NASHVILLE – Well, the NFL Draft is almost here – it's now just two days away.
I appreciate everyone keeping my mailbox hopping with questions leading up to the big event, which is going to have a much different feel this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The eventual outcome, though, is going to be the same: The college players picked across the NFL will be counted on to produce at the next level.
It's going to be interesting to see which guys the Titans pick, starting at pick No. 29. We don't have to wait much longer.
Here's hoping everyone is staying healthy and safe as we kick off another edition of the Titans mailbag…
Jordan Marbury from Birmingham, Alabama
Question: Greetings Jim! Titans fan since 2000. I want to say thanks in advance! I'm ecstatic at what seems to be a shift in priority of what the Titans needs are for the draft. Seeing more posts about WR instead of EDGE tells me that Vrabel, Robinson and management know what they're doing in my opinion. I think they realized that if we're not able to trade down the only position we are most likely to get true number 1 value at pick 29 is the WR position. The other priority positions NT, OG, CB, EDGE, QB (in that order).I hope we kick and KEEP Jeffery Simmons to the DE position permanently. I would get Ruggs, Mims, Marlon Davidson in Rd1, Rd2 Raekwon Davis, Pittman Jr Rd3 Bryce hall, Jeff Gladney, Dantzler, Rd4 AJ Dillon. What do you think of my priority positions?
Jim: Hey Jordan. I'm not ruling anything out, but just because you're seeing more posts and speculation about a WR at 29 doesn't mean the GM is thinking along those lines. I've seen NFL's Network's Daniel Jeremiah and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus give the Titans a receiver in their mock drafts (Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk for Jeremiah and LSU's Justin Jefferson for Palazzolo) but the GM sure hasn't said it. I like some of your positions of need, but you left out offensive tackle and back-up RB. And I think CB and Edge are bigger needs than OG.
Paul Franchina from Tooele, Utah
Question: Hey Jim. Thank you for everything you do to keep everyone updated with the Titans. I have 2 questions. The first is about Clowney. Is there a chance he signs a 1 year prove it deal around 12-14 million? Secondly this might be a little biased but, 2, Utah had a great season last year I was wondering what you would think if the Titans drafted Johnson in round 1, Anae in round 2, Moss in Round 3 and Huntley in 7th? Thanks again for everything you do takes my mind off the pandemic and the earthquakes we have been having.
Jim: Hey Paul. Appreciate the email. As for Clowney, the last I heard (from media reports) is he dropped his asking price from $20 million per year to $17-$18 million. Whether he's willing to go down to $12-$14 million, well, that's ultimately up to him. You're talking about Utah CB Jaylon Johnson, of course. He's a good one. Mentioning Jeremiah again – he has his as the 29th best player in the draft. And yes, the Titans happen to be picking at 29. A lot depends on what happens on picks 1-28, and who is on the board. Defensive end Bradley Anae, tailback Zack Moss and quarterback Tyler Huntley from Utah, the other guys you mentioned, are also solid players. You asked me what I would think if the Titans drafted all four? I would think that Andre and Kevin Dyson kidnapped the GM and HC and made the picks for the team. (Both went to Utah, of course). I hate to break it to you, but there's no way the team is taking all four of them. Stay safe.
Demetrius Gaines from Dickinson, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. I've been a Titan\ Oiler my whole life. My question is: Will the big rookie Jeffery Simmons be starting this year? I watched him last year and I think he's special. Another question: Why not draft Jalen Hurts? I think he'll be better for us in the long run. That's it, Jim. Thanks for your time. #titanup
Jim: Hey Demetrius. Yes, Jeffery Simmons will be starting this year, and I expect him to be even more of a difference-maker than he was in 2019. He'll be healthier, and he'll know more about what it takes. As for Jalen Hurts, he's a favorite of mine. Just a really good young man, and a solid player. His stock sure seems to be going up right before the draft. With the contract the Titans gave Ryan Tannehill, though, I can't see them going QB that early. I will say I think there's a better chance of the Titans taking Hurts than four players from Utah, however. Sorry, Paul. :)️
Rex Greene from Athens, Alabama
Question: Hope all is well 100 miles to my north. I was listening to something on ESPN Radio referring to a Seahawks preference to have a veteran quarterback and a developmental one behind Russell Wilson. Do you think JRob and Co. share that thought (behind Ryan Tannehill)? I feel we have a developmental one already.
Jim: Hey Rex. I'm very curious about this myself. Robinson and Vrabel have both raved about Logan Woodside all offseason, but I can't see the team turning the No.2 job over to him without competition, considering Woodside hasn't played in a regular season game. I suspect the Titans will bring in a veteran, but this obviously hinges on what happens in the draft. Robinson said as much last week during his appearance with season ticket members on the OTP. If a QB is there on Day 3 the team likes then I could see the team pulling the trigger, but without an offseason program, which could end up being the case, it's going to be tougher to count on a rookie QB, even as a back-up.
Matthew Wyatt from Durham, North Carolina
Question: The Titans need to resign Logan Ryan period. They don't need Clowney. Ryan had 113 comb. tackles 4.5 sacks and 4 int. He's worth the money. Not to mention he's a leader with the team getting younger
Jim: Hey Matt. Missed you at the family reunion last summer. (Just kidding). We'll see on Clowney. I think you're in the minority with this one as far as Clowney is concerned. There's no doubt he'd make the team better. As for Logan Ryan, sounds like the Jets are interested in him. Nothing has transpired with him yet, however, so it can't completely be ruled out. Hey, I like Logan myself. But if he sticks to his $10 million-per-year asking price, I just don't see it happening in Tennessee. And if the Titans pick a couple of corners in the draft, well, that would probably end the conversation.
Jesse Cano from Corpus Christi, Texas
Question: Hey Mr. Jim. Chuy here all the way from South Texas. No question here but since we have more time here at the house I thought in my opinion describe what the letters in TITANS mean:
Everybody from personnel, to the coaching staff, to the players worked together as a TEAM for the one purpose....WIN!
Alot of Individuals, coaches, players stepped up to plate when called upon....made amazing plays...played other positions...took on different tasks/roles to get the job done
T- Take Everything
I believe the "take everything" phrase was more than just words....it was the drive that kept this team going. We took those 2 words onto the field and made players and everyone feel them. Took playoff hopes away, took drives away, momentum, them underestimating the Titans. Those 2 words were our blood, sweat and tears
Everybody counting us out. Not even giving us a 2nd glance that we would go as far as we did, breaking records, bringing the season back. We used this hardship as fuel to our success
N- New Year
I hope we can keep up this momentum, the running game, the spirit and drive into this new year!
S- Setting the bar
I believe we've set the bar and shown that the run game can be deadly, that to never lose confidence in yourself, the staff and your teammates and YOU can achieve anything! I love my Titans! Titan up baby!
Jim: Well done, Chuy, well done.
Nick Taylor from Salem, Kentucky
Question: First, Thank You to all the staff of the Titans for continuing to give the fan's something to look at during these hard times. You folks bring some hope to the Titans community.
Second I feel that we have one of if not the best GMs in the NFL. I believe the HC will become a great one, soon. He has a great coaching and training staff.
Third we are blessed with a great media staff
Thank you to the owners for your dedication to the community, and hiring good people
Now my questions:
Can the team pick up both Davis's and Jackson's option on their contracts?
Next, with Carolina paying their RB a huge contract, how likely is it that the Titans can afford this type of contracts for Henry?
How many times can a player be Franchise tagged in a row?
Have you heard any updates on Clowney?
Why do people think OT is a first round weakness? Kelly is a better OT than people think, in my opinion.
Do you think CB and/or DL are 1st round weakness depending on who's available?
I Love the OTP
Please stay safe
God Bless you all
Jim: Appreciate it, Nick.
Let's go rapid-fire with the answers:
1- Yes it can, but I suspect the team will pick up Jackson's option, but not the one for Davis. No one has told me this, I just think that will be the case because of the steep price tag for the fifth year option for a WR.
2- I don't think the McCaffrey deal will impact whether Henry's deal gets done or not. And I don't think the money will reach that level either.
4- Still a holding pattern with Clowney. The GM said Monday he hasn't closed the door.
5- Probably because a lot of folks are selling the 6-foot-8 Kelly short, and the fact some good tackles are in the draft and the team needs depth and more competition.
6- I think CB and DL are both positions of need and I'd be shocked if the team doesn't take at least one at each spot and possibly more.
Steven Crosio from Brick, New Jersey
Question: Since this is the first Virtual Draft is anyone afraid of Titans losing the guy they want due to Wi-Fi issues?
Jim: Hey Steven. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have at least some concerns about the overall process, not here in Tennessee, but somewhere across the league since it's the first time. Jon Robinson said things have gone smoothly on his end, and I can tell you the team's IT staff is top-notch. The team has back-up plans to back-up plans to back-up plans. I suspect there will be a few glitches across the league during the three-day draft –** it sounds like there was one hiccup at the start of a trial run with all 32 teams on Monday–** but I doubt it's going to keep a team from getting the player it wants.
Micah Layne from Coalmont, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. I hope you and your family are doing great and maybe enjoying the extra time together that we usually don't get. I know I've enjoyed the extra family time, but I'm ready for this to pass so we can get back to our jobs and living our normal lives. My question is do you see us trading out of the first round to get more picks? Five teams have two second round pick. I'd love to see us trade #29 to either one of these teams for their two second round picks. Indy 34/44 ,Miami 39/56 , CHI 43/50 ,BALT 55/60. I think it would be a fair trade for both teams. Thanks Jim TITANUP!!!
Jim: Hey Micah. I could definitely see the GM making draft day trades to get more picks. He even mentioned this on a zoom conference call with reporters on Monday. Here's what he said: "The more picks you can have, the better. We feel like we have enough ammunition draft-pick wise to make ourselves a better football team hopefully, but I think if you polled 31 other GMs and ask them if they could pick up another pick here or there, the would certainly entertain that. We'll see how things start to unfold here on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and as more picks potentially become available by trade we'll certainly entertain that." Hey, they don't call him Trader Jon for nothing.
Eli Hamilton from Idaho Falls, Idaho
Question: Hey Jim, my question is about Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State. I am wondering if Vrabel and Jon Robinson have thought about trading up to early in the second round and grab him if he is still available? I think Brandon is a very efficient route runner and has good hands along with speed, I really think he would do excellent competing for a starting job. Thank You!
Jim: Hey Eli. I'm hitting the trifecta here by mentioning Jeremiah here again, but that's OK because I like him and I think he does really good work. Jeremiah, as I noted earlier, has the Titans taking Aiyuk at pick No.29. I like Aiyuk as a player, and I think he's going to be a good pro. I think the Titans have bigger needs, so I'm personally more intrigued by some of the defensive players in the first round. But I don't hate the idea of grabbing a WR early, and if Aiyuk is still somehow on the board when the Titans are waiting their turn in round 2, heck, I wouldn't hate seeing the team move up to get him. But I don't think he's going to be hanging around late in the second round.
Have a great week everyone!
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
(Send me your Titans mock for a special mailbag that will run on Thursday).