Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Tennessee Titans [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Titans improved in 2011 under new head coach Mike Munchak, finishing with a 9-7 record. Veteran QB Matt Hassleback did a good job of managing the offense and brought experienced leadership to the locker room. It hurt loosing star WR Kenny Britt for the season, along with Chris Johnson having the worst season of his career. Promising QB, Jake Locker looks poised to take the reins and with the return of Britt and Johnson, Tennessee could be a sleeper team in 2012.
1. Defensive Tackle: The Titans lost Jason Jones to Seattle this offseason, making defensive line a priority. Jurrell Casey showed enough during his rookie season to hold down one of the spots, but there is still an opening next to him. Devon Still, Michael Brockers, and Jerel Worthy are options in round one.
2. Defensive End: Even though Kamerion Wimbley was recently signed, Tennessee needs more at the position. Jason Jones and Dave Ball are gone, meaning the Titans need more depth. Nick Perry should be available at the Titans selection.
3. Center: Eugene Amano is horrible. The Titans need an upgrade at the center position. Peter Konz, Ben Jones, and Phillip Blake are among the top center prospects in this year’s draft.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Cincinnati Bengals [full archive here].
Season Recap: Good for Owner Mike Brown. When everyone was calling for Head Coach Marvin Lewis to be fired, Brown stuck with his man. The Bengals hit gold on their first two picks: AJ Green and Andy Dalton. The two rookies led the Bengals to the playoffs and both made the Pro Bowl. With two first round picks in the upcoming draft, Cincinnati will only improve in 2012.
1. Wide Receiver: AJ Green is incredible and should be one of the top receivers in the league very shortly. Once teams began to double him, Dalton didn’t have many other options to throw to. Jerome Simpson made some highlight plays, but likely wont return due to impending drug charges. Kendall Wright or Reuben Randle would fit nicely in round one.
2. Running Back: The Bengals would like to find a star RB to complement Dalton and Green. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was signed, but I don’t believe he is that good. Lamar Miller would be a perfect fit and would bring a homerun threat to the young offense.
3. Strong Safety: A young safety to pair with Reggie Nelson would give the Bengals a very solid defense. Chris Crocker is getting old and Taylor Mays looks to be a bust. Mark Barron could be a nice option with one of the Bengals first rounder’s.
The Houston Texans typically don’t use their pre-draft visits on highly rated players, so there’s usually very little we can learn from their list of visits. However, an interesting trend seems to be developing this year.
Of the Texans 10 visits/workouts we’ve learned of, six of the players are defensive backs (three corners, three safeties).
None of the prospects will be 1st-round picks, with the highest rated player likely being Boise State safety George Iloka, but it’s likely more than just coincidence that the Texans are studying up on so many defensive backs.
Given this trend, and the Texans recent struggles with their secondary, it’s hard to imagine them not addressing the position at some point on draft day. And while none of the reported visits will be 1st-round targets, it’s worth considering the possibility that they may address that need early in the draft, possibly with strong safety Mark Barron in the 1st round.
For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily.
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Atlanta Falcons [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Atlanta Falcons approached last offseason with the anticipation of making a serious run at the Super Bowl. They traded up to the number six overall pick to acquire another weapon for Matt Ryan in Julio Jones. Jones showed he was worthy of the selection, but nothing else seemed to pan out for the Falcons. Without many high draft picks, Atlanta needs their returning players to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 season.
1. Defensive End: The most important position in football is the Quarterback. In today’s league, teams have to have excellent pass rushers in order to disrupt opposing team’s QB. The Falcons need to find a pass rusher that an offense fears. John Abraham used to be that player, but is on the downside of his career. Ray Edwards was signed last offseason, but only posted 3.5 sacks in 16 starts. A player like Vinny Curry in the second round would be a good addition.
2. Left Tackle: Former first round pick, Sam Baker was benched during the season after poor play. If Baker can come back strong, then this is not a need for Atlanta, but the Falcons can’t take a risk at not giving Matt Ryan the best protection possible. With no first round pick, Atlanta better hope Baker can handle the job, because it will be hard to find a capable starter in the second or third round
3. Tight End: Tony Gonzalez had another solid season, but at 36 it is time to begin looking for his replacement. If a player like Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener slips in the second round, Atlanta may be smart enough to grab one of them.