By Jared Peterman
The Titans created a foundation in the 2015 NFL Draft by selecting quarterback Marcus Mariota and a potential star in the making wide receiver to throw to in Dorial Green-Beckham. Every move in the offseason has been focused on improving the talent around Mariota to take a big step forward in his second season. The icing on the cake would be for the new regime of General Manager Jon Robinson and Coach Mike Mularkey to knock out the 2016 draft, and that starts with the number one overall pick. First, let’s recap some important offseason transactions.
Two free agent signings and one bold trade revamped the offense that Mariota will lead the huddle with in his second season. The Titans signed a new possession receiver from Miami in Rishard Matthews, who the New England Patriots coveted in the offseason as well. He adds to the already talented pass catching corps surround Mariota including: Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Delanie Walker and the aforementioned Green-Beckham. Another playmaker was added via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, acquiring running back, DeMarco Murray, after just one season with the Eagles. This should obviously improve a Tennessee run game that relied on David Cobb and Antonio Andrews last season. The biggest offseason addition? Signing center Ben Jones to provide a leader and the staple to an offensive line protecting the savior of the franchise.
This puts Tennessee on the clock with a player on the board to make this offseason an absolute step forward in the right direction. That player proves to be left tackle Laremy Tunsil from the University of Mississippi. This pick would not only protect Mariota’s blindside, but solidify the offensive line as an entire unit. This move would have 2014 first round pick, Taylor Lewan, move to right tackle alongside 2013 first round pick, Chance Warmack, the starting right guard. Scouts and analysts believe Tunsil is an absolute stud who will have a long, tremendous career. If the consensus becomes true, and the Titans select Tunsil, Mariota shouldn’t have to panic in the pocket as he did in 2015. Mariota was sacked 38 times in his 12 games as a rookie. The offense would be complete in almost every facet, allowing Robinson to focus on the defense for the majority of draft and the rest of the offseason. It’s not the sexiest selection, but it is the smartest. Don’t overthink it, Tennessee.