Predicting a mock draft is sort of like predicting July’s weather in April.
You can identify certain general traits like it should 90 degrees, but there is, no matter how remote, always the chance a thunderstorm or two will pop up.
That said, in general terms, the Tennessee Titans have a few need areas to address in the draft – a pass rushing defensive end, a shutdown cornerback and another guard to further solidify the offensive line.
In addition to that, the want list has a few items as well – a run-stuffing defensive tackle to clog space inside, a safety who can be a long-term answer beyond free-agent stop-gaps Bernard Pollard and George Wilson and a physical type receiver who can run out of the slot.
Throw in the fact that you can never have enough linebackers for special teams and you have quite the mix to choose from.
So without further adieu, the TitanInsider 2013 Titans mock draft:
Round 1, No. 10 _ Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU: The safe pick here would be to take Chance Warmack of Alabama or Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina to plug in at right guard. But the Titans brought in Gregg Williams to help run the defense, and in order to do that, they need to get him some pieces to play with. Some have Mingo listed as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, and there are rumors that the New York Jets covet him one pick before the Titans. But the Jets also need help at guard (and lots of other places). If the Titans don’t have the chance to take Mingo, there are other ends who could be enticing like Oregon’s Dion Jordan, BYU’s Ezekial Ansah or Florida State’s Bjoern Werner. If a defensive tackle like Sharrif Floyd of Florida or Star Lotulelei of Utah is there, that would be tempting too. But Mingo would give the Titans a Jevon Kearse-type rusher to build the defense around.
Round 2, No. 40 _ Eric Reed, S, LSU: It’s not often a team would go back to the well in round two to the same school it selected from in round one. But Reed is a true ball-hawk, and even though his play slipped a little last year, he has first-round talent and would be the long-term answer on the back end for the Titans at safety. At the very least, he gets to learn from two solid pros in Pollard and Wilson in his first year.
Round 3, No. 70 _ Larry Warford, G, Kentucky: Third-round picks aren’t usually plugged in right away to start, but Warford at this spot would be a great value. The Titans liked what they saw in him at the Senior Bowl, and the signing of Andy Levitre to play left guard makes having to find another offensive linemen a little less urgent. Warford plugs right into the mix with Chris Spencer and Rob Turner for the starting spot, as Fernando Velasco is likely to start at center and Eugene Amano is a candidate for release once healthy.
Round 3, No. 97 _ Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana: Another Senior Bowl player who impressed in workouts. Alford has decent size (5-10, 188), and if he can show enough to earn a starting spot at some point, it could allow the Titans to move Alterraun Verner back to the nickelback spot where he is most effective.
Round 4, No. 107 _ Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri: Gooden is a former safety, whose measureables and athletics skills are off the charts. Behind Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown, the Titans are somewhat thin at outside linebacker, and having another athlete to plug in in case of injury and to help on special teams is beneficial here.
Round 5, No. 142 _ Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois: The Titans add another run-plugging defensive tackle to eat space in the middle with Spence, who would join a solid group that includes free agent pickup Sammie Lee Hill, plus holdovers Mike Martin, Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug.
Round 6, No. 202 _ Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech: The younger brother of former Titans safety Vincent Fuller, Corey is a receiver with decent hands and good route-running ability. If he is anything like his big brother, you can expect him to be very smart and have high character.
Round 7, No. 216 _ Jonathan Stewart, LB, Texas A&M: Stewart is an inside linebacker, and even though the Titans added free agent Moise Fokou as depth for Colin McCarthy, another option in the middle is always welcome, given McCarthy’s injury woes from a year ago.
Round 7, No. 248 _ Reid Fragel, T, Ohio State: Fragel began his college career as a tight end, but moved to tackle when he outgrew the position. He is a little raw, but is just the type of player that head coach ßMike Munchak used to mold into a solid, usable player when he was the Titans line coach.