agree – I think they're going to be good.
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: How's it going? Only one prime time game. Seems we're not respected, or at least overlooked.
Jim: Hey David. Only one thing the Titans can do about it now: Win games, stay in contention, and force some of those Week 11-17 games into being flexed.
Paul Taylor from Chapel Hill, Tennessee
Question: This is the draft order for this yr.. MY OWN predict the pick...#1 need is Pass Rushers..(plural).The titans should trade up and take Josh Allen at all cost.No matter what they have to give up it will be extremely beneficial for this team..Extremely beneficial..Trade up JR ! this is the one!! Take him and then take another OLB in the second or whenevver you get the chance cuz you might have to give a 2nd too to get MR. ALLEN but it's worth every bit of whatever it takes.If he can come in and get just 10 sacks a yr then he'd be the best DE the Titans have ever had..TAKE HIM JR!! Andrew Luck is gonna be around for yrs to come and we have and have had NO ONE to get to him and pressure him to throw the ball. THIS MUST BE ADDRESSED NOW OR RISK LOSING TRUE BLUE FANS THAT DEMAND TO WIN!! IF WE CAN'T GET THROUGH OUR OWN DIVISION HOW ARE WE EVER GONNA WIN???? Jacksonville,Houston and Indianapolis are all ahead of us and this can surely help balance things in this division but we MUST improve drastically to get to Mr LUCK! ...Sorry Jim for the rant but it's true. Forward to the nearest GM lol.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Paul. Hope you feel better now …
Brett Stockhouse from Meridian, Mississippi
Question: How's life Jim? Good i hope. I have only one question and then ii'd like to play fan GM real quick. My question is, Is the NFL making moves to Africa like the NBA? Fan GM: I'm an Ole Miss fan fanatic, and though A.J.Brown put up big stats it's mostly because he was the lone wolf when DK got hurt, he is a workhorse WR that will catch every ball but he isn't going to force doubleteams, a typical reliable corner can shut him down. I'd go with Marquise Brown if he wasn't so small, or Hakeem Butler..Also i woud cut every WR except Davis, Taylor, Humphries, and Sharpe and get new WRs in the draft. Here are my draft sleepers: 1.Emmanuel Hall, Isaiah Buggs, Miles Sanders, Shawn Oakman, and Trayvon Mullen.Titan Up!
Jim: Life is good, Brett. Busy, but good. For starters, have heard no buzz about the NFL making overtures to Africa. Hollywood Brown is intriguing – he's fast, and his presence would open things up underneath. His size scares me a little bit, though, I admit. I don't endorse cutting all the other receivers. So you're ready to give Darius Jennings the boot after he broke franchise records in the return game? Cameron Batson deserves a chance to compete as well, and he will. I liked the looks of Devin Ross and Roger Lewis in practices last year as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing them competing again as well. Believe me, you don't want a ton of rookie receivers. It takes them time to develop.
Austin Tucker from Washington, D.C.
Question: Hey Jim, first time writing into the mailbag. I have a couple of questions. A lot of the mock drafts have the Titans taking one of the Iowa TE's. I understand Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith are coming back from injuries, but it's like their writing off Jonnu. Do you think TE is a 1st round need? What do you think if the Titans trade down the 19th pick to Oakland for 24th and 27th pick? Do you think that out of the question?
Jim: Hey Austin. I don't think it's necessarily folks writing off Jonnu. I see it more as folks questioning Delanie Walker coming off an injury, and closing in on his 35th birthday. But I've said before, I'm not betting against Delanie. The team has numbers at tight end, but there are some game-changers in this draft at tight end and they have to be considered.
Kenston Farmer from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! 2nd time, long time! My question is about the "3rd year jump" you here talked about a lot. I am sure this applies to all players but I most hear it mentioned with skill position players as being a crucial year to have finally put it all together. I heard Delanie talking about skill guys having to understand coverages on top of running precise routes on the OTP this week, as part of being more like to "breakout". Are you familiar with this thinking and if so, do you see guys like Taywan, Jonnu, or others finally coming into their own in this, their third years?
Jim: Hey Kenston. I actually hear about the "2nd year jump" more than the third year, and that means guys like Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry, Sharif Finch and Dane Cruikshank should be poised for a leap. I'm not dismissing the third year jump – guys get better each year. Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor and Jonnu Smith should be in a better position to succeed even more in 2019.
Antonio Suarez from Tupelo, Mississippi
Question: Hey Jim. I have a few comments on the mailbag from 4/13 and 2 questions. The "experts" suggesting Garrett Bradbury is a suicide pick for round 1, the only 1st round talent at OG is Cody Ford and Dalton Risner. Next drafting an injured Jeffery Simmons in Rd1 makes no sense with all the other DT talent. Lastly, I was looking at a WR prospect that wasn't getting much talk, Hakeem Butler. How this guy is flying under the radar blows my mind. He is not only fast but extremely physical and quick off the line, quick coming out of routes, and have no chance of taking the ball away from him in mid air, double teamed or not flying pass corners and safeties (and he was double and triple teamed often).This guy does EVERYTHING D.K. Metcalf doesn't do, how is he not being talked about more around the league. Is the secret everyone is trying to keep quiet about and steal later?
Jim: Hey Antonio. I hear ya, but I'm not hating in the possibility of Jeffery Simmons here. Yeah, it would take some patience, but he's regarded as a top-five talent. Not saying it's going to happen, but I'd understand it. As for Butler, I've seen him pegged by some Titans fans. Again, I think the team will take a WR, it's just a matter of who and when.
Christopher Lane from Middletown, Connecticut
Question: Hi Jim, lifelong Titans fan from Connecticut here! I see a lot of people in the media and Titans fandom hyping up pass-catchers (Metcalf, Brown, Fant) and O-lineman (Bradbury, Lindstrom, etc.) in round 1, but hardly ever mentioned is a player who would instantly transform our defense from good/very good to elite: Dexter Lawrence. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on him because it seems like everyone is sleeping on him because of preconceptions about the value of a Nose in today's game. The guy is so physically dominant that he demands double teams on every play, which would free up Casey, Wake, and Landry for 1v1's. With our elite secondary that would be an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. He's also probably the only lineman in this strong DT class, outside of Quinton Williams, who could legitimately go blow for blow with Indy's brick wall of an interior. And best of all, I believe he DOES have pass-rush value (just watch his freshman tape!). So I guess my questions are, what do you think of Dexter Lawrence as a prospect, is he on Jon Robinson's radar at 19, and do you think the PED situation would stop us from taking him? Thanks for your time!
Jim: Hey Christopher. Mel Kiper has Lawrence to the Titans, and he's not alone. I've seen Clemson's Christian Wilkins to the Titans the most. There's undoubtedly a need on the d-line. The big thing will be which of these guys is on the board when the Titans pick at 19.
Russell DeMello from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Jim, I gotta tell you that I was really happy to see your story about the Titans possibly rolling the dice and grabbing Jefferey Simmons in the first round. Man, I hope it happens. I hope it doesn't cost more than the team's first round pick but me being the worrisome type that I am I think the Titans should package their first and 4th to move up some spaces to have a better chance of getting him. I don't see any excuse for Daquan Jones's poor play last year but I still think that Austin Johnson is an OK player. Wouldn't you love to see a 3-man defensive line of Jurrell Casey, Jeffery Simmons, and Austin Johnson?
Jim: Hey Russell. Simmons is a hot topic in here. I'll say this: While I wouldn't be completely shocked if Simmons ended up being the pick, I would be surprised if the team moved up to get him. Most analysts think he'll be around at 19.
Timmy Rever from St. Joseph, Missouri
Question: Hey, Jim! Happy offseason, love the work. My question is about MM8 and Arthur Smith. I know coach Smith has been in the organization for a while, and might just know Marcus better than anyone. Do you see him unlocking some of the potential in our QB while introducing some modern-spread concepts? Or do you see us sticking with the ground and pound 12-personnel as we have done for awhile now? Thanks, as always! And if you're ever in the KC area, Steak 'n Shake is on me! 🍔🥤
Jim: Appreciate it, Timmy. Arthur is a forward thinker, and while I expect a lot of things to look similar to what we saw last season, he'll add his own elements. I think you're going to see a mix. With the success Derrick Henry had last season, he's going to get a lot of opportunities. But in order to get him more space, the passing game is going to have to have some success. Marcus is going to have to have success. So you're going to see the ball in the air, in some three-wide receivers sets on occasion. And when I'm back in K.C., I'll take you up on the Steak 'n Shake offer!
Have a great weekend everyone!