Tennessee Titans 2020 NFL Draft Analysis


(image courtesy of ajc.com)

Written By: Joseph Yun

Twitter: @ItsDuckinTooYun


The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone so it’s time to grade those selections! The Tennessee Titans had no fourth-round selection due to the Ryan Tannehill trade with the Dolphins during the 2019 offseason. General Manager Jon Robinson and company were seemingly content to let the 2020 draft play out after moving up and down aggressively in years past. Did they get the right value out of their six-man class? Were there any needs that they missed on?


1.29 Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia


- Wilson began to get a lot of traction with the 29th overall selection in the last week during the run-up to the draft. The bookend from Georgia fits what the Titans want to do philosophically as an offense, which is hat on hat physical road grading. The Titans lost Jack Conklin to a big-money contract with the Browns in free agency so right tackle was an immediate but not dire need. Long time veteran swing tackle Dennis Kelly was signed to a relatively cheap contract so the pressure isn’t on Wilson to start right away. This might be a good thing given the current global pandemic not allowing any on-field acclimatization for the foreseeable future. I have reservations about Wilson as an athlete so while he is a big fortress, he isn’t the most nimble against quicker edge rushers. I can see the reasoning behind the selection just not the prospect when there were far more athletic options like Lucas Niang, Ezra Cleveland, or even Josh Jones. I can also agree with the fundamentally sound theory that going from left to right is a significant transition even in the best of circumstances so getting a right tackle exclusive player makes sense.

BA Grade: 6.34


Selection Grade: B -


2.61 Kristian Fulton CB LSU


- Regardless of how or why Fulton ended up falling to the bottom of the second round, This is a huge steal for the Titans. There were some outlets that graded Fulton as easily a top-three cornerback prospect. He will fit in nicely as a rookie in the slot behind veteran Malcolm Butler or the outside opposite Adoree Jackson / Butler duo. The selection can be also viewed as a part of a retooling secondary in 2021 as Jackson needs a long term deal plus Butler can be released with minimal cap penalties if warranted. A pure home run selection by Robinson in a deep cornerback class. Fulton brings a ton of experience against big-name college receivers so he won’t be intimidated by NFL talent. He will likely start in the nickel role vacated by current free agent Logan Ryan. Also helping him will be the addition of veteran Jonathan Joseph to show him the ropes during a likely trying rookie season (immediate standout rookie corners are very rare and get their baptism of fire early and often).

BA Grade: 7.49


Selection Grade: A+


3.93 Darrynton Evans RB Appalachian State


- The lightning to Derrick Henry’s thunder. Evans is capable of hitting home runs on any carry with that 4.41 speed. He’s ideally suited as the replacement for the departed Dion Lewis, who was released and subsequently signed with the Giants. While I’d have taken an EDGE here, I don’t fault the team for taking a running back in the third round since there was a massive run on the position on Day 2 and no guarantee of Evans being available with their next pick on Day 3. If all else, this pick likely takes into consideration that Henry is on the franchise tag.

BA Grade: 6.65


Selection Grade: B


5.174 Larrell Murchison DL NC State


- Big Murch is a really good value pick to help fill the gap that All-Pro Jurrell Casey left behind. While he won’t be expected to be Casey right off the bat, he will be looked upon to be a rotational piece behind DaQuan Jones and Jack Crawford as the defensive line is thin. He could’ve gone a round higher and most people wouldn’t have batted an eye.

BA Grade: N/A


Selection Grade: B+


7.224 Cole McDonald QB Hawai’i


- The fun-loving gunslinger tested as the fastest quarterback at the Combine and makes sense as a long term backup to Ryan Tannehill. He will be expected to push Logan Woodside for the backup job. McDonald has a ton to work on such as cutting down the interceptions and arm strength among other things. He can do a lot of the same things that Tannehill does in a system where the quarterback is required to be mobile on play action. At the very least, he should make the preseason games exciting. Unless there is a veteran signing, he’s likely making the final roster.

BA Grade: 6.27


Selection Grade: B


7.243 Chris Jackson DB Marshall


- The first truly head-scratching selection in this draft by the Titans as there were better options such as Parnell Motley, Javelin Guidry, Trajan Bandy, and Myles Dorn to name a few. I can’t grade it too harshly as it's just a seventh-round selection and those are lottery tickets anyway. The team does have a history of developing late-round defensive backs so who knows. Jackson does play both corner and safety plus the great athleticism so versatility will help him in his attempt to make the final roster.

BA Grade: N/A


Selection Grade: C


UDFA


Who could make the roster: LB Cale Garrett Missouri, DT Teair Tart FIU, WR Nick Westbrook Indiana, LB Khalyan Kearse-Thomas Arizona State


Sleepers: WR Kristian Wilkerson Southeast Missouri State, OT Anthony McKinney TCU, WR Mason Kinsey Berry College (D-3)

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