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Examining Tennessee Titans' Day 1 targets in 2021 NFL Draft — for every trade scenario

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 4/29/2021 Ben Arthur, Nashville Tennessean

What direction will the Tennessee Titans go with their top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft? Cornerback? Wide receiver? Edge rusher? Dare I say … right tackle? 

We can’t say for sure, of course. But we’ll have our answer Thursday night, when the three-day draft begins. The Titans are scheduled to make their first of nine picks at No. 22 overall. 

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Ole Miss Rebels wide receiver Elijah Moore runs after a catch against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Oct. of 2020. © USA TODAY File Photo/Nelson Chenault Ole Miss Rebels wide receiver Elijah Moore runs after a catch against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Oct. of 2020.

Here are nine first-round options for the Titans, including three apiece if the Titans stay put at No. 22, trade back or trade up in the first round: 

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Staying put

Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

Moore, who led the FBS last season in catches and receiving yards per game, could be the Titans’ slot receiver of the future. That’s been a hole to fill with Adam Humphries’ release this offseason. Titans star receiver A.J. Brown has made clear that he wants Moore, his former college teammate, in Nashville. 

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Farley’s stock is one of the biggest questions in this draft. He’s probably the first cornerback off the board if not for his back concerns, which could drop him into the 20s (or later) – the Titans’ range. Tennessee could be happy about that. Corner is the most pressing need on what was a bad Titans defense in 2020. 

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Bateman, a polished route runner, has the versatility to move across a formation. Between him and free-agent signee Josh Reynolds, the Titans should have enough on paper to replace Corey Davis, who departed in free agency. General manager Jon Robinson was at Minnesota’s pro day. Bateman also shared the same position coach in college as Davis.   

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Trading back

Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

Tryon, a 2020 opt-out, passes the eye test for a pass-rushing outside linebacker in Mike Vrabel’s defense with his size and athleticism. He’d be a young piece to complement the veteran additions of Bud Dupree and Denico Autry in free agency. 

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

Maybe Titans fans don’t want to see another first-round right tackle after the Isaiah Wilson bust last year, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Robinson told reporters Monday that there’s “certainly” offensive tackles worthy of first-round picks in this draft. Jenkins graded highly as a run blocker at Oklahoma State, which would make him a fit in Nashville. 

Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama 

In what’s viewed as a weak draft for defensive tackles, Christian Barmore may be the best one. And he would give the Titans an interior pass rusher to pair with Jeffery Simmons. Barmore had eight sacks for the Crimson Tide in 2020. 

Trading up

Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Paye, an explosive athlete in the trenches, is listed as an edge rusher but he often lined up inside at Michigan. He too could form with Simmons a disruptive tandem, a handful for opposing guards.

Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

If the Titans are concerned about the health of Farley, who appears more likely to be in their range at 22, they could move up for Newsome. The former Northwestern star was a big-time lockdown corner in 2020. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, ILB, Notre Dame

Inside linebacker isn’t a need, but the Titans need more playmakers on a defense that struggled in 2020. Owusu-Koramoah was a versatile force at Notre Dame, lining up at slot corner, outside linebacker and inside linebacker.

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Examining Tennessee Titans' Day 1 targets in 2021 NFL Draft — for every trade scenario

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