Who should Titans take at No. 11? These 10 players make sense for Tennessee
The Titans are one of the most intriguing teams in the top half of the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Tennessee doesn’t have long-term quarterback stability. And while one can’t rule out the team making an aggressive pursuit of a signal-caller, with just six selections in all — including only three in the top 146 picks — the Titans aren’t necessarily in great shape to trade up for one. Plus, the offense needs help everywhere — at receiver, tight end and on the offensive line.
So who are the prospects that make the most sense for the Titans at or around No. 11?
Here are 10 names to watch:
Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 313 pounds
2022 stats (12 games): 12 starts at left tackle
Skoronski is the consensus top offensive lineman in this draft, and he could be the Titans’ long-term replacement for Taylor Lewan at left tackle. But the former Northwestern star would also give Tennessee maximum versatility up front.
Due to Skoronski’s size, many believe he may be best suited in the NFL at guard, where the Titans are looking at two new starters with right guard Nate Davis‘ departure in free agency and left guard Aaron Brewer’s expected move to center.
Skoronski was the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2022.
Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Measurables: 6-foot-6, 313 pounds
2022 stats (13 games): 13 starts at left tackle
Like Skoronski, Johnson is a possible left tackle of the future for the Titans. His technique needs refinement, but he has the size, length and traits to be a future Pro Bowler.
With right guard experience early in his career at Ohio State too, Johnson would also give Tennessee some versatility to tap into if needed. He was a consensus first team All-American and first team All-Big Ten selection last season for the Buckeyes.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
2022 stats (3 games): 5 receptions for 43 yards
Wide receiver is the Titans’ biggest need, and Smith-Njigba could be the ideal player to pair with 2021 first-rounder Treylon Burks. He played primarily out of the slot in college, while Burks played mostly on the outside as a rookie with the Titans.
Smith-Njigba said at the combine that he’s fully healed from the hamstring injury that held him to three games at Ohio State last season. Believed by many to be the best receiver in this year’s draft class, JSN had 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021.
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Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 229 pounds
2022 stats (11 games): 65.4% completion rate for 2,406 yards, 19 TDs, 10 INTs
The Titans are taking a hard look at the quarterbacks in this year’s class (they were present at the pro days for Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardon and Levis). And based on draft evaluations, Levis appears to be the top quarterback most likely to be available to Tennessee at or around No. 11.
He’s lauded for his NFL-ready frame, size and arm, though his consistency and accuracy could use work.
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 244 pounds
2022 stats (12 games): 53.8% completion rate for 2,549 yards, 17 TDs, 9 INTs
The Titans would most likely have to trade up for Richardson, who some have mocked going as high as the top three.
While his lack of experience (just one year as a starter at Florida) and accuracy issues are a concern, his upside and athleticism as a quarterback are rare — traits that could be worthy of gambling on if you’re the Titans.
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Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Measurables: 5-foot-9, 182 pounds
2022 stats (12 games): 78 receptions for 1,077 yards, 12 TDs
The receiver-needy Titans have no one on their roster like Flowers — a twitchy, shifty, explosive playmaker who can move across the formation.
Tennessee has typically preferred bigger, physical receivers (think A.J. Brown, Corey Davis), but the former Boston College star should have an immediate impact at the NFL level with his crisp route-running skills.
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 214 pounds
2022 stats (13 games): 66.3% completion rate for 3,688 yards, 41 TDs, 8 INTs
The Titans essentially have a zero percent chance of getting Stroud at 11, but if he falls a bit — some draft pundits are now speculating that he could fall out of the top three — Tennessee should trade up for him.
Stroud had a ton of talent around him at Ohio State, but he’s an incredibly accurate quarterback who has more mobility than he’s given credit for. A falling Stroud may be the best-case scenario for Tennessee.
Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Measurables: 6-foot, 197 pounds
2022 stats (12 games): 38 tackles, 8 PBUs, 1 INT
Fixing one of the league’s worst offenses should be the Titans’ top priority, but if they do go defense at the top of the draft, don’t be surprised to see it be a cornerback. Starter Kristian Fulton, who has never played more than 13 games in a season, is entering a contract year. Former first-round pick Caleb Farley hasn’t proved he can stay healthy. Sean Murphy-Bunting was signed for just a year in free agency.
Banks would give defensive coordinator Shane Bowen a big, athletic cornerback, someone the Titans could trade down for in the first round. A four-year starter at Maryland, Banks posted eye-popping numbers at the combine. For his position group, he had the top vertical (42″), second-best broad jump (11’4″) and third-best 40-yard dash time (4.35 seconds).
Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Measurables; 5-foot-11, 173 pounds
2022 stats (11 games): 59 receptions for 875 yards, 8 TDs
Like Flowers, Addison is a strong route runner (he said at the combine that he looks up to the Jaguars’ Calvin Ridley and Bills’ Stefon Diggs).
Going from winning the Biletnikoff Award at Pitt in 2021 to finding success at USC showed that he’s not a scheme-dependent receiver. Addison has versatility to play inside and out, too.
Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Measurables: 6-foot-5, 333 pounds
2022 stats (13 games): 13 starts at right tackle
Taking Wright at No. 11 may be a bit high, but the Titans could trade back to get him (and more draft capital).
He was predominantly a right tackle at Tennessee, but he also started games at left tackle (13) and right guard (2) in his college career. So he would give the Titans flexibility up front and competition for the expected bookend tackles: Andre Dillard (left) and Nicolas Petit-Frere.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel worked heavily with Wright at Tennessee’s Pro Day in March.
Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for three seasons (2018-20) prior to moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.
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