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2010 Senior Bowl: Possible Tennessee Titan draft options

Tomorrow, Mobile, Alabama will play host to its annual all-star game that showcases the talents of college football’s best and brightest senior NFL draft prospects. The Senior Bowl is an excellent opportunity for NFL teams to get a head-start in the lengthy evaluation process that culminates with April’s NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at a few Senior Bowl participants who could emerge as potential draft targets for the Tennessee Titans. Defensive Backs Considering the advancing age and decline in performance by veteran starting CB Nick Harper, the Titans may have a cornerback on their 2010 draft wish list. While youngsters Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton were selected in 2009, they were mid-to-late round picks, so the Titans may be interested in securing the services of a first-round talent at the CB position this year. At the Senior Bowl, Boise State’s Kyle Wilson is emerging as a potential first-round pick due to the combination of his stellar play at corner and his return abilities. With the aforementioned talents, the selection of Wilson could provide the Titans with an answer to two of their biggest offseason needs. Two other senior corners who have caught my attention this week are Perrish Cox; a talented CB who has a nose for the football and is also a good returner; and a name that may be familiar; Devin McCourty, the twin brother of Titans’ CB Jason McCourty. I like McCourty’s versatility: in addition to his defensive talents, he’s a demon on special teams via returning punts and also blocking them. Returners The loss of Chris Carr played a key role in the Titans’ struggles on special teams last year. There is no question that a dynamic kick/punt returner is on the team’s offseason wish list. In addition to corners such as Wilson and McCourty, there are two other guys who could make an impact returning punts and kicks as rookies. Alabama’s Javier Arenas is a dangerous returner who also isn’t doing too bad at the cornerback position during Senior Bowl week, despite his lack of size (5’9″). Another intriguing returner could be Dexter McCluster, the pint-sized dynamo (5’8″, 165 pounds) who is standing out as a potential difference-maker in spite of his small stature. Defensive Linemen Albert Haynesworth’s departure definitely had an effect on a Tennessee Titan defense that uncharacteristically struggled in 2009. At the Senior Bowl, DT Dan Williams has a similar build (6’3″, 330 lbs) and hails from the same college (Tennessee) as Haynesworth and has apparently attacted the attention of the Titans in Mobile this week. His ability to occupy multiple blockers could be appealing to the Titans if he’s still available in the mid-first round. According to many, defensive end is the direction the Titans appear to be headed in with their first round selection. Guys like Everson Griffen and Jason Pierre-Paul have been linked to the Titans in mock drafts, but due to their statuses as juniors, they are not participating in this week’s Senior Bowl festivities. One DE who is in Mobile this week is East Carolina’s C.J. Wilson, a solid DE who can pass-rush and defend the run. Considering the Titans success with drafting another C.J. from East Carolina, bringing this guy into the fold may not be a bad idea. For those of you interested in watching the Senior Bowl, it will be televised tomorrow on the NFL Network at 3PM Central.