The 2021 NFL draft is approaching ever closer and it’s time to dive into the Tennessee Titans team needs. It’s no secret the Titans’ pass rush struggled, finishing with only 19 sacks making them the third-worst in the league this year.
The front office is likely to find some help in the free-agent pool. However, this organization needs to solidify the pass rush for the future as well. This franchise hasn’t had a consistent sack rate for quite some time. Luckily for them, the 2021 NFL draft class is loaded with talent in that position.
Tennessee currently holds the 22nd pick overall. There are a lot of impressive prospects in every position this year. For that reason, the Titans likely won’t have to panic and trade up a tremendous amount to pick their guy. I’m expecting the Titans to sit tight with the 22nd pick, and take whoever they feel fits their team the best. Here are five possible EDGE rushers the Titans could select in the 2021 NFL draft.
2021 NFL Draft: 5 Possible EDGE Rushers for the Titans
Gregory Rousseau just may be the best EDGE prospect in the 2021 NFL draft. He did opt out of the 2020 season, but don’t let that deter you. During the 2019 season with the Miami Hurricanes, Rousseau dominated the ACC, finishing with 54 total tackles and 15.5 sacks. Making him the best option for the Tenessee Titans.
He’s been spending the year preparing for the NFL, which means he may be in the best shape of his life to start his NFL career. Rousseau is 6-7, 265 pounds, making him a monster within the front seven. He can attack the middle or the outside, making him a versatile weapon on the defensive line. His prowess is exactly what this Titans team needs to improve their weak pass rush.
It may take a trade-up in the draft to draft Rousseau. The front office will have to decide whether they feel that’s the best decision or not or not for this franchise. As long as they don’t trade too much away, this would be a fantastic player to trade for most fans should approve of.
Another prospect that’s at the top of the list is Kwity Paye. He only played four games this year for the Michigan Wolverines, but he still put up impressive numbers. He finished with 16 total tackles and two sacks. Had COVID-19 not impacted the Wolverines season, Paye could’ve finished with 52 total tackles and 5.5 sacks.
Paye’s size makes him a mismatch on the field. He’s capable of putting his hands in the dirt or standing up on the outside to attack the edge. He has tremendous potential and is ready to play in the NFL. I like his chances of becoming a solid defensive player in the league.
For the Titans to select Paye, it’s either going to happen because he drops, or the Titans trade up. It’s unlikely the Titans select him, but you never know what can happen in the draft. Plugging him into the Titans front seven would be incredible for this organization. He could provide an immediate improvement for the defense while also being a possible anchor in the future.
Playing for the Texas Longhorns, Joseph Ossai enters the 2021 NFL draft as one of the better EDGE rushers this year. His 55 total tackles and 5.5 sacks prove he’s ready to make the jump to the pro level, especially considering he only played nine games in 2020.
Furthermore, Ossai may just be perfect for the Tennessee Titans defense. He’s 6-4 and 253 pounds, making him the ideal size to take control of the front seven. His length also plays a major factor, as he has the ability to swat down passes as well.
It’s unsure when Ossai will be drafted, but if he lands in the Titans’ lap at the 22nd pick, the front office will have to pull that trigger. He may take a year or so to become fully adjusted to the NFL. However, his potential is high enough for the Titans to take the time and develop Ossai properly. Could you imagine him paired up with Jeffery Simmons? That would be something tough to stop for opposing offenses across the league.
Patrick Jones II
Patrick Jones II may just be my favorite prospect in the 2021 NFL draft. He’s a pure pass rusher that refuses to quit on any play. He proved that this year by finishing with 42 total tackles and nine sacks. His high motor is exactly what Tennessee needs to improve the pass rush next season and beyond.
At 6-5, 260 pounds, Jones has consistently proven to be a problem for opposing offenses. He’s quick off the snap and has the size to rush up the middle as well. He’s one of the more versatile pass rushers available in the 2021 NFL draft and Titans fans should be ecstatic if he winds up in Tennessee.
His draft projection seems to fluctuate between the early, to the late second round. If Tennessee wants, they could make a nice leisure pick in the first round, or trade back. They then could follow up by taking Jones at some point in the second. This would allow the front office to take full advantage of the 2021 NFL draft, which could help the Titans become more dominant in future years to come.
After transferring away from the Temple Owls, Quincy Roche found himself in Miami playing as Rousseau’s replacement for the 2020 season. Roche filled in nicely after finishing with 45 total tackles and 4.5 sacks, making him an interesting prospect in the 2021 NFL draft.
He’s a bit on the smaller side though, as he’s only 6-3 and 245 pounds. This could be why Roche is projected to be a day-three selection. However, his abilities on the field speak for themselves and should be a steal for whichever team selects him this year.
If the Titans select Roche, that may mean they double-dip on pass rushers in the 2021 NFL draft. It’d be nice to see Tennessee take advantage and select a pass rusher within the first two rounds, then draft some insurance by choosing Roche later in the draft. This would be a smart move to help bolster the Titans’ defense, possibly giving them an elite pass rush for years to come.
Thanks for reading my article on potential EDGE rushers the Titans could select in the 2021 NFL draft!
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