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Ranking the Titans’ top draft needs

As a sort of follow-up to my posts last week looking at the current Titans’ roster on offense and defense, and with the draft tomorrow, I thought I’d rank the Titans’ highest draft priorities as I see them.

1. Quarterback.  Duh.  A first or second round need.

2. Defensive Line.  As I mentioned in the defense post, I think end is a much bigger need than defensive tackle.  I wouldn’t be really disappointed if the Titans picked Nick Fairley at 8th overall, but I think end is another position that could easily be addresed in the first or second round.  While there’s decent depth at tackle, there’s apparently not much quality at end past the early second round.

3. Linebacker.  I think inside and outside are both options.  Not at 8th, but maybe in the second with Bruce Carter.  Another guy who’s probably more of an middle linebacker is fellow North Carolina Tar Heel Quan Sturdivant.  I’d guess this is more a middle-round priority, maybe with one of the fourth round picks.

4. Defensive Back. Corner or safety could be the priority here, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them take one of both.  There’s much better quality at corner, and there are teams with much bigger safety needs who’ll probably overdraft from a thin pool.  I’m not sure it’s a first- or second-round priority, but it wouldn’t surprise me to look at it in the third-round or later.  Then again, I don’t have a very good track record of predicting how the Titans will target the secondary lately, so I’m not sure you should listen to me.

5. Interior Offensive Line.  Munchak said at the pre-draft press conference that he liked Amano and Harris to start again. Personally, I’m about as worried about Jake Scott, even if you ignore that Harris isn’t under contract for 2011 as of right now, and I’m not sure the Titans have enough quality depth here to sustain a loss of Harris, let alone a loss of Harris and a potential injury, or a replacement for Scott in a year.  Historically, the Titans haven’t devoted serious resources to acquiring offensive linemen (a subject for a future post).  I don’t think OL is in serious consideration until the third round at the absolute earliest, and most likely not even then, but I think they need at least one body here.

Stay tuned with Total Titans as the draft unfolds, as we’ll have coverage of each Titans pick soon after it’s made.  You can also join me tomorrow for a first-round liveblog over at Football Outsiders, or comment here.