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ESPN's Kiper: Titans Free Agent Acquisitions Increase Options in NFL Draft

Posted Apr 3, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans were successful in signing players in free agency that will allow multiple options later this month during the NFL Draft, Mel Kiper Jr., a senior analyst for ESPN, said during a conference call Wednesday. 

Tennessee has signed 12 free agents: seven offensive players (three interior linemen, a tight end and backup quarterback and running back) and five defensive players (two safeties, two linemen and a linebacker) since free agency opened last month.

“They’ve done an awful lot in terms of getting themselves into the mix where they don’t necessarily have to worry about one spot but they can say, ‘OK, now we can take the best player on the board,’ ” Kiper said.

In leading up to free agency, Titans GM Ruston Webster and coach Mike Munchak expressed their desires to upgrade the offensive line and add depth and competition across the team through free agency and the draft, which begins April 25 with the first round. The second and third rounds continue on April 26, and the event concludes April 27 with the fourth through seventh rounds. Tennessee has the 10th overall pick.

Former Bills guard Andy Levitre, who hasn’t missed a start in his four pro seasons, is expected to play left guard for the Titans, who also added center/guards Rob Turner and Chris Spencer and tendered C/G Fernando Velasco. 

“Andy Levitre comes in at guard,” Kiper said, “could you draft another guard? Could you draft a Chance Warmack if he were there and have an Andy Levitre and Warmack? You could.”

Kiper has also praised former North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper in the buildup to the draft. Warmack, who played at Alabama, and Cooper are frequent projections by multiple NFL.com analysts. The chart below includes the most recent projections from NFL.com analysts at Mock Draft Central.

 

NFL.com Analyst

Projected Pick

Date of Projection

Akbar Gbajabiamila

Chance Warmack, G

April 1

Gil Brandt

Chance Warmack, G

March 27

Charley Casserly

Jonathan Cooper, G

March 25

Daniel Jeremiah

Jonathan Cooper, G

March 20

Matt Smith

Jonathan Cooper, G

March 18

Bucky Brooks

Chance Warmack, G

March 15

Josh Norris

Kenny Vaccaro, SS

March 13

Charles Davis

Jonathan Cooper, G

March 5

Brian Billick

Jonathan Cooper, G

February 25

Scott Pioli

Kenny Vaccaro, SS

February 23

Mike Tannenbaum

Sheldon Richardson, DT

February 23

Kiper said he also liked the Titans’ signings of veterans Bernard Pollard, Delanie Walker and George Wilson.

“They’ve done a lot of things to at least get them in the position where they don’t have to force something,” Kiper said.  

“They could still go guard in the first. I think when you look at where they’ll go thereafter in the second round, maybe a wide receiver like Keenan Allen from Cal would be a nice pick,” Kiper added. “Third round, they need a defensive end. That’s one area of need for this football team. They could look at Corey Lemonier from Auburn, a John Simon from Ohio State, all those guys. Alex Okafor from Texas would be in that third-round mix for Tennessee because I think they’ve got to get a defensive end at some point within those first three rounds.”

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