NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans created some offseason buzz after signing veterans G Rodger Saffold, WR Adam Humphries, S Kenny Vaccaro and DE Cameron Wake. What positions still need to be addressed in the NFL draft?
Here are the team's most glaring needs after free agency and a few intriguing options that could be available at No. 19 overall.
The Titans are without two of their 2018 starters; Brian Orakpo retired and Derrick Morgan is unsigned. Adding free agent Cameron Wake gives the Titans a veteran presence. Harold Landry led the group of outside linebackers with 4.5 sacks last season. They need to bring in additional talent to go along with Landry. Here are a couple of possibilities.
Brian Burns, Florida State
6-foot-5, 249 pounds | 10 sacks | 15.5 tackles for loss
Burns' suddenness off the edge would instantly make the Titans' pass rush better. He can draw from a deep toolbox of moves, starting with his deadly spin move. Before the combine, Burns had been considered slightly undersized at 225 pounds. But he has bulked up to 249 while managing to maintain his speed and agility.
Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
6-5, 271 pounds | 17.5 sacks | 26 TFL
Ferguson is more of a high-motor, power edge defender than a finesse player. GM Jon Robinson tends to lean toward players with proven production; Ferguson's 45 career sacks are the most in FBS history. His versatility would allow him to be a stand-up defender in the Titans' base 3-4 and a defensive end in sub packages.
Interior offensive line
Saffold is the only player along the interior offensive line who projects to be a long-term starter. Center Ben Jones is in the final year of the four-year, $17.5 million contract he signed in 2016. Last year's starting right guard, Quinton Spain, went to Buffalo via free agency, but the Titans re-signed sixth-year lineman Kevin Pamphile to compete for a starting spot. The team needs to keep Marcus Mariota upright, especially as it evaluates whether to commit to him beyond 2019. Adding one of the top interior linemen prospects would help.
C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M, 6-4, 303 pounds
C Garrett Bradbury, NC State, 6-3, 306 pounds
Both McCoy and Bradbury are athletic players who are well-equipped to excel in the Titans' zone scheme. They're fully capable of being instant starters at either center or guard. However, it would be ideal to have a rookie take over at center with Jones moving to guard -- the position he played when he first came into the league with the Texans. McCoy's performance against Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Clemson's Dexter Lawrence prove that he should be considered one of the best centers in the draft.
G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College, 6-4, 308 pounds
Lindstrom went from being an undersized lineman to one of the best guard prospects while working at Boston College under Frank Piraino, the Titans' new strength and conditioning coach. Lindstrom was also teammates with coach Mike Vrabel's son, Tyler, at Boston College, so the Titans should have plenty of insight on Lindstrom.
His quickness and athleticism are a perfect match for zone schemes that are predicated on blocking spots as opposed to power or gap schemes that focus on blocking a man. The Titans will feature zone concepts in their rushing attack.
Jurrell Casey led the Titans with seven sacks last season. Veteran DaQuan Jones and 2016 second-round pick Austin Johnson have not been able to consistently make opponents pay for double-teaming Casey. Tennessee needs another player who can wreak havoc along the defensive line. Fortunately, the 2019 draft class is deep at the position.
Christian Wilkins, Clemson
6-3, 315 pounds | 5.5 sacks | 14 TFL
Vrabel jumped right into drills with Wilkins at Clemson's pro day. He recruited Wilkins while he was a defensive line coach at Ohio State. Wilkins is a versatile player that can excel anywhere along the line and play some snaps as a stand-up edge defender. His ability to blow up running plays and push the pocket into the quarterback’s lap would do wonders for the Titans' defense.
Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
6-6, 295 pounds | 8.5 sacks | 10.5 TFL
Tennessee used one of its top 30 visits to host Tillery. The disruptive defensive lineman reminds some analysts of former Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees found plenty of success with Seymour with the New England Patriots. While at Notre Dame, Tillery used his combination of length, speed and power to annihilate opposing offensive linemen.