Feb 29, 2024 - Sports

Tennessee Titans could take receiver or line help in NFL draft

Washington receiver Rome Odunze on the field holding a football.

Washington receiver Rome Odunze is one of the options for the Titans in the first round. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It's the question lighting up the phone lines on Nashville sports talk radio stations and driving intense debates on social media: Should the Titans select an offensive lineman or a receiver with their No. 7 selection in April's NFL draft?

Why it matters: Quarterback Will Levis seems to be the foundation for the franchise's future, but the Titans did a miserable job blocking for him last season. At the same time, there were precious few playmakers for Levis to target in the passing game.

Driving the news: Strategizing to solve those problems kicks into high gear this week as the NFL scouting combine is underway in Indianapolis. Players begin on-field testing Thursday, giving coaches and scouts a chance to see top prospects in action.

Between the lines: The "Ramon, Kayla & Will" morning talk show on 104.5 The Zone polled fans on X about what they think general manager Ran Carthon will do with the team's first pick.

  • As of Thursday morning, 65% of fans believed the Titans will take a left tackle and 35% think they'll select a wide receiver.

Flashback: New coach Brian Callahan came to the Titans from the Cincinnati Bengals, who faced a similar conundrum in the 2021 draft. The team had the chance to select star receiver Ja'Marr Chase or beastly offensive tackle Penei Sewell.

  • Cincinnati took Chase, who went on to become one of the best receivers in the league.

What they're saying: During interviews at the scouting combine on Tuesday, Callahan and Carthon indicated that they would prefer to take a wide receiver instead of a lineman.

  • "Things were very different" in Cincinnati when they had to decide between Sewell and Chase, but "all things being equal, I'm going with a guy who can score points," Callahan told reporters.
  • "We need to have people that can put the ball in the paint, and score points for us," Carthon said.

Zoom in: Malik Nabers from LSU, Rome Odunze from Washington and Brock Bowers from Georgia are viewed as the top possibilities at receiver.

  • Nabers and Odunze are big-play receivers with impressive production in college. Bowers is the rare tight end who could be selected in the top 10.

The other side: Joe Alt from Notre Dame and Olu Fashanu from Penn State are the most likely offensive line options with the seventh selection.

  • In his most recent mock draft, published Wednesday, ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper predicted the Titans will take Alt.
  • "He's one of the most consistent pass-blockers I've studied over the past few years; he just doesn't get beaten often," Kiper said of Alt.
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