Why mock drafters don't line up with Titans' needs often enough

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Annually, we see mock drafters giving the Titans players they don’t really need.

Why does this seem to happen so often?


Pete Prisco is a friend and an excellent analyst in my eyes. He recently gave the Titans Byron Murphy, a cornerback out of Washington, saying he could start right away for a team that needs to cover better in a division with Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson.

Well, the Titans do need to cover better. But they need to do it better with guys they’ve committed significant resources to --  Adoree’ Jackson (who dropped off in the latter part of last year), Malcolm Butler (who was awful the first half of the year) and Logan Ryan (who was great in the slot before he got hurt at the end).

The key to better coverage beyond more consistent play from that trio is a pass rush that requires less of it in coverage. A high-quality pass rusher will do as much, or more, for coverage. Now Prisco may not like Malcolm Butler right now, and it’s the first of many mock drafts he will do. He may really like Murphy. who could have been burning a hole in his pocket at that stage of an early mock draft.

Same here with Kyler Murray for whoever mynfldraft.com is.

The Titans need an outside linebacker (or two), a defensive lineman (or two), an interior offensive lineman (or two) and a wide receiver (or two). We need to see free agency, of course. But the idea that they are going to spend their first-round pick on a short quarterback who may still want to play baseball when they are in for nearly $21 million on their current quarterback seems like a huge stretch to me.

Jon Robinson has drafted big, immediate, need in the first round every time so far. No matter what you think of Marcus Mariota, he's the opening day starter at quarterback.

The most popular guy mocked to the Titans so far, who we are sure to see over and over again, is Iowa's excellent tight end, T.J. Hockenson.WalkerHeadshot

Mock drafters love to give to give Tennessee tight ends. These mockers know the Titans know what to do with a good one. They know the Titans use a lot of two-tight end formations in a league that is heavy into three-wide formations now. They know the Titans' new offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, was just a tight end coach.

Delanie Walker will be 35 when the season starts and is coming off a serious injury. Jonnu Smith isn't the same caliber player. Luke Stocker and Anthony Firkser are certainly upgradable pieces.

So Hockenson, currently the mock pick for Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN as well as Chad Reuter of NFL.com, could be the pick and could thrive as a Titan.

He's just not near the need those other positions listed above are. And talk all you like about best-player-available, under Robinson, this is a best-player-available-at-a-position-of-need team, at least in the first round.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedMock drafts are talkers that get read. But your reaction to a good share of them to me is, "Why does so and so have the Titans taking him?"

The author's got to empty his board. Guys who do them often like to mix it up and spread people around for variety's sake.

The best people at the task do it once -- That's how Rick Gosselin did it, and he stopped in 2012. That's how Mike Mayock did it, and his will now be proprietary information of the Oakland Raiders, as he is their GM.

So loosen up, laugh them off and take them with a grain of salt. If you're a member of this site, you know the Titans needs better than a lot of people who will be doing mock drafts.

If that's going to bother you, maybe you should condier giving them up for Lent.

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