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What if the Titans select a DE in Round One?

We’ve discussed the different possibilities of who the Titans might select in Round One on Saturday. Although we don’t know how the draft will shake out and which position the Titans will select for with their first pick, it’s pretty clear which players are in the mix as the prime candidates at a few positions.
If it’s a WR, it could be Limas Sweed, DeSean Jackson or Devin Thomas. If it’s a DT, it will probably be Kentwan Balmer. If it’s a RB, Chris Johnson will be available if Felix Jones isn’t. If Mike Reinfeldt decides to pick a CB, Brandon Flowers will probably be the best guy still on the board.
It gets more complicated when you look at defensive end. There are three guys who are projected to be taken early – Chris Long, Vernon Gholston and Derrick Harvey. After that, there is a second tier of DEs to look at.
Of that second group, I personally prefer Phillip Merling. Before the Vikings made the trade for Jared Allen, I thought Merling would probably be bound for Minnesota at #17. Now that the Vikings have filled their need for a DE, the Titans have a much better chance of seeing Merling available at #24.
Quentin Groves, Calais Campbell and Lawrence Jackson should all be on the board at #24 as well.
I don’t think Groves is the type of player Tennessee needs. He’s an edge rusher who might be better suited to be an OLB in a 3-4 defense. No thanks. We need a DE who is strong against the run and can then be spelled by Jevon Kearse in passing situations.
I do like Jackson and Campbell, except for the fact that they aren’t graded quite that highly. The Titans will be making a little bit of a reach for either of them if that’s the selection they make at #24. Maybe it would be better to try to trade down into the second round to get whichever one of them is still available at that point.
What are your thoughts about the defensive ends?