NASHVILLE – The countdown until the NFL Draft in Nashville is now just two days away.
It’s going to be crazy here in the Music City.
Let’s take one more dive into the Titans mailbag before the big weekend.
(I plan on doing a special mailbag on Thursday where fans can submit their draft hopes for the Titans).
Let’s roll this one out, with a touching entry to kick things off …
Nick Green from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. I'm not sure if this is the right kind of message to send to you. I've been thinking it over for years, and have decided to write. I'm a lifelong Titans fan - I grew up in Nashville, and was ten years old when they moved to Tennessee. Since then, I've even gotten a Titans tattoo. My cousin grew up down the street from me. We were lifelong best friends, and he was the only person I knew who loved the Titans as much as me. He passed away a few years ago, just a few days short of his 30th birthday. Only days before, he'd proudly showed me the brand-new Delanie Walker jersey that he'd purchased. We watched the Titans play the Vikings, and then he was gone before the next game. The only thing I have left from him is that jersey. I wear it proudly, every Sunday when the Titans play. Every time Delanie catches a touchdown, it means a little bit more than it used to. I think of my best friend, and I smile instead of cry. I just wanted to share the impact that Titans football can really have on a family - and a person - as they attempt to heal. If you could somehow just pass my message on to Delanie - to let him know that every play he makes, I see the best man I ever knew - Matthew Tatham - smiling down from the skies and cheering him on, it would mean a lot. Our families have suffered a lot in recent years, and the Titans have been the one thing that has given just enough escape to get through the day.
Jim: Thanks for sharing this story, Nick. Best to you and your family and RIP Matthew Tatham.
Dana Pickerel from Henderson, Nevada
Question: With the draft in Nashville, would the Titans consider making a big splash with fans by trading up to get Josh Allen? Allen would be considered a hometown kid, fills a need and a want, big splash in Nashville's first ever hosting the NFL draft, and an added factor would be the Kentucky fan base, who is so close.
Jim: Hi Dana. GM Jon Robinson has been asked this question before. Not about Allen, but about the team potentially trying to make a splash. I don’t get the sense it’s his mission heading into the weekend. He just wants to land the right players. As for Allen specifically, he’s a great player. I wouldn’t get your hopes up, though - I just think it would take way too much ammo to move up to get him.
Tom Mackie from Gloucester - England
Question: Hi Jim, I have been a Titans/Oilers fan since 1983 (which was a pretty good year to learn about the draft). Obviously I am looking forward to following the draft in Nashville. So here is my question: How much stock do you think Jon Robinson puts into the age of a draft prospect? Some guys could be as young as 20 and some as old as 24 - 25. Do the front office consider age when they draft a player and how much does it matter? I imagine it has a lot to do with how much potential a player has to help the team improve and how mature a person/learner he is...
Jim: Hi Tom. Good question. I think they consider age on a case-by-case basis, and the maturity of a player. Kenny Britt was just 20 years old when the Titans picked him, and I remember Albert Haynesworth was just 20 as well. Those were different regimes, of course, but they offer proof if a player is good enough, they’ll be picked. Of course some guys need more time to mature, and the scouts and personnel folks do a lot of homework before picking a guy. Rashaan Evans was 22 when he was picked last year, and he turned out to be one of the most mature rookies I’ve ever been around. In the long run, I think the answer hinges on potential, ability and smarts more than it does birth date.
Nicolas Delamare from Laval, France
Question: Hey Jim. I'm so excited by the draft at Nashville and ready to read you about this great event and Nashville's atmosphere.... Not a question but I can see that some of our legends are excited by the opportunity of this draft with our loving Eddie who announce Titans' second round pick....Just one word....Don't forget our Air Mac... Steve is one of the reason that I'm a Titans fan and not alone in Titans' fans so....Do you know, Jim, if the name of the great STEVE "AIR" MAC NAIR can be here at the draft even if he will be in every Titans' lovers heart..PS: Maybe when Eddie will announce Titans second pick, he can do Air Mac Touchdown celebration (2 bumps on his chest and finger pointed to the sky !!) THANK YOU AGAIN
Jim: Good to hear from you again Nicolas! Thanks for taking the time!
Joe Eyolfson from Sanford, Manitoba
Question: Hi Jim. Been a fan since Warren Moon stopped winning Grey Cups in the Great White North, and showed the world that a man of colour can be a hall of fame QB, and not just another Wide Receiver. Which leads me to my question: Do you really think we need another WR to succeed? I have seen so much commentary in the Maibag about the Titans need for a WR, and to be honest, I am perplexed. We just went and picked up what I think will be our Wes Walker in Adam Humphries, we already have a Dez Bryant in Corey Davis, and we have our speedster in Taywan Taylor. As far as I can tell, that’s more WR talent than the Patriots had in any of their 6 SB wins. And let’s not forget the year Randy Moss lit it up, they lost! I’m pretty sure BB does not make WR a top priority, and they seem to be doing okay....
Take those 3 receivers, give Marcus and Ryan some time to throw, use Delanie to pick up some tough yards in the middle, and you have a top 5 offense in the making. I feel draft priority should be help on the edge, or in the middle, or maybe a GB In the middle of the O-line to shore up what should be our greatest strength. I guess we will find out very shortly if I can read JR’s mind :) Thanks for all you do Jim. Titan Up!
Jim: Good to hear from you, Joe. I believe the team can be successful with it’s current group. Adam Humphries was a big get for the slot, Corey Davis showed flashes of stardom last year, and Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor are only going to get better. I like guys like Darius Jennings and Cameron Batson and Devin Ross and Roger Lewis competing, With that said, there are some guys in this draft class that are intriguing, and they could add an extra dimension. But the GM and HC will have to decide which is more important: Adding to that group with an impact guy, or attacking another position of need. I do agree the needs at edge and on the interior lines are probably bigger. I also believe the team will take a receiver in the draft -- it's just a matter of who and when.
Antonio Prestigiacomo from Buford, Georgia
Question: Hi Jim, first time writer here. I have a few questions for you, so we'll jump right in.
1) Do you think there's a possibility that Jonnu Smith could start over Delanie Walker next season? I love his versatility. He can catch shovels, screens, and I've seen he's decently proficient from the slot (not to mention his speed).
2) Are there any updates on Mariota? Injuries from last season, how he's feeling, etc.
3) With the draft coming up, do you think it's possible the Titans will trade up to get a more premium pass rusher?
Jim: Let’s knock these out in rapid fire fashion:
1. I like Jonnu, and he definitely showed even more promise last year. But I envision Delanie returning as the Pro Bowl-caliber player prior to the injury, and that guy is starting in my mind.
2. Mariota’s throwing without issues. I’ve seen it. He looks good.
3. Getting help on the edge is a priority. I don’t necessarily think the team will have to trade up to make it happen, however.
Randy Phillips from Mount Vernon, Illinois
Question: Hi Jim. What do you think the odds are that the Titans stay put at pick #19, or do you think trader Jon has something up his sleeve for Thursday night? With the depth of talent in this draft I would actually love to see the Titans trade back say number #19 to the Raiders for #24 or #27 and #35.
Jim: Hey Randy. Jon’s hard to read, and he’s certainly not giving anything away if he can avoid it. After ending up with just four picks last year, I suspect he’ll try and maneuver to get more. During a presser on Monday, he said so himself. But so much hinges on what happens 1-18, the group of players still on the board when the Titans are scheduled to pick.
Blake Collins from Saltville, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim thanks for keeping us fans up to date and answering our crazy questions lol... My question is about the OL. Roger Stafford is an awesome addition. Add another great OL with him and Taylor Lewan and Derrick Henry will have time to hit 2nd gear and Marcus will have time to throw the ball....What are the chances they try for a OL in the first round??? Seems to me it will give everyone behind center more time for play development? Thanks
Jim: Hi Blake. I’ll be very surprised if the team doesn’t add an o-lineman in the draft. Whether it comes in the first round, well, it’s just hard to say at this point. As I mentioned to Randy, so much depends on what the board looks like when the Titans are on the clock at 19. If the team can get an impact player at a different position there, then maybe you wait on the o-lineman?
Eli Decko from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Question: Hey Jim. Long time no write. When looking at this draft, or any, do you think J-Rob thinks about extending the careers of his current players by drafting complimentary players? Like a DT to keep wear and tear off of Jones and Casey? Or even a new guard to assist Jack's recovery etc.? If you look at it the drafting of Jayon Brown and Evans has really done that for Woodyard. I really like the idea of us going line heavy on both sides of the ball, championships are won in the trenches after all. Just a thought. Thank you for reading this and giving us fans a real voice. Take care.
Jim: What’s up Eli? Hope your wife is still keeping you in line. I suspect some moves/picks could be made not only for depth for the 2019 team, but also looking to the future. There are some guys on the roster who are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, and part of the draft strategy will be finding future replacements.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: 1 more week. I know for a fact that Jon Robinson will improve the team substantially with his draft strategy. We only have a few holes left - a DT, an EDGE, and an IOL. I don't know how he'll fill all 3 holes when you only have two impact picks. I think that the first and second round are impact picks. I think the 3rd round is interesting but I think 1 and 2 are your best bets to get an impact player. I don't think Robinson is going to be willing to leave one of those holes there. The team is stacking a lot of exceptional talent so it makes me wonder if the team will be able to pay all of its' nifty players or if we're going to see a purge of some great players soon???? I hate to see this team break up.
Jim: Hey Jimmy. The team is in great shape from a salary cap standpoint, so any moves made won’t be out of financial concerns. And while a lot of impact guys usually are found early in the draft, plenty of difference makers come in later rounds. Kevin Byard was a third rounder in 2016, and Jayon Brown was a fifth rounder in 2017, just to name a few. One more: Delanie Walker was a sixth round pick way back in 2006.
Scott Spurlock from Leander, Texas
Question: Howdy Jim. Greetings from Texas.. My question is: Why do people ask you questions you can't answer? ... Ya know , "Who will we draft?", "what do the Coaches think about .....?" Don't they know you are on the payroll and can't say anything about stuff that might get you Off the payroll??? Any way I'm a little drunk and really I think I'll leave all that draft stuff to the pros. I trust the Coach and GM. They make me scratch my Head sometimes but I always love the team... On Draft Day I'll be Landing in The Philippines and won't be able to keep track of who drafted who or what.. You make Sure Coach and GM know I trust them to do what is best for our team ... I just Read Amy Adams Strunk went to UT Austin.. where I worked, I met a ton of people there .. Never bumped into her.. But Deloss Dodds , Met him, Mack Brown met him, Michael Griffin almost ran over him one day, Justin Tucker met him ... had a really long day with him, Vince Young Met him, Colt McCoy met him, Kenny Vaccaro did not meet him but saw him on campus many times.. There was another famous one, Played for the Giants CB or Safety had a girlfriend that was in the olympics??? Oh and don't let's start about Basketball yep KD playing for the Warriors now... All as I was installing WiFi devices in or around where they were on campus..those were the good old days.. keep on keeping on my friend.. Did I tell you I lived over around Ellington Pkwy and Briley Pkwy around the hospital over there for about 5 yrs. I loved my time in Nashville I could hear when the Titans scored a touchdown I was that close to the stadium. Anyway Thanks for your time.
Jim: Hey Scott. Appreciate your honestly. Hope you weren't drinking when you almost ran over Griff! 😊
Have a safe trip to The Philippines and best to you!
Dave Bettlach from Chesterfield, Missouri
Question: With two days to go before the draft the LAST thing I want to see is JRob trading up. Last year’s draft only netted us (4) players. We need to stick and pick or trade down in order to obtain more draft capital! There seems to be a lot of similar value in the top 15 to 40 player range, according to their grades. Jim, how do you see it? Thanks!
Jim: Kind of agree with you here Dave. I’d say chances are better he moves back than up…
Marc Richardson from Elk Grove, California
Question: This is probably more of a rant than a question but I can’t believe the Titans only got only one national televised game. They were only two plays away from being 11-5 last year and they crushed the Super Bowl champs Patriots. The Titans also beat 4 teams that made the playoffs last year. On the other hand, the national media continues to throw the Browns down our throats. Personally, I’m not sure what the Browns have done besides trade for Odell Beckham that has made them such the darlings of the NFL. They only beat one team over .500 last year. It is unbelievable to me that they got 4 primetime games. Even the lowly 49ers and Giants got 3 primetime games. Well I guess we needed to cherish the role of being the underdog and go out and take care of business and maybe we will have something to talk about in February.. .Go Titans!!!
Jim: Hey Marc. We accept rants here, as long as they’re clean. Hope you feel better now…
Have a great draft week everyone!