Analyzing the Titans' 2020 Draft Class
The 2020 NFL draft was one of the strangest drafts in NFL history. In this fully remote draft, the Titans made interesting picks throughout the draft. General Manager, Jon Robinson, balanced drafting the best available players with drafting for need.
1st Round, No. 29 overall | Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia | 6'7 350lbs
Isaiah Wilson was drafted by the Titans' about one month after losing starting RT, Jack Conklin, to free agency. Just a few days after Conklin signed with the Browns, the Titans resigned RT, Dennis Kelly, who will likely compete with Isaiah Wilson for the starting spot at RT. Wilson, 21, started all 14 games as a freshman at Georgia and earned Freshman All-American and SEC All-American honors. In his sophomore season, he was limited to 11 games because of an ankle injury but was still named a second team All-American. After his sophomore year, he declared for the NFL draft and was selected around picks 35-55 in most Mock Drafts.
Wilson is a huge and athletic tackle who can start in his first year or two. Wilson is able to destroy opposing pass rushers and he was one of the most consistent pass blockers in the country last season.
In his post draft interview with Official Titans Podcast host, Amie Wells, Wilson spoke highly of Coach Mike Vrabel and he was excited by the Titans strong run game. When Wilson was describing his skill set, he said, "I'm very physical, I love being physical, I love blocking people on the floor, I love making them quit, and I have a lot of a lot of gifts in the passing game". In addition to his fierce mindset, Wilson spoke about his size and the advantages he has against opposing players. You can listen to the interview here.
I like the Titans pick at 29 though I think there were much more pressing needs than a tackle. I like Wilson a lot and I think he has extremely high potential with his extreme size, agility, strength, and mentality but I also think Dennis Kelly is a very competent RT. It is likely that Wilson will get a good shot at the starting spot and I amm guessing he will eventually claim it. I imagine Dennis Kelly's role this season being similar to last season, filling in anywhere on the line when he is needed.
2nd Round, No. 61 overall | Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU | 6'0 196lbs
When I wrote about who the Titans could select in the 2020 draft, I mentioned Kristian Fulton as a good possibility. Fulton was widely agreed to be a first round talent and the Titans got a steal at 61. Fulton is agile, good in coverage, and is very good at tracking the ball. The Titans did not bring back Veteran CB, Logan Ryan, in large part because they got a great young corner in Kristian Fulton.
The Titans have pretty good depth at CB even with the loss of Logan Ryan. The Titans top corners will likely be Adoree' Jackson, Malcom Butler, and Kristian Fulton. Fulton may play a limited amount depending on his performance. The Titans also brought in veteran, Jonathan Joseph, who could fill in at CB when needed.
Unfortunately, Fulton suffered an ankle injury which lingered throughout 2018. He was also suspended for 19 months after he submitted someone else's sample for a random drug test. He has openly spoken about the incident and he said that he is using it as motivation.
Fulton was certainly a great value at pick 61 and he fits the Titans well. The decision to let Logan Ryan go and draft a young CB may not be beneficial in the short term but Fulton has a lot of potential.
3rd Round, No. 93 overall | Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State | 6"0 201lbs
Darrynton Evans was drafted to backup Derrick Henry and he will likely get a good amount of snaps. Evans, who ran the second fastest 40 yard dash time among running backs, is quick and agile. He will provide a beneficial change of pace from Derrick Henry and provides some much needed speed on the offense. Evans did not fumble on any of his 482 carries at App. State which speaks a lot about him as a player. He can also return kicks and could replace Kalif Raymond in that role.
Evans will almost certainly be the 2nd RB on the depth chart as there are only 3 RBs on the roster (Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans, and Dalyn Dawkins). While Dawkins did get some carries against New Orleans last year, he will likely be behind Evans on the depth chart.
In college, Evans was named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and averaged 5.8 yards per carry. He also caught 14 passes in college which will greatly benefit Ryan Tannehill. While I like Evans, the Titans could have chosen him later or signed an undrafted Running Back after the draft.
5th Round, No. 174 overall | Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State | 6'3 291lbs
Larrell Murchison seems to be a replacement to Jurrell Casey, who the Titans traded away this offseason. Murchison has the ability to beat people on the inside and get into the backfield. He had a strong final season at NC State with 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 12 tackles for loss. While he is not quite the size of Jeffrey Simmons, he can disrupt games similar to Simmons.
Murchison will fit in well alongside Jefferey Simmons and DaQuan Jones and he was a solid pick that filled a need.
7th Round, No. 224 overall | Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii | 6'4 220lbs
Cole McDonald seems to have a high ceiling but he has some clear weaknesses. His ball placement at the combine was very poor and his decision making in college was not great. He did put up some good numbers at Hawaii and he showed the ability to run the ball which is promising.
McDonald will likely compete with Logan Woodside for the backup Quarterback job though I think the Titans would be better off pursuing someone like Blake Bortles.
7th Round, No. 243 overall | Chris Jackson, DB, Marshall | 6'0 186lbs
While he did not record crazy numbers in 4 years at Marshall, Chris Jackson made plays. He broke up many passes and made huge touchdown saving tackles. Jackson is physical for his size and he is not afraid to press receivers.
While he does not have blistering speed, Jackson is a solid Corner and adds great depth. Jackson will fit in as the 6th Corner on the roster behind Adoree Jackson, Malcom Butler, Kristian Fulton, Jonathan Joseph, and Tye Smith.
While it is extremely hard to grade a teams draft months before the season begins, I would give the Titans a B. While the Titans filled needs later in the draft, they didn't address the clear issue at pass rush. Each player drafted has clear upside and the first 3 picks could make a serious impact in 2020.