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2013 NFL Draft primer: Tennessee Titans

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner stands on

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner stands on the field during the first half of the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois. (Jan. 1, 2013) Credit: AP

The future stars of the NFL are almost here. The first round of the 2013 Draft kicks off April 25, and every team will look to build for both present and future. This is the 10th in a two-a-day, 30-part series that looks at each team which potential first-round picks would be a good fit.


2012 record: 6-10

Key offseason acquisitions:

Andy Levitre, guard

Bernard Pollard, safety

George Wilson, safety

Shonn Greene, running back

Chris Spencer, center

Delanie Walker, tight end

Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback

Kevin Walter, wide receiver

Key offseason departures:

Jared Cook, tight end

Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback

Will Witherspoon, linebacker

Steve Hutchinson, guard (retired)

Biggest holes in roster: Defensive end, offensive line, cornerback, linebacker

The Titans are another team that made a big splash early in the offseason. They lost some players to free agency and retirement, but they were able to replace them pretty quickly. Still, there's work to be done for Tennessee to fully rebound from last season.

The Titans' defense gave up a league-worst 417 points last season. They also gave up 5,999 total yards last season, sixth-worst in the NFL. They got some help over the top in former Ravens safety Bernard Pollard and ex-Bills safety George Wilson, but they still could use some help in the front seven.

We've mentioned Florida State's Bjoern Werner in past draft primers, but each time it's been more or less as a team's secondary option - that is, if there's nobody available at that team's biggest position of need. The Titans, however, should target the German exchange student as their guy from the get-go.

Werner, who recorded 23 1/2 career sacks, has a good mix of speed and strength, as well as the moves to get to the quarterback and the ability to drop back in coverage. Drafting Werner would also be a two-for-one bonus -- an upgrade along the line, and would allow current right end Kamerion Wimbley to drop back to his more natural position at linebacker.

The Titans could also complete their overhaul in the secondary and draft a cornerback to play opposite Jason McCourty. If that's the case, they could turn to Werner's FSU teammate, Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes has the size (6-2, 217 pounds), speed (4.43 40-yard dash at the Combine) and hands (eight interceptions in 43 career games) to succeed at the next level. He could be a wise addition for the Titans, especially as they prepare to face Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub twice a season.

The Titans gained 5,010 yards of total offense in 2012, seventh-worst in the league. They signed ex-Bills left guard Andy Levitre to replace the retiring Steve Hutchinson but still need someone to slot in at right guard. Alabama's Chance Warmack, the top guard in the draft, may be off the board at this point, but Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina should still be around and could be a good fit here.

Cooper was a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy as college football's best interior lineman (Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel won the award). He's athletic enough to pull out on sweeps and engage linebackers at the second level. Cooper would be a much-needed improvement in both the Titans' run game and the passing attack.

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