Do Titans Play it Safety or Draft a Cornerback?
Early in the offseason, the glaring holes in the roster at cornerback and wide receiver acted like blinders for us fans looking for answers. It wasn’t difficult to understand why when the Tennessee cornerbacks couldn’t maintain coverage and the wide receivers couldn’t separate from it. The desire was for the Titans to address both positions at the top end of the draft…no matter what happened in free agency.
With their first pick of the 2017 draft, the Tennessee Titans choose…a safety.
Malik Hooker (Ohio State) – FS
Hooker is the best center fielding safety of the group. He has great range and seemingly owns the ball when it’s in the air. He’s considered to be the best safety talent to enter the draft since Eric Berry, who most of us Titan fans were salivating over only a short week ago.
Jamal Adams (LSU) – SS
Adams is a true strong safety that has the athleticism to provide exceptional coverage as well. He’s possibly the most well rounded player in the draft – Checking all the boxes. He possesses the great instincts of a dynamic player and also happens to be the ideal locker room presence – The type of player that the Titans covet.
If the Titans stick and pick at #5, the decision should come down to Hooker or Adams. As good as Hooker is, the Titans already possess a safety named Kevin Byard who also has a reputation for being a ball hawk. Sure, Byard is versatile enough to switch to strong safety, but the team would be better served playing to his strengths, as well as those of their next strong safety…Jamal Adams.
If the Titans trade back in the draft and SS Jabrill Peppers of Michigan is available, he needs to be seriously considered. He’s a team first guy who moved from safety to linebacker for the betterment of his team…and the detriment of his draft status. He needs to fine-tune his technique, but he’s an athletic beast that could instantly help the Tennessee defense in a variety of ways.
Although a strong safety would be the preference, any of these young safeties would provide the Titans with a formidable duo that could dominate for years to come.
Despite a desperate need at cornerback and wide receiver, the safety position provides the better value at the top of the draft. If the Titans manage to add a CB1 & WR1 in free agency they will be in the perfect position to select the best
player safety available.