In preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft, All Titans will take a position-by-position look at prospects who could be of interest to the Tennessee Titans (and available at pick No. 22 or later) and why.
Today: Offensive tackles
Overview: Right tackle shouldn’t have been anywhere close to the Titans’ top 2021 NFL Draft needs. Now, it’s arguably the biggest on offense. Tennessee drafted Isaiah Wilson in the first round last year at No. 29. However, the 22-year-old’s deplorable off-field behavior prompted franchise officials to move on from him. The Titans subsequently released veteran Dennis Kelly, their starting right tackle from 2020, in a salary-cap move.
Currently on the roster, the Titans have veteran David Quessenberry, the recently re-signed Ty Sambrailo and free agent addition Kendall Lamm. All three are expected to compete to be the starter at right tackle, but it’s hard to envision any of them being long-term options at the position.
Degree of need: High
Titans Draft Board: Cornerbacks
Titans Draft Board: Wide receivers
DAY ONE OPTIONS
Rashawn Slater, Northwestern (6-3, 305): Slater probably won’t be around when the Titans pick at No. 22, so it’d likely cost general manager Jon Robinson to get him. Arguably the best tackle prospect in the draft, Slater opted out of this past college football season. But he started 37 of 38 games in the other three seasons. He has played both tackle positions and consistently troubled talented Big Ten pass rushers, including rising star defensive end Chase Young (Ohio State), who Washington selected at No. 2 overall last year.
Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech (6-5, 322): Darrisaw went from having few to no Division I scholarship offers to being a projected first-round pick. Titans coach Mike Vrabel has an affinity for guys who work for everything they get, and Darrisaw seems to fit that prototype. He allowed just three sacks in more than 1,100 collegiate pass-blocking snaps. He also possesses great discipline as he only had one penalty over his final 20-plus games at Virginia Tech.
Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State (6-6, 320): Looking at a picture probably does not do it proper justice, but Jenkins has an extremely wide frame. His highlights suggest that he is a finisher who uses that size to his advantage while blocking with great vengeance. If the Titans select Jenkins at No. 22, he’d automatically have one thing in common with the rostered offensive linemen: he has blocked for a 2,000-yard rusher (Chubba Hubbard in 2019). The Titans’ offensive line helped Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry become the eighth NFL player to reach that mark last season.
DAY TWO OPTIONS
Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame (6-6, 306): Notre Dame has a rich tradition of offensive lineman, specifically at tackle, and Eichenberg lived up to that standard while with the Irish. He was a three-year starter and did not miss a single game in that stretch. Many experts point out that he has solid pass and run blocking technique and better quickness than most think. He is far from a well-rounded prospect, according to many evaluations, but he seems to fit in best with run-heavy offenses. He would be a heck of a day-two selection for the Titans.
Sam Cosmi, Texas (6-5, 314): Cosmi’s name has already been linked to the Titans in a handful of mock drafts. He started the final 34 games of his career at Texas, and he played a good number of snaps at both tackle positions. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded pass blocker among all 2021 draft-eligible tackles. Cosmi did have some degree of trouble with speed rushers at Texas, but the more reps he gets in the NFL, the more comfortable he should become.
Walker Little, Stanford (6-7, 309): Little opted out of the COVID-19-condensed season last fall, and he missed the entire 2019 season after he suffered a dislocated knee in the opening game. The fact he has not played many live, in-game reps in a while might be enough to concern teams. But on the other side of that, he should have a fresh body that is prepared to battle for playing time this summer. He’s an athletic offensive tackle who has some experience lining up at tight end.
DAY THREE OPTIONS
Larry Borom, Missouri (6-5-, 322): A multi-year starter in college, Borom’s 2020 campaign ended after eight games due to a knee injury. So, he seems to be a late-round risk. But he’s a versatile option who has plenty of experience playing both tackle positions and left guard. There are plenty of knocks on Borom, including his athleticism. But with his size and weight, some NFL team will want to see if they can unleash his true potential.
Kayode Awosika, Buffalo (6-5, 315): A four-year starter who played both tackle positions, Awosika has great strength and experience blocking in a run-heavy offense. Buffalo running back Jarret Patterson quietly was one of the best in college football over the last two seasons, and the Bulls led the FBS in rushing yards per-game in 2020. That experience alone makes him an ideal prospect for the Titans. Awosika, like most other late rounders, has plenty of flaws and will need to develop. That shouldn’t stop teams from taking interest in him on day three.