Titans MOCK DRAFT 2022
The Tennessee Titans had a heartbreaking end to a season that was so full of hope and promise, even despite all the hardship they faced.
As if losing team MVP Derrick Henry for the back half of the season wasn’t enough, the Titans were missing their top receivers for several games, and they played nearly the entire season without their first-round cornerback. They also had to start five different left tackles in 2021, not by choice, but due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols. Additionally, Tennessee had lost offensive coordinator Arthur Smith before the season when he left to become the Falcons’ head coach. They still marched on to a 12-5 finish atop the AFC.
The Titans’ season came to a close in their loss to the Bengals at home on Saturday afternoon, and their focus now moves ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft. They have some pressing needs to address in free agency and the draft, so I attempted to fill those holes with my 2022 Titans mock draft:
Round 1 (No. 26 overall): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Titans may have traded away their 2022 second-round pick for Julio Jones, but Jones had trouble staying on the field all year. Even when he was out there, the 11-year veteran was not nearly as productive as he had been in his time with the Falcons. Fellow receiver A.J. Brown had a problem with injuries as well this season, so it would be wise for the Titans to add depth at the position.
With Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson both off the board here, Chris Olave is the right receiver to take at No. 26. He’s got elite speed combined with a route-running ability that may very well be the best of any college prospect in this draft class. His presence would immediately elevate the Titans’ passing game as both a vertical and RAC threat for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. It would also help Tennessee in building a nice complement to their top-tier run game.
Round 3 (No. 90 overall): Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati
Tennessee is a tough football team, and they showed it on defense. The Titans were seventh in the NFL in points allowed this season and fourth in opponent red-zone scoring percentage. They accomplished all of that with a massive need at the linebacker position.
Darrian Beavers is a steal for the Titans here at the 90th pick. Our own Joe Marino gave Beavers a second-round valuation, highlighting his physicality and aggressiveness. And indeed, Beavers is a strong run defender that thrives playing downhill with that physical presence. He’s a good lateral mover with a proven ability to beat blockers and make plays on the quarterback when called upon as a pass-rusher.
Round 4 (No. 127 overall): Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech
While Tennessee did show off a solid pass-rush attack against Cincinnati, their 25th-ranked pass defense got burned on some solid route-running but mostly a lack of good tackling in the open field. So, what better way to step up your secondary than by recreating one of college football’s best cornerback duos?
The Titans snagged Virginia Tech product Caleb Farley in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and here they pair him back up with Waller with the first of their two fourth-round picks. Waller is a good defender in both man and zone coverages, often succeeding because of his length, athleticism, and ball skills. He may not be an immediate NFL starter, but he should develop into one. For now, he’d immediately give the Titans depth at a position that needs some help.
Round 4 (No. 141 overall): Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland
Tennessee’s offense has their run game and they have a strong receiving duo, but after Jonnu Smith departed in free agency last offseason, they didn’t have any production from the tight end position this season.
Okonkwo could step in and give Tannehill that extra potential target in their passing game. He has a strong ability to create yards after the catch with his speed and strength, something he showed off at Maryland on short routes and the occasional tight end screen. He isn’t a strong blocker in the run game or in pass pro, but his ability to produce with the ball in his hands makes him a good fit for a Titans offense that could use an extra receiving weapon at his position.
Round 5 (No. 167 overall): Dare Rosenthal, OT, Kentucky
The Titans technically have a left tackle going into next season in former first-rounder Taylor Lewan. But after injury troubles and inconsistent play in 2021, Tennessee might consider cutting him to save nearly $13 million in cap space ahead of next year. Even if they decide to keep Lewan, the Titans learned the hard way this season that it never hurts to have good depth on the offensive line.
Rosenthal would provide that depth and some serious skill at left tackle. He needs some development with his fundamentals, but his physicality, athleticism, and stature alone give him a very high ceiling. Rosenthal would be a great fit for a Titans team that both prides themselves on being tough and needs depth at left tackle.
Round 6 (No. 203 overall): Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH)
Tennessee improved their pass-rushing attack in 2021 after an abysmal 2020 that had them in the bottom four in the NFL in team sacks. Part of their attempt to build up their pass rush was the signing of former Steeler Bud Dupree last offseason, but he wasn’t the big contributor on defense the way the Titans hoped.
Robinson is an easy low-risk choice here in the sixth round. He’s a guy who could possibly thrive in a rotational role off the edge, give Tennessee depth, and become a bigger contributor if he puts together the pieces of his skill set.