THE NFL DRAFT: Which DB could well be in the Titans’ corner?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 12:30am
Vanderbilt's D.J. Moore is likely a second-round pick but he's still a playmaker who also returns kicks

OK, back to the proverbial war room in trying to find just the right fit for the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 draft.

Many fans and experts alike would like for the Titans to finally add a wide receiver in the first round, something they have not done since 1998. That is possible, as mentioned in our April 6 story about wideouts who might potentially be available when the Titans pick at No. 30 on April 25.

But maybe even more important in terms of need, the Titans could look at the defensive secondary as an area to address in the first round instead.

Tennessee recently added veteran DeMarcus Faggins from Houston to back up starters Cortland Finnegan and Nick Harper, but more help is needed, and the Titans will almost certainly upgrade the depth at cornerback even further.

So, if the Titans go the cornerback route with their first-round pick, let’s examine who might be available at their pick.

The top name is Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins, and though various reports have had him visiting Tennessee, chances are, he will be gone well before their selection rolls around, barring a trade upward.

Here are other cornerbacks that might be around in what many experts consider a weaker than usual draft class at the position.

Darius Butler, Connecticut

Butler (5-11, 183) has the athletic ability to play the cornerback position at the NFL, but is somewhat lanky. His lack of weight could cause teams to perhaps push him around. Being from a so-so conference like the Big East, which was down in 2008 overall, could at least bring into question the level of competition Butler worked against.

Vontae Davis, Illinois

Davis (5-11, 203) is the brother of San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, and is an extremely athletic player with all the measurables any team could want. According to the SportsXchange, the weakness in his game, is work ethic, something that got him benched for a time with the Illini.

D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt

A local product, Moore (5-10, 192) isn’t big, and has seen his stock fall likely to the second-round level, thanks to not being able to get his 40 times out of the high 4.5s. Still, he is a playmaker, who also returns kicks. Moore would probably be a reach in the first round but could be a second-round steal.

Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest

At 5-9, 193, Smith is small and will probably have to fight off his share of challenges from big receivers at the NFL level. However, he was more than up to such a task while at Wake Forest, leaving with 21 career interceptions, tops all-time in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Sean Smith, Utah

There aren’t many cornerbacks in the NFL who can tower over receivers, but at 6-4, 214, Utha’s Smith does. He ran a decent 4.50 at the Combine, and was a key playmaker on the Utes’ undefeated team of 2008.