Who will fall to the Titans at #24?

I’ve been wondering which players might still be available at the 24th spot on Saturday. Consulting some of the top draft gurus provides some perspective and insight into that.
My favorite two draftniks are Rick Gosselin, of the Dallas Morning News and Mike Mayock, from the NFL Network. They’ve been more accurate with their predictions than just about anyone else in the last four or five years.
I also like Scott Wright, who publishes the NFL Draft Countdown and Mike Detillier, who runs a private draft service and the M & D Draft Report.
Although I don’t like him as much as the other guys listed above, I’m also including ESPN’s Mel Kiper‘s latest mock for good measure.
All links, above and below, are for their latest mock drafts. That gives us five draft experts’ latest mock drafts to compare and contrast and they project it to shake out as follows:
Wide receiver: Wright and Detillier both have Limas Sweed going to the Titans at #24. Gosselin has him going to the Giants at 31 while Mayock and Kiper have him lasting until the second round. Gosselin is the only one who has DeSean Jackson picked before #24. Kiper has projected the Titans will take Indiana WR James Hardy at #24. The general consensus of these five draftniks is that the Titans can have their pick of receivers at #24 if that’s the direction they wish to go.
Defensive tackle: Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis are both projected to be top ten picks and will be long gone when the Titans select at #24. Gosselin predicts the Redskins will take Kentwan Balmer, the third best DT, at #21 but the other four experts have him going at #25 or #26. Trevor Laws is generally considered to be the fourth best DT and none of our five experts project him to be selected in the first round. According to the experts, Balmer should be available at #24. I hope so, I really like what I’ve read and heard about him.
Defensive end: There are three guys who will be off the board early in Chris Long, Vernon Gholston and Derrick Harvey. Phillip Merling is a guy I’ve been looking at. He’s good against the run, which is what’s needed when Jevon Kearse isn’t on the field as a designated pass rusher. Only two experts, Gosselin and Mayock, predict he’ll still be on the board at #24. That’s not as bad as it sounds, since I consider Gosselin and Mayock to be the best of the best. For Merling to be on the board at #24, both the Vikings and Redskins will have to pass on him. Mayock and Wright both have Calais Campbell going to the Redskins at #21 and the ‘Skins have other needs to be addressed as well.
Running back: It’s hard to imagine the Titans selecting running backs on Day One three years in a row but they do have a strong need for speed on offense, which Felix Jones or Chris Johnson could provide. Mayock, Detillier and Kiper all predict the Cowboys will take Jones at #22 while Wright has them taking him at #28. Gosselin believes the Titans will take him at #24. Only Gosselin believes Johnson will be selected in the first round.
Cornerback: There are a lot of good corners who are projected to be first round picks. Will Mike Reinfeldt be tempted to take one of them in the first round? Heck, yes. Nick Harper is getting old and is not that good in man coverage. Cornerback is not a priority or an immediate need but it would be hard to pass on an upgrade which could yield results for years to come. All five of our experts predict that Leodis McKelvin will be selected in the first eleven picks and that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be taken at 19th or sooner. Mike Jenkins is projected by all five experts to be taken no later than 20th. Aqib Talib is a wild card whose name is up and down across the boards but there’s no way the Titans take a chance on a guy with so much baggage. Assuming none of the above are still available, that leaves Brandon Flowers, who is projected as a late first-rounder by Wright, Detillier and Kiper.
You might also want to check out the following two draft sites. I like our MVN writers’ mock draft, because the selections were made by people like you and me, big fans with a lot of knowledge about the needs of their own teams. In many ways they know more than the mainstream media who attempt to observe 32 teams from a distance.
Another interesting site is Draft Nation, which compiles a consensus of 40 mock drafts, including several of the ones above.
We’ve all got our wish lists but we must remember 23 guys will be off the board when it’s the Titans’ turn to draft on Saturday — assuming they don’t trade up. I hope the above info provides you with some insight as to who should be on the board when the Titans are on the clock Saturday afternoon.

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