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Titans Will Build Talent Around Marcus Mariota

Brandon Murchison Staff Writer April 3, 2017 9:48PM EDT

The NFL Draft Fantasy Preview Series : Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, JacksonvilleNY Jets, Tennessee

Team Needs: CB, WR, ILB

Projected Top Three Picks:

First Round – Marshon Lattimore, CB- Ohio State, John Ross, WR – Washington

Third Round – Eddie Jackson, S – Alabama

After the 2016 trade that allowed the Rams to move up and select Jared Goff in the draft, the Titans find themselves with two first round picks in a draft that should very easily help them fill holes with quality talent. Even after the acquisition of Logan Ryan, the Titans are likely to select the very skilled Marshon Lattimore to shore up the opposite side of the secondary. It’s a move that should pay dividends since the Titans play in a division of pass-happy teams. Along with Jonathon Cyprien, this secondary should be vastly improved going into in 2017, which will also play into the strength of their clock control run-based offensive attack. In an attempt to balance the offense, the Titans will go after Combine speedster John Ross with their second selection. The one thing that is lacking on this offense is a burner type wide receiver to spread the field and give Marcus Mariota a deep target. This would make Ross a very intriguing late draft flier who could be used in similar fashion to Tyreek Hill.

marcus mariota

Marcus Mariota needs to come back fully healthy in 2017. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

It’s amazing how the signing of one good running back can turn around the fortunes of an offense in Fantasy. And that is just what happened in 2016 when the Titans brought in DeMarco Murray. He looked like the player he was in Dallas, and he ran with a chip on his shoulder to prove the lost season in Philly was a fluke. Murray was a very reliable RB1 on a weekly basis, and this should be no different in 2017, as the Titans will continue to lean on Murray until he shows he cannot take the wear anymore. One intriguing thing to watch for in this offense will be the development of Derrick Henry. How much will he eat into Murray’s workload? Is this backfield big enough for both of them? Henry is one Murray injury away from being a bona fide RB1 stud in Fantasy. Draft Henry as a high-end RB3 in early drafts, and if his role in the offense increases, that move may take you to a title.

Before going down with a broken leg, Mariota was putting in quite a performance in 2016. During the middle of the season, he was consistently providing Top 6-7 quarterback numbers, all with the likes of Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe at wide receiver. They are not the types of wideouts you associate with a quarterback producing those numbers in an offense. Although Matthews had an amazing stretch run in 2016, you can’t expect a repeat of that production in 2017. The selection of Ross will only help the development of Matthews in this offense, and should put him in the WR3 discussion come draft time. With the increasing threats on the outside, look for Delanie Walker to have a bounce back season that will put him back among the top tight ends in Fantasy. After this draft, the Titans will have all the makings of a team that can compete for a division crown. Will Mariota come back from the injury ready to take this team to the next level? Time will tell.

Team Ranks:

Passing Offense- 221.3 YPG (25th)

Rushing Offense- 136.7 YPG (3rd)

Points Per Game- 23.8 PPG (14th)

Top Fantasy Performers:

QB- Marcus Mariota, 247 points

RB- DeMarco Murray, 229 points

WR- Rishard Matthews, 141 points

 

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