COMMENTARY | With the Tennessee coaching staff finally all in place, it is time for Tennessee Titans fans to turn their full attentions to the 2014 NFL Draft. Here is my first seven round mock drafts for the Titans.
Round 1, Pick 11- Anthony Barr DE/OLB, UCLA
Explanation: The Titans need some help with their pass rush, and Barr is possibly the best pure 3-4 OLB in this year's draft. Barr's elite athleticism and upside will make him hard for top-10 teams to pass on, but I think players like Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack will be the only defensive players to go in the top-10 considering just how many (potentially) franchise caliber QBs there are.
Round 2, Pick 10- Jack Mewhort OT, Ohio State
Explanation: I have been a Jack Mewhort fan for a few years now, purely projecting him to play right guard. However, after a good week at the Senior Bowl it wouldn't surprise me if he went to the NFL as a right tackle and excelled.
The Titans will likely cut David Stewart this offseason due to his salary (over $6 million next year) and Mewhort can replace his physicality and provide the Titans with a talented, cheap RT for years to come.
Round 4, Pick 12- Jordan Zumwalt ILB, UCLA
Explanation: Zumwalt is a high motor linebacker who was so intense in practice that coaches had to tell him to settle down. That intensity and fire is exactly what the Tennessee linebacker group needs.
You might notice that this is the second linebacker from UCLA that the Titans have drafted on this list, but there is good reason. Both are established as playmakers, and former UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos is the Titans new linebacker coach. It is hard to imagine that he wouldn't be pounding the table for two guys that he is familiar with, and who he knows can be successful in the NFL in the right system.
Round 5, Pick 11- Vinnie Sunseri S, Alabama
Explanation: Sunseri was proving to be a head-knocker at Alabama before a knee injury sidelined him for the year. While it might have been a mistake for him to declare, there is still a place for him in the NFL.
The Titans may have to "redshirt" him and let him watch and learn for a year behind George Wilson, but if the Titans can't resign Pollard they may insert Sunseri at safety to add some physicality to that backfield.
Round 6, Pick 10- Rajion Neal RB, Tennessee
Explanation: The Titans need to add to their pool of running backs, especially considering the fact that cutting Chris Johnson is almost a foregone conclusion. Neal isn't an elite athlete, but he gets the job done. He was a tough runner between the tackles for Tennessee, and he has enough burst when he gets to the outside to make him an every down back in the NFL.
The Titans could do a lot worse than signing Ben Tate or Donald Brown in free agency and having a three-headed running attack of Tate/Brown, Greene and Neal.
Round 7, Pick 13- Brett Smith QB, Wyoming
Explanation: Smith is a deceptive athlete that could easily insert himself into an offensive system based around Jake Locker's talents. Since it looks like Locker will be the quarterback in 2014, it is important for the Titans to plan for the future. If Locker has a lot of success in the system, but not enough to warrant his $13 million option in 2015 then the Titans may be able to plug in a developed Brett Smith in his stead.
There is virtually no risk taking a quarterback this late considering how rarely seventh round picks stick on a roster, so why not take a player that could actually develop into an NFL starter.
More from this contributor:
Will Lomas is a lead blogger for draftseason.com and a staff writer for SBNation's Tennessee Titans website Music City Miracles. Will is also the sports editor for the Tennessee Journalist, the University of Tennessee's online news source.
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