Overview: After serving as the right-hand man to COO Mike Reinfeldt in the Titans’ strong 2011 draft, new GM Ruston Webster steps into the driver’s seat for the first time. Webster and the Titans are armed with one pick in each round, including the 20th overall selection. Although Tennessee added DE Kamerion Wimbley and OG Steve Hutchinson during free agency, bolstering the pass rush and interior of the offensive line remain two of the club’s greatest needs. Arguably the top priority heading into the draft is adding more dynamic playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
Need No. 1: Defensive end
Wimbley is a nice addition for a Titans team starved for pass rush — Tennessee finished 31st in the NFL in sacks a season ago — but he alone is not the answer. Further, most of his production in Oakland came as an outside linebacker and it remains to be seen what type of impact he will make as a full-time end. Although 2010 first-rounder Derrick Morgan began making strides late last season, he has a long way to go before reaching the lofty expectations that accompany his draft position. Other than Wimbley and Morgan, the only other end currently on the roster is Malcolm Sheppard, a hard-nosed player who is nothing more than a rotational guy.
Need No. 2: Safety/cornerback
The Titans surprisingly placed the franchise tag on FS Michael Griffin, who has been up and down during his five-year stint in Nashville. Griffin and SS Jordan Babineaux, who received a new deal after leading the club in tackles in 2011, will be the starters, but the Titans need more depth and another impact player at the safety position. With youngster Alterraun Verner stepping into the starting lineup following the departure of Cortland Finnegan, the Titans have an opening at the nickel CB position. There are a number of in-house candidates for the job, including Ryan Mouton, Chris Hawkins and Tommie Campbell, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Titans bolster the position through the draft.
Need No. 3: Offensive guard/center
With Steve Hutchinson replacing Jake Scott on the right side of the front wall, C Eugene Amano and OLG Leroy Harris have been put on notice. The Titans ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing last season, and the move for Hutchinson signals that the front office is not happy with the push it received from the interior last season. Head coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews have both said as much, and more changes could come via the draft.