After spending last offseason revamping the interior of their offensive line,the Tennessee Titans should shift their focus to the offensive tackle position. Getting younger, stronger, and more athletic (not to mention cheaper) at the tackle position will help the development of Chance Warmack, their 1st round pick last year, help keep Jake Locker healthy, and improve the running game no matter who the RB is.Chris Johnson runs the 40 yard dash at NFL Combine
There are some talent prospects at the top of the NFL Draft this year, and the Titans could be looking to address this need with their 1st pick. Here are a few names to keep an eye on as the NFL Draft process continues with the Combine this weekend.
Potential 1st Round Offensive Tackles for Tennessee Titans
1. Greg Robinson- Auburn
Many “experts” have Robinson rated as the top tackle in the draft this year, but I have my doubts about that. While he is a phenomenal athlete, he has little experience and was not asked to pass protect much in Auburn’s scheme. I am not saying that he can’t be an effective pass blocker, but I have not seen it on film and have some concerns. That said, I have him rated as the 3rd best tackle in the draft and still a top 15 pick this year.
2. Jake Matthews- Texas A&M
Matthews has the experience of playing 1 year in the Big 12, and 2 seasons in the SEC. He offers the versatility to start immediately for most any team, having started on both the right and left side of the line. And he has the pedigree of being part of the Matthews family that has produced many football players already, to include his father, Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, and Clay Matthews, OLB from Green Bay. Titans fans who remember Bruce Matthews as a player would love for Jake to be available at the 11th pick, but he probably will be off the board by then.
3. Taylor Lewan- Michigan
Lewan has ideal size, strength, and athleticism. He will be a starter at LT from the first day of training camp for whoever drafts him. His tape showed some inconsistencies that could be attributed to playing next to a young guard, or an unpredictable QB, but he also has some character issues to address that stem from after the whistle extra-curricular activities, but for an offensive lineman, many teams consider that mean streak a plus. Keep an eye on Lewan Titans fans, he may be your LT for years to come.
Beyond the 1st Round
1. Antonio Richardson- Tennessee
Richardson has plenty of size, plenty of experience, but never seemed to live up to his potential at Tennessee. This could be due to constant coaching changes, or to a poor work ethic, but if someone can find a way to maximize his potential, they could steal a 1st round talent somewhere in the late 2nd to 4th round range. This is a risk/reward pick, and the farther in the draft he falls, the lower the risk becomes.
2.James Hurst- North Carolina
A preseason All-American at UNC, Hurst held his own against some of the top pass rushers on the Tar Heels’ schedule. Add in that throughout his career he has had to practice against the likes of Quinton Coples, and Robert Quinn, and you have a potential pro bowl tackle in the 2nd to 3rd rounds.
3. Seantrel Henderson- Miami
Underwhelming on tape, but has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. I see him as a late round prospect who could come into the league with a chip on his shoulder and become a solid role player in the NFL for years to come.