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Everlasting Joy 4-20
Tennessee Titans need hyperdrive
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Back in the day when I found “Star Wars” movies to hold hypnotic appeal, I learned one very important lesson. When Han, Luke and Chewy wanted to get somewhere fast, they kicked the Millennium Falcon into hyperdrive and disappeared into the galaxy.
This nifty hyperdrive feature comes to mind when I think of the Tennessee Titans and the team’s recent maneuver to trade out of the No. 1 spot in the NFL draft. Thanks to the deal, Tennessee has 6 of the first 76 picks in next week’s draft, perhaps even enough to help the long-woeful Titans build a competitor at hyperdrive speed.
Even if the Titans are only successful on half of those picks, they’ll still have three impact players. In a league where most games boil down to a handful of plays, visions of a .500 season can dance in our heads.
I think the most runaway message barreling down I-24 from Nashville is the prevailing thought the Titans are finally – finally – doing a few things right. New GM Jon Robinson, who spent four years working alongside swami Bill Belichick in New England, appears to be the first competent front-office executive on the Titans payroll since Floyd Reese left in 2006.
The Titans have already generated some buzz by signing RB DeMarco Murray, who led the NFL in rushing two years ago in Dallas. They also have second-year QB Marcus Mariota, expected to soar this year, along with Delanie Walker, one of the best TEs in the league.
So what are the Titans’ most pressing needs, and what can they be expected to do with those six picks, which are officially No. 15, 33, 43, 45, 64 and 76? The way I see it, the team’s most glaring needs are DE, OL, WR and CB.
We don’t have to look any further than this year’s Super Bowl to see how a Denver Bronco pass rush completely disrupted the Carolina Panther offense. The Titans landed their most explosive pass rusher in history when they nabbed Jevon Kearse with the No. 16 pick, so I’d look at the best pass rusher on the board at No. 15.
For all the recent emphasis the Titans have put on drafting offensive linemen, OL is a team weakness. So we can expect more OLs this year and maybe, just maybe, the Titans will find a couple guys who can block. I’d expect the Titans to use two of their first four picks on the OL.
The Titans have put themselves in position to make on-the-field progress at hyperdrive speed. Let’s see if they can finally start outrunning some of the competition.