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2018 NFL mock draft: A surprise pass rusher could be in store for the Titans

Tennessee may have to reach to fill a big need in the draft.

NCAA Football: Delaware State at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans are a team that should be on the brink of getting over the hump.

Marcus Mariota is entering his fourth season in the NFL, and the team landed a playoff spot after finishing last season at 9-7. They even knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round.

The team replaced coach Mike Mularkey with first-time head man Mike Vrabel. Although that brings some level of uncertainty, Vrabel has been highly praised in his short coaching career.

One thing about Tennessee is certain, though. With veteran stalwarts Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo facing free agency after next season, the Titans have to find an edge player in this draft.

That’s just what Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles does with his pick in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.

25. Tennessee Titans: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

Morris: Jon Robinson has done a really nice job in free agency of filling the holes on the Titans’ roster. He signed Dion Lewis to fill the need at running back. He signed Malcolm Butler to fill the need in the secondary. He signed Bennie Logan to fill the need for a run stopper in the middle of the defensive line. That just leaves the need at outside linebacker.

The Titans would love to see Harold Landry fall, but that didn’t happen here. That leaves Josh Sweat. There is no doubt that he has the athleticism to make an impact off the edge.

Analysis: This is a bit of a surprise choice because Sweat is a player who is not often in the discussion for first-round players. However, he plays at a premium position where the talent at the top is thin. In this mock draft, not only is Landry gone, but so is Marcus Davenport of UTSA. That leaves Tennessee to choose between players like Sweat, Sam Hubbard of Ohio State, and Uchenna Nwosu of USC. Hubbard is a good player, but a level below Sweat and Nwosu in terms of his pass rush ability. Nwosu is a player who Vrabel personally worked out at USC’s pro day. He could be in play for Tennessee. If not, it’s hard to ignore Sweat’s size and natural athleticism. He’s battled injuries throughout his football career, but he flashed high potential at times.

Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining

  • 20. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  • 21. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  • 22. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
  • 23. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  • 24. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The final pick of the day comes at 1 p.m. ET courtesy of Dave Choate of The Falcoholic. Any guess what position he might target for the Atlanta Falcons?


What grade do you give the pick of Josh Sweat by the Tennessee Titans?

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