COMMENTARY | In September it looked like the Titans were playoff bound thanks, in large part, to solid additions in free agency and a good draft history. Now, it looks like the team is one piece away from being right there again, next year. With Jake Locker a habitual injury risk, and Chris Johnson being paid $10 million per year to do something most of the backs in the NFL do for veteran minimum, it looks like the ideal offensive positions of need will be quarterback and running back. Also, the Titans' future at offensive tackle looks bleak, thanks to a massive contract for right tackle David Stewart, so don't count the Titans out of the tackle market.
This is a list of three targets the Titans should be keeping an eye on.
Derek Carr QB, Fresno State
Don't let the family name fool you; this Carr can play quarterback at a high level. Carr's name has been rising in the draft community for a long time, with some even crowning him as the second best quarterback in this draft. Since Marcus Mariota decided to return to Oregon for his junior year, Carr only has to contented with the likes of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Central Florida quarterback Blake Brotles for the second signal caller position.
In an offense that is likely to be moved into the 21st century under new management, Carr would be the ideal quarterback. Carr has the best deep touch of any quarterback in this draft. With vertical threats like Nate Washington and Justin Hunter, this team could have its first 4,000 yard passer since Warren Moon in 1991.
Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
If you have never seen Melvin Gordon, think a thicker Chris Johnson. Gordon's speed is remarkable, and while he doesn't have that "pull-away" gear that CJ had in his prime, he is a running back that can get tough yardage inside. Many people compare the Badger to former Longhorn running back and current Chiefs star, Jamaal Charles. Like Charles, both are slippery without being afraid of contact and both play in systems that have made mediocre running backs look like stars in the past.
All indications are that Gordon isn't just another guy, and that his NFL chances are very real; still, the Titans should think about trying to grab him in round two if they can. A quality running back would do wonders for this offense and it would lighten the load on Derek Carr, or whichever new QB the Titans get.
Taylor Lewan RT, MichiganMuch like Gordon is a cheaper version of Chris Johnson, Lewan is a cheaper version of David Stewart. Lewan has two defining features. Firstly, he is an elite athlete for a right tackle. His ability to close in space and hit a target are second to none at the college level. Secondly, he plays angry all the time. Lewan's constant "chip-on-the-shoulder" mentality gets in defenders' heads, but more importantly it drives him to punish people on every block. If Jake Mathews is gone by the time the Titans pick, don't be surprised if the Titans decide to cut David Stewart, draft Taylor Lewan and save roughly $5 million.
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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