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Zaven Collins? Christian Barmore? A First Day Trade? Former Personnel Men Weigh Options for the Titans in NFL Draft


NASHVILLE – The possibilities for the Titans in the first round of next week's NFL Draft are endless.

Heck, just look at the mocks.

But a pair of former NFL personnel men agree on one thing – the Titans need to look at addressing their defense early, even if they didn't tab the same player on a pre-NFL Draft conference call with SIRIUSXM Radio analysts this week.

"I am going to throw this name out to you," Gil Brandt, who was the Vice President of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-1989, said when asked about the Titans. "This kid went to high school in Oklahoma, went to the University of Tulsa. And he's a player who can really run fast. And I know that you just have to find a place to play him. I think he is too big to play as a middle linebacker, but can he play as a pass rusher, somewhere as an edge rusher?

"If I were a betting man, I would say they'd be trying to trade down a little bit, and then try and pick (Zaven) Collins, the linebacker from Tulsa. He's a really good football player, and especially fast for his size."

Collins, a 6-foot-5, 259-pounder, was a consensus All-America selection and American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year who won the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in the country at Tulsa.

In eight games in 2020, Collins recorded four sacks among 7½ tackles for loss, plus four interceptions (two returned for TDs), two forced fumbles and one recovery.

Brandt, who hosts "Late Hits" weeknights on SiriusXM NFL Radio, was joined on the conference call this week by Mark Dominik, who worked in a NFL front office role for 20 seasons, 19 of them with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Both personnel men were presented a question about the Titans, and the best-case scenario at No.22 in the NFL Draft.

Like Brandt, Dominik likes defense for the Titans.

He also thinks Titans General Manager Jon Robinson could be in a good position to make a trade.

"Around 19-22 is always a (hot place) to trade, and the reason why it's an opportunity is a lot of boards, as Gil knows, end around 17 and 25 first rounders. So, when your board starts to get depleted, you are starting to think about: 'I have to go get a guy.' So Tennessee, whenever I was in that range, I know I would have a chance to get a trade partner," Dominik said. "It's something to always keep in mind, because boards start to fall apart and people start to think "I've got to go get a guy." I like that Jon is in that position."

If the Titans stick and pick, Dominik mentioned Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore as an intriguing possibility.

A 6-foot-5, 310-pounder, Barmore earned a first-team All-America selection from CBS Sports and a second-team selection by multiple other outlets following his sophomore season in 2020 for the Crimson Tide. As an interior lineman, he recorded 37 tackles and a team-high 8.0 sacks on the year, while adding 9.5 tackles for loss.

"I don't know if he is going to make it, but really he is an interesting guy for everybody," Dominik, who hosts "The SiriusXM Blitz" Friday afternoons on SiriusXM NFL Radio, said of Barmore. "If Christian Barmore is there, and he drops, to me that would be a really nice plug and play guy, especially on third downs with that defensive line. That could be a really nice fit for them… Barmore would be a guy they may have to take a strong look at."

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