Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions from Titans Fans

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NASHVILLE – The NFL Draft was a success for the Titans, as the team filled some holes while also adding depth and competition.

Now, the wait is on to find out when the rookies – and all players for that matter -- will be allowed in the building to work out.

Ultimately, the league will decide that one.

We'll continue to stay hopping here, and today we're rolling out about Titans mailbag, the first one post-draft.

Let's go…

Federico Alatriste from Queretaro, Mexico
Question:
Hola from Mexico! Big Titans fan since 99!
I have a question: There is a CB named Parnell Motley - he was the starting CB for the Sooners. How come he doesn't get drafted over players from smaller universities or that face less tougher competition?
Maybe is a silly question, but I would like to know more about the drafting process and if you think that this year with the health crisis changed it a lot? I love your section of ask Jim! Thanks for always answering that fans and being so warm when you write back! Go Titans!! Un abrazo!

Jim: Hola Federico! I'm familiar with Motley, and you're right – he didn't get drafted. I've since read he's expected to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Buccaneers. Your question points to all the work the scouts and personnel guys do in finding players from everwhere. Motley did play against really good competition while at Oklahoma, and he was a solid player in college. But the NFL will find talent anywhere. While the top corners in the draft all played at a high level – Jeff Okudah (Ohio State), C.J. Henderson (Florida), A.J. Terrell (Clemson), not to mention the Titans' pick of Kristian Fulton (LSU) – a lot of guys from smaller schools were also found and picked. The group includes Kindle Victor (Georgia Southern) and Stantley Thomas-Oliver (Florida International). Remember Cortland Finnegan? He was a 7th rounder out of Samford. The tape, 40-times, and testing help these diamonds-in-the-rough get found, sometimes ahead of the guys you see on national TV every weekend. Un abrazo!

Charles Austin from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question:
What overall areas of need from before the draft still either weren't filled or need attention in your opinion?

Jim: Hey Charles. Well, the team didn't draft an edge rusher, which I know has led to more questions about a free agent who remains on the market. Judging from some of the undrafted guys that have reportedly agreed to terms, it looks like the competition at the back end of the roster could be interesting, too. The team didn't draft a receiver, so several guys behind Corey Davis, A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries will battle it out. We'll get to the QB spot in here later.

David Hosein from Surbiton, England
Question:
I am excited with pick of Isaiah. I was probably in the minority but felt at seasons end they needed a change at OL. An interesting statistic was Titans we're in bottom 10, all below we're losing teams, in average yards rushed before contact but number 1 in average gain after contact. So, this should be really good for rushing game. We have to see how his pass blocking fairs. Do you think if he wins starting job for game 1 there may be a swap at guards? Saffold and Davis. What was interesting that DT, DE, Edge and CB were not highly picked in round 1. Is that a reflection on quality? The Titans were last in the league in QB knock downs although high in sacks. We need to see more QB's on their butts in 2020.

Jim: Hi David. Well, I'm not ruling him out as a Week One starter because he's a good player with a lot of ability. But Dennis Kelly won't go down without a fight, and I think he has to be considered the favorite to win the job because of his experience. Plus, Wilson and all these rookies are going to have a tougher time without OTAs and minicamp. Right now, it's not looking like any of those will happen. Why tackle over the other positions? I think it had to do with value at the time of the pick, and the need moving forward. You might have noticed, but after Wilson was picked at 29, there wasn't another tackle picked until pick No.58, when Ezra Cleveland went to the Vikings. When I saw that, it made me think the GM knew if he didn't get Wilson, there would be a drop off in who would be there at tackle at pick 61, and he was right. As for needing more pressure on the QB in 2020, I agree.

Ellis Watson from Cambridge - United Kingdom
Question:
Hi Jim, as always than you for keeping the mailbag open, and a hello from over the pond.
I was wondering about you opinion on the possibility of the Titans picking a QB in the later rounds of the 2020 draft, possibly in the 5th or 6th round?
While we have signed Tannehill to a new deal this year in the off-season, and also do have L. Woodside as a backup currently, do you think that maybe adding a 3rd to the QB could allow for more flexibility as the season progresses?
Personally, I like the look of Cole McDonald (Hawaii) as a possible addition to our QB room from the later rounds of this year's draft, what are your thought on this? Thanks.

Jim: Hello Ellis. I received this email right before the draft, and I included it in here just to show you nailed it.
The team took your guy McDonald, of course, in the seventh round. He's an intriguing prospect who will battle it out with Logan Woodside. I'd be lying, though, if I said I'm 100 percent convinced there won't be a veteran QB added at some point. If not, then the Titans would head into camp with zero experience behind starter Ryan Tannehill. Yes, I know Woodside has played in preseason games, but he hasn't played in a regular season game yet. Just a hunch, but we'll see…

Hunter Knopp from Franklin, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Do you know why the Titans don't get much primetime games? With the way the performed last year It only makes sense for them to get more. Maybe NFL fans would hop on the Titans bandwagon (even though we don't have a big one) if they play just a little better we may may have more fans, because the national media hypes everything up *cough *cough 2019 Browns.

Jim: Hi Hunter. You're right -- the team was overlooked last year. But keep in mind the Titans had three primetime games in 2018, including one at home. I'm thinking the Titans will get a little more primetime love in 2020. We're going to find out soon – sounds like the schedule will be released sometime around May 9.

Andre Pittaluga from Italy
Question:
Hey Jim. I am an Oiler loyal fan since 1981 who follows the Titans since the move to TN, even now that I moved to Italy. After a lot of years of pains i think that last year surprisingly we had a radical change: I believe that the key was Coach Vrabel with his way to be supportive, attentive and essential in his way to address the players, waiting for each one before reentering the locker room after a game, and in using the best talents of players and assistant coaches together with excellent game strategies.
With the approaching of the draft, I believe that the Titans should pick an OT at 29 and a DT or a CB in the second round. Best player available!

Jim: Hi Andre. Received this one right before the draft as well. Good take on Vrabel – he's definitely brought an edge to the team with his leadership and hands-on approach. And you nailed it with the needs in the draft. The team did go OT right out of the gate in Wilson, and CB with the second pick in Kristian Fulton. And the defensive line pick came with the team's fourth pick, in the fifth round, in Larrell Murchison.

Noah Turner from St Louis, Missouri
Question:
Hi Jim, I hope you and your loved ones are well. I hope a few questions could be good. Dean Pees has retired and I've read about Vrabel's decision, so far, to not fill the position. Does it seem like maybe no one can fill that void maybe? And so Vrabel wants to keep that continuity he refers to by keeping the playcalling duties? I think he'd be great, btw. Similar question about Arthur Smith, to whom I apologize, because he turned out to be extremely good at coordinating the offense. Any buzz about him taking it to the next level with a year's experience now? Thanks for your time!

Jim: Thanks Noah, hope all is well with you. I know you've read he hasn't filled the D.C. position, but that doesn't mean he hasn't decided what to do. Sure, Vrabel could end up doing it himself. But keep in mind the team added veteran Jim Haslett, a former DC and head coach, to the staff as inside linebackers coach. Also, Vrabel has a lot of confidence in guys returning from a year ago, including Shane Bowen. Vrabel was very involved in the defense over the past two years, even when Pees was calling the shots. The plan, and the execution, had his fingerprints all over it. As for Smith, I thought he did a great job in his first year as OC, and yes, I expect him to be even better with so many returning players in 2020.

Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Question:
Hi Jim. Thanks to you and Titansonline.com for giving us a chance to ask questions and express ourselves. I saw a ridiculous online comment from someone on another social media thread, in which the person said Jon Robinson must have been "drunk" to have made this year's draft selections. Since Mr. Robinson came aboard in 2016 I believe his resume in drafting, trading for and signing guys in free agency speaks for itself. I don't need to list all the names here. I'm hopeful that true Titans fans have a good sense of whom those players were. Because there have been several healthy contributors, to put it mildly.

Jim: Hey Reuben. Appreciate you stopping by again. And you're right – the GM has a great track record, and I like this year's draft class. I think we can all drink to that!

Have a great week everyone and stay safe!

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