NASHVILLE – We’re into April, and it’s full steam ahead for the NFL Draft.
There’s lots to talk about, so let’s get right to it…
Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Been reading your articles since The Tennessean and love the insight you bring. Feel like John Robinson/Vrabel and Co. have done a pretty good job of addressing some big needs so far this off-season(On Paper.)*Ryan Tannehill is probably the best backup QB we've had since Billy Volek or Kerry Collins.✔ Adam Humphries is a dependable slot receiver who can move the chains on a consistent basis. ✔Roger Saffold is a proven veteran who can play all the positions of the o-line. Which I think is only going to make Taylor Lewan, and the left side of the O-line even stronger. The resigning of ✔Kenny Vacarro was a big step in keeping this secondary in line to be one of the best in the NFL..And ✔Cameron Wake..like a fine wine seems to be getting better as time goes on. ✔And from first hand watching experience, since we've seemed to play the Dolphins quite a bit the last few years. I'm glad he's on our side now. In terms of the draft if Christian Wilkins is there at 19....You take him. If you can trade up to be in the early teens or earlier, without giving away the family farm to get him... YOU DO IT. Myself..and millions of other people(Including the Titans Front Office)Saw him dominate college football as a whole, and peak on the greatest stage in collegiate Sports. Then..start sobbing like a 300lb plus baby when he helped his team beat one of the greatest dynasties in sports. That's the kind of ability and passion J-rob wants. Vrabel wants. Jurrell Casey wants. We all want. We don't need a Jevon or Khalil Mack or a Clowney if our front 3..or 4 guys can dominate the line of scrimmage..Dominate the line of scrimmage and let your young linebackers go out and make some plays.
Jim: Hey Todd. Appreciate the kind words, and for following. I agree with your assessment on what’s transpired so far, and I don’t hate your take on Wilkins. I really like him myself, as a player, and a guy. He's impressive on all fronts. I am curious to see who else is there at 19, because someone could slide into the wheelhouse that no one is expecting. That's what happened in the draft 20 years ago when Jevon Kearse slid all the way to 16, and the Titans snagged him.
Justen Abney from Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
Question: I think we should draft an edge rusher with our first round pick because we are in a division with great quarterbacks. What do you think?
Jim: Hey Justen. Well, it’s definitely still an area of need. Cameron Wake will provide a boost, and GM Jon Robinson said he’ll play outside linebacker, and I expect him to line up at defensive end as well. But it’s a young group at edge, including Harold Landry, Sharif Finch and Kamalei Correa. Help is coming, but that doesn’t mean it has to come at 19. Some guys will be available after round 1 as well.
Kyle Boudreaux from Houston, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, I hope this message finds you doing well! Living in Houston, I get worn out hearing Texan fans talking about wanting the rights to wearing the Oilers uniforms. We all know the history doesn’t belong to them! My question is, will we ever see the Titans be able to wear the baby blue and red Oiler uniforms as an alternate/throw back jersey? What has to happen to make that a possibility? I say we were them every Titans vs Texans game in Houston, just to really get at these Texan fans! Looking forward to the 2019-2020 season! TitanUp!
Jim: Hey Kyle. Hope all is well, and I hope your baseball season is off to a good start. I know there’s been a lot of chatter about this. And it’s been a popular question in the mailbag and in emails over the years. The talk of the Texans wearing them is crazy talk, for the reason you mentioned. I’m also skeptical about the Titans wearing them, too, at least any time soon. They’re currently “retired,” and the focus is currently on wearing the new light blues. You never say never, but I don’t get the sense it’s on the front burner.
Jason Petty from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question: Jim. First of all, Thank you for the time and efforts you put in to following the Titans and answering fan questions. Now to my question: With all the free agent signings we've seem to have built a team very capable of competing and possibly winning the division in the AFC South. But so have the other 3 teams. If Jon Robinson and the coaching staff have identified the holes we have on the team, like most these past few years why does it always seem we NEVER get a DL lineman, or edge rusher that is consistently disruptive? We've needed an edge rusher or disruptive Defensive lineman for years and yet the only greats or even good ones were back when Albert Haynesworth and Jevon Kearse were on the team. . We need a NEW Vanden Bosch to ignite the DL and become a force in the entire NFL.
Jim: Hi Jason. Appreciate it. Would be nice, huh? The team is hoping Cameron Wake will be a double-digit sack guy. But it would be nice to find a guy a guy in the draft capable of disrupting things like Kearse did for so many years. Don’t forget about Harold Landry, because I think he’s going to really impact games in 2019 with a season under his belt. But I agree, more help is needed, and the draft has some pretty intriguing guys.
Nick Dyke from Atenas, Costa Rica
Question: Pura Vida! Who do you think out of the top 3 WR in the draft would be the best fit in TN?
Jim: Pura Vida Nick! Top receivers in the draft my book D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown and A.J. Brown. I like Marquise Brown’s speed.
Aaron Patch from Lodi, Wisconsin
Question: Jim I'm curious... I'm sure you've had some awesome experiences with the line of work you're in. What is your most memorable or favorite moment/story while working with the Titans organization?
Jim: Hey Aaron. I'm lucky to have the job I have, no doubt about it. Working for an NFL team, in my hometown? Believe me, I don't take it for granted. And I've seen some pretty cool stuff for sure. I’ve covered the Titans since 1999, but from 1999-2014 I was with The Tennessean. I joined the Titans in 2015, so we’ll keep the most memorable moments to that time frame. I’d have to say the playoff win in Kansas City in 2017, the last-second win in K.C. in 2016 that ended with Ryan Succop’s game-winning field goal, and the London trip this past season rank as the top 3. Now if we’re talking top moment of all time, I’d have to go back to the 1999 season that included the Music City Miracle and the run to the Super Bowl.
Tyler Smith from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! First time writer, long-time fan, and a kid in a candy store when it comes to offseason shenanigans. I am writing this on the pro-day of Ed Oliver before he has done his drills, but after knowing that in the interview with the Titans, he was asked if he could play outside linebacker. My question is this: Do you think if Oliver does well in the linebacker drills that he said he'd participate in, that the Titans would be willing to trade up to select him. It fits what J-rob has done in previous drafts, the draft is in Nashville, and this could be a splash move! I know there are many needs on the team, but edge and interior D-line are undoubtedly two of them. In other recent interviews with coach Vrabel, he mentioned the more positions a player can play, the more he can help his team win. Oliver being an interior D-lineman, and possible an edge, the Titans kill two birds with one stone giving them more flexibility when building this Titans team! -TITAN UP!
Jim: Hey Tyler. Oliver is a heck of a player, no doubt. But I’ve seen him projected as a top 5 pick. Personally, I think moving up to get him that high is unrealistic. It would take too much.
Tom Mobley from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: Do the Titans have plans for another "Igniting the Fire" type of thing this off-season? Hope so. Thanx Jim. Titan Up
Jim: Hey Tim. It sure sounds like it. Plans are being made, but nothing is definitive yet. Stay tuned.
Jacob McClusley from Huntsville, Alabama
Question: How's it going Jim? I haven't heard any rumors about Derrick Morgan's market interest? Is he someone that would consider a cheaper, short term deal to come back to the Titans? Is that something Jon Robinson has or would consider? I've always been a fan of Derrick Morgan's aggressive play and positive attitude, so I would be thrilled if something could be worked out to bring him in on cheaper deal. Jon Robinson has always said that isn't necessarily about the best 53 but about the right 53. That really resonates with Morgan as he has the leadership needed for a relatively young edge room. I think Morgan and Wake would mesh pretty well, and they could be great situational edge rushers that could lead this defense to great heights. An edge room of Landry, Finch, Correa, Wake, Morgan, and 1 or 2 rookie draft selections would be a nice edge room in my personal opinion. One more thing, are the 30 prospect visits allowed to be shared publicly or is it strictly private? I've seen some rumors floating around, but didn't know if that is something that Jon Robinson would publicly share. I'm fuzzy on certain rules regarding NFL prospect visits, so it may be something that we aren't supposed to know as fans. It's just interesting to see what types of players are brought in for visits. Thanks for all your coverage Jim!!! TITAN UP!!!!
Jim: It’s been quiet on the Derrick Morgan front. At this point, I’d be surprised if he's back with the Titans in 2019. And it wouldn’t completely shocked me if he retired. I talked to him Super Bowl week, and he planned to explore his options before deciding. He's already had a great career. As for the 30 visits, the team doesn’t offer those up – it’s up to outside reporters to dig them up, something I did when I worked at The Tennessean. That’s somebody else’s job now.
Justin Cynor from Sheldon, Wisconsin
Question: Hey Jim, What do you think of the idea in bringing back Warmack for a 2nd "Chance"? Let him, KP, Levin, and possibly a later round rookie duke it out for the starting RG spot. I was always a fan of Chance. Let him get back to what he does best, run block mauling. Worst case he will be proven depth. I think that would help solidify our OL because I'm not sold on taking OL early in this draft.
Jim: I’d say there’s little to no Chance. (Pun intended).
Skyler Ipock from Madisonville, Kentucky
Question: How can I try out this year for the team I'm highly interested and been training my tail off I'm in my low weight mostly cardio phase now I'm 6'6 300 running a 5.0 40 by June I plan on being at 4.5 or 4.6 at 285 I played high school and some semi pro when I could with my work schedule I bench press 530 dead lift 585 was cleaning 315 squat around 500 I mainly do reps with legs so I don’t hurt myself on legs I use them to much at work.
Jim: Well, Skyler. Sounds like you’re talented. If you run a 4.5 or a 4.6 at 285 pounds, you should be playing somewhere. But there’s not really an “open tryout” for the team. Scouts identify prospects through the process, and that’s how the ball gets rolling. Do you have an agent? Not saying it’s a requirement, but could possibly help. Good luck!
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: Hey Jim. How are you? I was at the Nov. 20, 1978 Monday Night Football game where Earl Campbell ran for...I don't know, lots of yards, with a TD for over 60 yards that he ran down the sidelines away from me--and I have LOVED the Oilers/Titans ever since. I will even hazard the belief that I am the single biggest Titans fan west of the Mississippi...just ask my ex-wife. So, having loved and supported both the Oilers and the Titans, I can tell you that the Texans can go spit. This is about the use of the Oilers throwback uniform, obviously. Bud Adams took the Oilers from Houston because of a lack of support, support later given to multiple teams by their cities to celebrate and financially benefit from their teams by building stadiums...what Houston did for the Texans but wouldn't do for the Oilers. The Columbia blue and the oil derrick belong to us...I'd be cussing loudly in CAPS, but then I know you couldn't print it. Take care.
Jim: Hey David. Shots fired! I hear ya. And don’t worry – the Texans will never where those jerseys or helmets.
Stephaine Kirtley from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: In light of coach Vrabel’s new facial hair frenzy, will this bring the mojo that this team needs in draft selections and so on for the upcoming season? Asking for a friend. #TitanUp
Jim: Well, Stephaine, I will remind you the last time a Titans head coach had a mustache the team went to the Super Bowl …
Have a great week everyone!