The Tennessee Titans posted a 12-5 record in 2021, good for the AFC South crown and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Unfortunately, they suffered an upset loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Vrabel’s squad fell short in the postseason for the third straight year. The team will look to get off the snide in 2022.
With the free agency frenzy beginning to wind down, teams are turning their attention to the upcoming NFL draft. The Titans have several pressing needs to address, including offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, and cornerback. They currently own a first-round pick, a third, and two fourth-rounders.
Here’s how Tennessee could approach the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Round 1, No. 26 overall: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
The Tennessee Titans have unapologetically been a run-first team over the past several years. Considering how dominant Derrick Henry is, that’s not surprising. The All-Pro running back led the NFL in rushing in 2019 and 2020. He likely would’ve made it a three-peat if not for a foot injury in 2021.
As good as Henry is, he needs a formidable offensive line in front of him. Tennessee parted ways with veteran left guard Rodger Saffold in the offseason. Aaron Brewer is unproven, so the front office may look to address the position early in the NFL draft.
Zion Johnson is one of the most intriguing interior offensive line prospects in the upcoming class. He’s arguably the best guard in the draft. Johnson’s calling card is his power, especially at the point of attack. He’s not the best athlete at the position, but his physicality is the perfect fit for this offense. The Boston College standout also only allowed six pressures in 2021.
Round 3, No. 90 overall: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
Tennessee’s offense utilizes tight ends quite frequently. However, the depth chart still has some question marks. The front office brought in Austin Hooper on a one-year deal in free agency, but he doesn’t exactly move the needle. Geoff Swaim is a solid depth piece, but the Titans could still afford to bolster the position.
Colorado State’s Trey McBride is the most complete tight end in the NFL draft. He enjoyed his most productive season as a senior, catching 90 passes for 1,121 yards. While he only found the end zone once, his impact was evident. Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 94.7 on the year.
At 6-foot-4, 246 pounds, McBride has excellent size. He possesses the strength and toughness to be a solid blocker at the next level, which will come in handy as part of a run-heavy offense. Hooper’s presence wouldn’t be a problem, as the Titans love to run multiple tight end sets. His run-after-catch ability and reliable hands could make him a problem at the next level.
Round 4, No. 131 overall: Cordale Flott, CB, LSU
At the moment, it’s unclear how significant a need the cornerback position will be in 2022. The Titans released starter Janoris Jenkins in the offseason to save salary-cap space. Re-signing the veteran isn’t off the table if there is not much interest elsewhere. However, general manager Jon Robinson must prepare for anything.
If the season started today, Caleb Farley and Kristian Fulton would be the starting corners. Both players were early-round NFL draft picks and have a lot of room to grow. Still, this unit will need depth to compete with the high-powered passing offenses in today’s game. Cordale Flott is an intriguing prospect to watch in the fourth round.
Flott is a raw prospect who possesses solid length and speed. He’s hardly the most polished player at the position, and he needs to fill out his frame. However, his athleticism provides plenty of upside. Flott has experience playing inside and outside. The Titans go with another LSU cornerback here.
Round 4, No. 143 overall: Danny Gray, WR, SMU
Tennessee undoubtedly needed to address the wide receiver position in the offseason. The front office acquired Julio Jones before the 2021 season, but that didn’t pan out. The Titans released him. However, they struck a deal with the LA Rams, landing Super Bowl champion Robert Woods. While a great addition, the team must continue adding talent at wideout.
Danny Gray is one of the more underrated players in the 2022 NFL Draft. He arrived at SMU as a JUCO transfer and developed into one of the top options in a crowded receiving corps. Gray recorded 49 receptions for 803 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021.
Gray was a big-time playmaker for the Mustangs. His top-end speed, ball skills, and athleticism make him a legitimate threat to continue that success in the NFL. He’s had some issues with drops that need correcting, but he has the potential to grow into a solid No. 3 receiver alongside Woods and A.J. Brown.
All stats courtesy of College Football Reference
RELATED: Buffalo Bills 3-Round Mock Draft