The 2016 Senior Bowl is not in the books and for the NFL teams, including the Tennessee Titans there were a lot of positives to take from the week and the performances of many of the players that participated in the weeks events.
The Titans enter the player evaluation/draft as one of the fortunate teams that do not need a franchise quarterback, but should be in the market for players at every other position and the talent on hand in Mobile gave them plenty to evaluate and consider in the next few weeks leading up to the upcoming combine in Indianapolis February, 24-27 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The defensive line group was very deep and several players helped themselves during the week, though that position might not be at the top of the Titans needs list, still some of those players could have jumped themselves into the conversation.
Among those who inpressed were already know players such as Adolphus Washington, Jarran Reed and Noah Spence, who many already had with first round grades. Sheldon Rankins dominated the first two days of practice before an injury took him out of the game. Still he was so impressive that if he can continue to impress during the remainder of the the evaluation process, then he could vault himself into first round consideration. The lone negative to Rankins is his height, but the other skills he possesses could overshadow that negative.
Both Jihad Ward and Carl Nassib along with Sheldon Day and Vernon Butler all impressive and helped themselves. Ward in particular garnered a lot of attention- including mine- with his skills and could be someone that finds his way into a future TitanRedZone mock draft.
Several linebackers, including sure-fire first rounder Reggie Ragland, who showed his versatility and ability to play both inside and outside earned accolades and depending on what the Titans do with the top pick-trading down, depending on where they might land- Ragland could become part of the conversation.
LSU product Deion Jones is an undersized linebacker prospect with speed and upside, and he could also be someone with his speed and athletic ability that could help the Titans in the mid rounds.
Cornerback is a position of need for the Titans, and while Jalen Ramsey, the top corner in the class could be an option in the first round, several from this week, including Eric Murray, Maurice Canady, Jalen Mills, James Bradberry, and Harlan Miller all showed skills that could make them potential targets in the mid to late rounds. Cyrus Jone was also impressive at times, though he is just 5'9" but his special teams/punt return skills could make him a mid-round value.
Safety was another position where some players helped themsevles, and the Titans need hep here.
Jermey Cash, who was our second round pick in the first mock draft was solid, though not spectacular in Mobile. Kevin Byard, a ball-hawking local product from MTSU had two interceptions in one practice and was solid in the game. He recorded 19 career interceptions and is always around the football. He carried a fourth round grade into last week and did nothing to hurt that position.
Sean Davis, a big hitter out of Maryland was impressive and showed speed and the physical tackling style that could well imtrigue the Titans. He is a mid-round projection and might have improved that last week.
Boise State's Darian Thompson along with his north teammates Tyvis Powell, Miles Killebrew and K.J. Dillon also were impressive at times and helped themselves. Dillon blocked a field goal during the game and showed great speed on special teams, which could make him a valuable mid-round addition.
Offensively there were two players who jumped out to me that could help the Titans, but both carry second round grades and it is highly unlikely barring a trade that adds another second round pick that the Titans could get both players.
Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs was a dominante palyer during practices and the game, and at a position of dire need for the Titans, he could be a target in the second round if his performance does not vault him into the first round.
Wide recevier Braxton Miller (Ohio State) took center stage and never let it go, as he flashed superior athletic ability and skills for a receiver who only played the position for one season. He showed ability on reverses and also played special teams during the game. He is raw, but the physical gifts could make him a steal in round two for a team that need playmakers. Miller also showed his fire during the practices when he made a tough, contested catch and had his hemlet knocked off. He immediately jumoed up and went at defensive back Deiondre' Hall.
All in all it was a good week for the talent on hand and the Titans could well decide to tap into the talent pool from this game, especially considering that these players have completed four or five years at the college level and are more experienced than some of the other players in the draft that did not spend as much time in a college system.