It is that time of year in the NFL. Draft weekend approaches, and one of the best parts about the NFL Draft finally getting here is that it will spell the end of all the mock drafts that have been floating around on the internet for months now.
That said, TitanInsider usually waits until a few days before the draft to unveil our picks for Jon Robinson and the Tennessee Titans.
Some years, we have hit on exactly the right player that the Titans selected (in the first round, one year I actually got the first two rounds correct). But most of the time, it's a swing and a miss, sort of like Pedro Cerrano in the move, "Major League" flailing at a curveball.
So without further adieu, here is the 2021 TitanInsider Mock Draft. No trades up or down - just stick and pick:
1st round, 22nd pick overall: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley is the most talented cornerback in this draft, according to many, but there are a couple of issues. He had some back problems that forced him to have a surgical procedure, and certainly teams will want to make sure he is 100 percent cleared medically before investing a first-round pick in him. The other issue is that Farley opted out of the 2020 season during the pandemic, so there is a bit of a risk with him having a year off from football. Jon Robinson gambled and won with an injured player in 2019 with Jeffery Simmons. Could he do it again, if such a talented cornerback is on the board at 22?
2nd round, 53rd pick overall: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Brown is part of a deep wide receiver group in the 2021 draft class, and as such, with so many talented wideouts available, might last until the Titans pick at No. 53. Brown's numbers at North Carolina were outstanding as he averaged better than 20 yards per catch, went over 1,000 yards receiving in each of the past two years, and scored 20 touchdowns in that span. With such a deep receiving group, Robinson gets the chance to replace some of Corey Davis' production with a second-round pick. He is also a willing blocker – a must for Titans receivers – and a guy who can catch passes over the middle in traffic. Besides, the last time the Titans spent a second-round pick on a receiver named Brown, it worked out OK.
3rd round, 85th pick overall: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Maybe it's too easy for the Titans to go to Boston College to select a player, since Mike Vrabel's son Tyler is on the team there. But Long is a good receiving tight end, having caught 57 passes for BC last season. The Titans need a tight end with versatility to replace Jonnu Smith, and while Long isn't as athletic as Smith, he does fill the need for a tight end who can get open and catch the ball, but also can be a solid blocker as well.
3rd round, 100th pick overall: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
The Titans need another body to come in and compete with holdover Ty Sambrailo and newcomer Kendall Lamm at right tackle. Brown can fit that bill. Big and strong, at 6-8, Brown might need a little time to develop into a starter coming from a smaller school like Northern Iowa. But he has the size and the smarts to compete and perhaps take the role before the end of the season.
4th round, 126th pick overall: Hamilcar Rashed, Jr. OLB, Oregon State
Rashed was a disappointment last season at Oregon State after putting up 22 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 2019 for the Beavers. Perhaps the late start the Pac-12 got last season played a role in his dramatic drop in production. That drop in production raised some red flags and questions and caused his draft stock to potentially fall. But the fourth round is the place to gamble on a player who could end up being a draft steal.
5th round, 166th pick overall: Caden Sterns, S, Texas
A versatile safety who could play either free or strong, Sterns appears better at playing the pass than the run currently. He will get his first taste of NFL life on special teams and perhaps work his way up the depth chart the same way Amani Hooker did before him.
6th round, 205th pick overall Dax Milne, WR, BYU
One of Zach Wilson's favorite targets, Milne isn't very big (6-0, 190 pounds), but is a good route runner with good hands and is capable of playing in the slot. He could find himself picking up some of the slack left by Adam Humphries' departure.
7th round, 215th pick overall, Robert Jones, G, MTSU
The Titans go local and grab Jones as a player to develop down the line as an interior offensive lineman, potentially someone who could step in for Rodger Saffold when the time comes. Jones has plenty of upside for a late-round pick and has also played some tackle, which is always a bonus.
7th round, 232nd pick overall, Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
An inside linebacker, the Titans hope that the tradition of late-round inside backers who can eventually earn a role on defense – Jayon Brown, David Long – can continue with their last pick in Rice. At the very least, Rice can be another guy to plug in on special teams coverage units.