NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Well, the first wave of free agency was productive for the Titans.
What’s on the horizon?
Well, time will tell. Right now, it’s all about this mailbag…
John Williams from Danbury, Texas
Question: OMG - that's all I can think with all the signings of new and retention of old. My fanship spans over 4 decades and I can't remember a more exciting off-season prior to the draft. Jim, I am curious to our drafts picks and order. Can you list them for us? I can't imagine the draft being better than our free agency, and while a bit disappointed at first with coaching changes - GM has surely shown moxie worth applaud! TitanUp
Jim: Hey John. The team definitely got two good players in free agency, and re-signing defensive end DaQuan Jones, guard Josh Kline and kicker Ryan Succop was big, too. As for the draft picks, here’s a list: 1st round (25th overall), 2nd round (57th), 3rd round (89th), 4th round (125th), 5th round (162nd) and 6th round (199th). The team doesn’t have a 7th round pick as the result of the trade with the Chiefs for defensive lineman David King, who signed a new one-year deal with the team this week.
Nick G from Denver, Colorado
Question: Hey Jim. What do you think the probability is of the Titans trading up in the draft? Thinking primarily on the defensive side for someone like Edmonds or Fitzpatrick. Bringing in Butler is great, in my opinion, and I think on the defensive side of the ball, they really are just a Bradley Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick away from being a league leading defense. We saw how much a guy like Lattimore can elevate a secondary from day one, and seems it’d be worth it to at least attempt to trade into the 5-10 range if any one of those guys are available still.
Jim: Hey Nick. Sounds great, but I can’t see it happening. It would take a lot to move up from 25 into the top 10. And look above in my answer to John – the Titans only have six picks this year. Nothing GM Jon Robinson does surprises me at this point, but I do know he loves his draft picks. I’d be surprised if he gave a lot of picks up in future years, too.
Gabe Malczon from Mililani, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim, any updates on Aaron Wallace's recovery/rehab progress. Aaron had been steadily improving from year one to two prior to his injury. I truly believe he could be the NEXT 2016 Draft Class gem. Hope the new staff can maximize his versatility. Mahalo. I like the new podcast OTP
Jim: Aloha Gabe. Aaron is doing well. He had surgery early last fall, and by the end of the year I think he was already close to being in a position where he could’ve potentially played if needed. He’s in the mix, and I think the way he flashed before the injury should provide optimism about him moving forward. The podcasts are fun. Amie Wells and Mike Keith are the masterminds behind those, and I appreciate them including me. The latest one hit on Friday. If you haven’t heard it, you should definitely check it out. We covered a lot of ground.
Bryant Goggins from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim! I wanted to ask your opinion on the a possible draft scenario: The Titans have a lot of cap space; How much of a possibility do you think could it be that the Titans handle All of their needs in free Agency so as to move up in the draft to grab a Barkley or Chubb?
Jim: Hey Bryant. This isn’t happening. Chubb is going top five, and can’t see the Titans getting there.
Tim Hammond from Seymour, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, how's it going? I would think that you are staying pretty busy with all the great additions the team has already made in free agency. I am also thrilled with the idea of adding Butler to an already good defense, and locking up Jones is a great move! We know that Jon Rob may not be done. And the signing of Lewis gives us a nice compliment to Henry. My question is related to the receivers. After seeing the Browns land Jarvis Landry for a couple of picks I was shocked that Titans didn't get him. Why is it you think they didn't go harder for him?
Jim: Hey Tim. I just don’t think the team was ever interested. Part of it is because the GM doesn't like giving up picks, and part of it is because of what’s already in-house: Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor. It’s a good group. I’m not saying more receivers won’t be added at some point. But the team clearly isn’t in desperation mode at the position.
Jason Specht from Sheridan Lake, Colorado
Question: Hi Jim, so after seeing a question a few weeks ago about Shaquem Griffin I have done a little bit of digging on him and I have to say I am extremely impressed from what I have found. He absolutely killed it at the combine I don't know how many people realized this but when the broadcasters said that Shaquem's 40 time was the fastest LB time since 2003 the reality is that his 40 time is the fastest LB time they have in their system because 2003 was the first year they started tracking it like they do now. The fact that he can play in coverage (which we definitely need for our LB's), rush the QB, and he plays harder than anyone else out there makes him a perfect fit for the Titans in my opinion. The crazy thing is that after all he has done and accomplished he is only projected to be like a 4th round pick! My question is: taking into consideration all of his athleticism, drive, and accomplishments doesn't that seem like a pretty low pick for a player that I believe will shock the NFL and be an impact player from day 1? I feel like if he wasn't missing one hand he would almost certainly be a first round pick or is there more to it that I don't know? I'm really hoping Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel see his value and draft him as early as possible. Thoughts?
Jim: Hey Jason. Shaquem is a great story, and player. He was productive at a high level in college, and he killed it at the combine. I definitely suspect Robinson and Vrabel are interested. The problem is a lot of teams are at this point. Griffin is far from a secret. He ran well, tested well, and he has a lot of heart. I’m sure a lot of teams are considering drafting him at this point.
Bill Bohall from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for all the hard work keeping the latest greatest Titans info coming our way. Let's take a break from all the free agent and draft questions.... Knowing that player safety and keeping the excitement in the game are hot issues at the moment, what are the chances the NFL might consider the CFL rules on fielding punts with an addition of a 5 yard penalty for kicking OB. Suggesting implement the "no fly zone" ( free area for receiver) and the "no yards" penalty for infractions. This would get the receivers fielding and returning again while improving safety. Maybe I'm missing something but just a thought. Thanks and Go Titans !!! BTW, know you haven't been asked, but what do the new uni....oh forget that one and have a great week !!!!!!
Jim: Hey Bill. Nice try on the unis! :)
Haven’t heard about any potential rule changes like you’re talking about. The competition committee is scheduled to meet later this month, and those aren’t on the agenda. A reminder: The uniform release date is April 4!
Rick Pinkerton from Terryville, Connecticut
Question: Jim, Thanks for keeping us in the loop. All my Patriot friends rave about Mike Vrabel and how lucky we are to have him as head coach. My thoughts about Marcus: I believe that he is a franchise quarterback. I think that he could be up there among the greats, like George Blanda, Warren Moon and Steve McNair. With that said, this will be his make it or break it year. With the new offense gearing up for what he does best, I believe that he will have an awesome year. I think the sky's the limit for him. Two things: He needs to stay healthy, and utilize the new offense. If he gets hurt or under performs I believe that we may need to look elsewhere, but I believe he will have a breakout year, and could lead us to the Super Bowl. Your thoughts.
Jim: *Hey Rick. Appreciate the email. I think Marcus is on the right track, and I think he’s going to keep going up in 2018. I think his pairing with new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur will be a good one, and with improvement at the receiver position and the addition of a weapon like Dion Lewis, it’s going to make him even better. The thought of “looking elsewhere” at this point hasn’t even crossed my mind, to be honest. *
Have a great weekend everyone!
New Titans CB Malcolm Butler signs his contract and is introduced to reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)