NASHVILLE – We're now just five days before the start of the NFL Draft.
Let's dive into this weekend's Titans mailbag as the countdown continues.
ALSO: PLEASE SEND YOUR MOCK DRAFTS (CLICK HERE) FOR THE TITANS TO BE INCLUDED IN A SPECIAL DRAFT WEEK EDITION OF THE MAILBAG:
Tommy Henley from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, always a big thanks for keeping us fans in tuned, but my question is I remember coach Vrabel asking Ran to get him a Kick returner, an my guess is one of these WR do you know anyone of them that would be good pick in the draft an thumbs up with big Jeff the heart of that defense he truly deserves it Jim, but i guess ur as anxious as I am on the upcoming draft I'm hoping we get a slam dunk on every pick they get . MAN! Wouldn't that be the greatest thing ever Jim get this team built up and the new stadium coming, would that go down in NFL HISTORY win a Super Bowl when that stadium opens! Anyways thanks Jim.
Jim: Hi Tommy. I'll be interested myself to see which guys the team picks, and how much of a priority they put on guys with return ability. Keep in mind Chris Moore, the former Texans receiver who was signed this week, has experience as a kick returner as well.
Bud Stein from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hello Mr Jim hope all is well. Bud here is Dullville Jag territory in Jax LOL
I have to say I respect Ms Amy and Ran but seems so far have done VERY LITTLE to improve pass rush, offensive line to protect our QB nothing major to get anyone to cover WR nor sign any wide receivers. Having Derrick Henry isn't enough anymore. The good thing was Jeffrey Simmons . Ownership and management seem content to maybe have a 7 and 10 or 8 and 9 year and concentrate on the new stadium. But as I said before with the Titans performance or lack of what good is a new stadium if the only people coming are the ones selling hot dogs and popcorn I know you will say the draft but that wont solve much of anything. The time is now. Yes the Jags had a good year but as Like the Titans know what you did one year doesn't mean the same the next. It isnt a slam dunk for the Jags but ??? My Best Mr Jim.
Jim: Hey Bud. The main guy who is going to help the pass rush in 2023 is a guy you're probably familiar with: Harold Landry. He was a dynamic edge rusher in 2021, and after his knee injury a year ago, he'll be back and healthy. Arden Key was a solid addition as well. The team also has Rashad Weaver et al. Let's see who else is added in the draft. … As for the o-line, no it's not complete but two guys who are projected to start (tackle Andre Dillard and guard Daniel Brunskill) have been added as well.
Dhruv Khetarpal from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Question: My question relates more to the behind-the-scenes of drafting for the Titans. As a long-time NFL and Titans fan, I have always wondering how decisions are made. In your estimation, do teams such as the Titans have a few players in mind at the No. 11 pick (For example: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba or OL Paris Johnson) or do they simply individually rank players and wait until draft night to see where the chips fall? I wonder how much pre-planning they can do given the volatility and unpredictability of the draft. There are always unexpected decisions that are made, last year's being the AJ Brown trade, but that is also what I like about the draft and what makes it so fun to watch.
Jim: Hello Dhruv. The Titans scouting and personnel department goes through scenario after scenario after scenario leading up to the draft. They do their own mock drafts in the room. The plan is to be prepared for anything.
C.J. Walker from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim I've been a fan of yours for a couple of years now. My question is: What do you think the Titans will do about the Kevin Byard situation?
Jim: I think everyone would love to see him back in a Titans uniform.
Donna Manfield from Jackson, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim! I have heard and seen comment about many players. The one position I am concern is KICKER! Do we have one on the roster? Could we get one in the late round in the draft?
Jim: Caleb Shudak, signed as an undrafted free agent from Iowa after last year's draft, is on the roster. He has a strong leg. He'll have competition this offseason, you can count on that.
Luis Macouzet from Victoria, Mexico
Question: Now we complain about our offensive line when it was the one that opened the holes for King Derrick Lamar Henry Jr. Are we now complaining about our offensive line when it was the one that overly protected a mediocre quarterback? When this happened no one gave credit to that great line. What a pity.. Too bad, I know you won't publish this because you only write comments that are convenient to your way of thinking.
Jim: Bless your heart, Luis.
Kaiden Butler from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: Is there really a trade rumor going on with Deandre Hopkins? I have heard we could get him and a draft pick up. I have a screenshot of what the trade would look like.
Arizona Cardinals receive: 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, 5th round pick, 2024 1st round pick
Tennessee Titans receive: Deandre Hopkins, 1st round pick
Titans get to be from 11th pick to a 3rd pick in the first with a star receiver. However, Deandre Hopkins in my opinion, is not getting some good stats these past 2 seasons, and the run game will be less than we actually do. And if we get him with star receiver Treylon Burks, then our wide receiver duo will be crazy. And we get a chance to draft a linemen or a quarterback. And one more thing for the titans. How many linebackers do we need?!
Jim: It seems like there's a trade rumor for just about everyone these days…
Karen Okeefe from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Love your mailbag! Am I the only one ready for the draft to be over? Love the draft but tired of all the rumors and conjecture.
Jim: Same, Karen, same.
Jason Vesely from Mosinee, Wisconsin
Question: What are the chances of the Titans ending up with Bryce Young in the draft? I really believe that a trade all the way up to third with the Arizona Cardinals is a scenario that has potential to happen, because they're going to want to block the Colts from getting up there, and also, I really believe that a quarterback such as Young is tailor fit for the Titans what he can do in that play action offense, because at Alabama Bill O'Brien was Nick Saban's offensive coordinator and Tim Kelly, the Titans offensive coordinator, was with O'Brien when they were together with the Texans and that offensive system that Kelly uses is similar to what O'Brien run at Alabama so Young would understand and pick up on it quick he comes schooled in a run heavy offense, then go offensive line with their next pick.
Jim: Slim and None, and I just saw Slim waiting for a Lyft outside of Tootsies.
JB Jones from Houston, Texas
Question: I admire your patience answering these draft questions every week. If Progressive ever decides to replace "Dr. Rick" in those commercials, I think you could handle the job!
Anyway, I do want to ask about one specific player I'm not seeing in any of the mocks: Georgia LB Nolan Smith. I understand that they just signed Key and have "Honor" Landry coming back, but I could see an athlete like Smith having an impact similar to what Micah Parsons did for Dallas, or dare I even say what Jevon Kearse did for the Titans back in 1999. Much past that, as long as they add some speed at WR and OL depth at some point of the draft I think the Titans will be back on top of the AFC South. Don't forget we had the Jags on the ropes with a 3rd stringer at QB and a decimated OL. Excited to see what happens in KC next week! #TitanUp
Jim: I love the Progressive commercials, JB! And, I'm a big fan of Nolan Smith as well. Of all the guys I listened to at the NFL Combine, he was probably my favorite from a personality standpoint. He's a heck of a player as well. We'll get some answers soon.
Kevin Washington from Owings Mill, Maryland
Question: Here's one that no one will ever imagine:
Tennessee trades up to number three with Arizona along with a picks in second or third round
What does Arizona get? Derrick Henry and a fourth rounder.
The reason I says this is because Henry is closing in on age 30 with one year left on his contract.
Get some value for him before he starts to slow down.
With the picks they get in return, use them to shore up WR, OL and EDGE (not necessarily in that order)
I wouldn't be mad that Henry is gone. It's a business. The future starts now.
Jim: S Kania is not going to like this, Kevin. See below.
S Kania from Lewisburg, Tennessee
Question: Please oh please Titans do not trade Derrick Henry. I have had season tickets since 2001. Loyal Titan's fan. Please keep Derrick.
Jim: Talk to Kevin, S Kania. See above.
Andriy Lakusta from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Question: Hi Jim. Hope all is well with you and yours, and all Titans fanatics out there. Draft is just over a week away, and can't wait to see how our new GM handles his first one. Thinking this will just be some random thoughts from me this time, and maybe a question in there :)
Anyways, looking at the draft, I still believe that O-Line, in particular the guard position, should be our number 1 concern, without an O-line, the entire offence starts and ends there as last year should have made us all plainy see. We have Petit-Frere at RT with a year of experience now, and he did look better as time went along last year. Also, Dillard, a former first round pick, that due to early career injuries never really got a shot, I think will be an improvement at LT with a lot of upside. We signed Brunskill, who has played pretty much every O-Line position at some point, but the majority of his starts have been at RG, so that leaves C and LG as potential holes. At C, we have some bodies (Leven, Newmaan, or Brewer) That may work out, but the other G spot, pretty much avaerage at best, or career backups, you'll notice I mentioned Brewer at C, as we don't need another year of him getting rag-dolled by interior D-linemam that weight up to 50-60 pounds more than him.
A player I'd love to target to fill this spot is O'Cyrus Torrence out of Florida. I haven't seen his name tied to an Titans talk/rumors as at pick #11 pretty sure most consider too early for a G, even if he is considered the best one in this draft. What I'd propose is trade back to around #20 and get say another 2nd and a 4th round pick to do it. You can draft O'Cyrus at that spot, not really a stretch any more, and pick up a couple more draft picks. Sort of kills 2 birds with 1 stone so to speak, as more picks is something esle we need this year. Thoughts?
Another spot I think we need to look at, and haven't heard much talk on, is an off-ball linebacker. Yes we signed Al-Shaair, but the rest of our current roster at that spot is more of a "who?" than a "Who's who". If we can make the above proposed move back, we could still get a WR (yet another major need) and perhaps someone like Trenton Simpson or Jack Campbell (really like Campbell), I think that would be a great first 2 rounds.
Let's be honest, we need lots of help, O-line, WR, LB, edge, and more depth everywhere, and it's not all going to come through the draft going forward. I look forward to seeing how Ran and Vrabel approach the draft this year with currently only 6 picks. Do you see the Titans trading for more picks this year?
P.S. All the crazy talk out there about trading up for a QB need to be tossed in the trash where they belong. There is aa much bigger gap between Young and Stroud, and the rest of the QB class then people thiink, so what it would cost just to roll the dice on say Richardson, isn't worth it aas far as it would cost. Draft history is loaaded with amazing combine results, that never came close to success in the NFL.
Would say sorry for being long winded, be seems I always am whenever I write in. Enjoy the draft everyone.
Jim: Appreciate you sharing your thoughts in here, Andriy. Enjoy the draft.
John Mellos from Montreal, Quebec
Question: Hi Jim! Hope all is well! I have been enjoying staying up to date with everything you have been posting over the course of an entertaining and rumor-filled offseason. The last time I wrote to you I was begging for us to blow our entire 2023 draft capital to beef up our offensive line. It was definitely tough to watch us struggle in that department last year after so many seasons of the Titans dominating in the trenches. However, I thought the signings of Dillard and Brunskill were excellent, cost-effective moves that will make a huge difference, as we now have a strong pass-blocker protecting the blind side and a solid replacement for Nate Davis that can fill in anywhere on the line. I still think that we can use a little more help on the interior though, so we can give Derrick Henry that extra push to get him into the second level and close out games like we used to. With that in mind, I was wondering if you had any thoughts about O'Cyrus Torrence out of Florida, how he might fit in with the culture in Tennessee, and whether he is a realistic option with the 11th pick, knowing the team has other needs as well. Cheers and Titan up!
Jim: Good to hear from you again, John. I'm familiar with Torrence, who Dane Brugler projects as a "first or second" rounder. Brugler has him rated the second OG in the draft, behind Northwestern's Peter Skoronski. O'Cyrus has a great story, and he's overcome a lot of adversity. With that said, I'd be surprised if he was the pick at 11.
Jordan Gutierrez from Cookeville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim!!! The Titans cheerleaders and T-rac recently came to my campus and got to take pictures with them. Anyways my question for you was. Do you think we would trade down in the draft and select a wide receiver as we are in need in that category? Could we maybe then select a guy like Zay Flowers? He brings speed in the slot! Paired with Treylon, Philips and Derrick sounds like a nightmare for opposing teams! Can't wait to see what will happen that night for sure # TitanUp !!
Jim: Glad you enjoyed it Jordan! I'm a big fan of Zay Flowers, but I also like some other receivers in this draft, which can't get here fast enough!
Brian Cutler from Plainville, Connecticut
Question: The draft is approaching fast!!! I don't want to rush the summer away already but i love football so much and can't wait for the season to start. I am a little nervous though to think of our wr/qb picks the last 10 years or so. We haven't had a great track record on those two positions. Shooting from the hip on this % but i would say we are at a 5% successful rate at these positions in the first two rounds. I think about my expectations and excitement durning those times. I know that drafts are no guarantees but this year if we do go with either or both positions in the first and/or second round who would be your two draft choices picks? Will Levis and Zay Flowers maybe lol (Even the professional have no idea what we should do). I'm excited to see our current Wr and Qb this year. I'm hoping to see their growth explode this year especially with the WRs.Phillips and Burks showed a some promising qualities last year. But, our offense has been nothing more than manageable and mediocre out side the king and a few good catches.
Jim: Only five days away, Brian!
Have a great weekend everyone!