Favorites for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft: Mike Herndon’s Guys

Favorites for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft: Mike Herndon’s Guys


This is one of my favorite pieces to write each year as the NFL Draft remains one of my favorite weekends of the entire sports calendar. It’s the one weekend each year when every team – well, almost every team – feels like a winner. Fans of all 32 franchises will leave this weekend with hopes and dreams that the young men that their team selected will become the next Mahomes or the next Donald.

Of course, most of those teams will be slowly let down over the next four years, but then again, there is always next year’s draft.

Nov 12, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; UCF Knights wide receiver Javon Baker (1) receives a pass during the first quarter against the Tulane Green Wave at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rebecca Warren-USA TODAY Sports
Javon Baker/ © Rebecca Warren-USA TODAY Sports

However, I want to start this year’s edition of “My Guys” with a look back at my take on the 2023 draft class, which you can find here. I’ll go ahead and take an early victory lap on this quote:

“Stroud is my QB1 in this class. Yes, even over Bryce Young.”

I’ll also pat myself on the back for guys like Sidy Sow, who earned a starting job as a fourth-round rookie in New England and debuted as the highest-rated interior offensive line rookie per PFF with a grade of 64.4, and YaYa Diaby, who was selected in the third round by the Bucs and produced 7.5 sacks as a rotational edge rusher in his first season.

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How the Titans Gauge Assistant Coach Input For Draft Evaluations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For five years as part of Cincinnati’s coaching staff, Brian Callahan shifted into scout mode after the season. He and his fellow coaches with the Bengals were more a part of the draft scouting process than any staff in the NFL.

They were an extension of the scouting staff in February, March and April, spending significant time writing reports and assisting a small scouting staff – currently two scouting directors and two scouts. The Titans' new coach said being that involved in evaluation, conversations and selections was fun. 

Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon, left, chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., on Aug. 16, 2023.
Ran Carthon and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah/ © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

“I think coaches always have a unique perspective,” he said “Evaluators evaluate talent, they look at measurables, they look at profiles in terms of athletic abilities. Coaches sometimes look at the football part -- how do they play football on tape? Now most scouts have some feel for it too, but guys who aren’t evaluators of talent sometimes have a better feel of what the player looks like and how they fit.

“And sometimes there is a good balance of talent evaluation and measurables versus coaching and fit. So that’s what you hope for, to get the best of those both those worlds, to find the best players, A lot of times there is a difference involved in what they see on tape and it’s a good thing.”

But just as some scouts may have a better eye and feel for wide receivers than defensive linemen, some coaches are better at evaluating draft prospects than others.

So how do general managers learn new assistant coaches and figure out how to weigh their input in scouting meetings like the ones being held now?

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Injury Updates on Titans' Ryan Stonehouse, Caleb Farley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the Titans' best players, knocked out of their Week 13 game in 2023, is expected to continue rehabbing his injury through the spring and likely beyond.

Ryan Stonehouse owned the third-best net punting average in the NFL at 44.7 yards in early Dec. when the Titans special teams broke down terribly against the Colts at Nissan Stadium. He had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown and got crunched on the team's next punt, suffering a gruesome injury the details of which have been unknown.

Ryan Stonehouse
Ryan Stonehouse/ Angie Flatt

I’ve learned he suffered torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments as well as a broken bone in his left, plant leg. That means his spring work will be continued rehab, not that teams generally do much live punting during OTAs.

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Titans' Mail: WRs Early in the Draft, Treylon Burks' Future, Bill Callahan Expectations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a spectacular podcast with guests this week, there wasn’t much Q&A so it seemed time to get back to a mailbag for the first time in a while.

I’ve sorted through the best of what you’ve thrown my way on the private Facebook page (where members get priority), the public Facebook and Twitter to find these questions.

Treylon Burks
Treylon Burks/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

I also wanted to point you here, where you can find all the current best deals to sign up to make bets in advance of the draft when you may want to find a couple of favorable lines on what the Titans will do or what else will unfold.

David Jackson Do you think that the Titans would secretly prefer that all of the big 3 receivers are gone when they pick at 7 to make picking Alt easier? If one of those 3 receivers is available as well as Alt, seems like a tougher decision.

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Inside Linebackers Who Fit What the Titans Like


You may think that linebacker isn’t an important position, but it’s not so unimportant that you just ignore it and roll out just any UDFA at the position and expect no dip. Not just any average Joe can come in and wear the green dot. Sure, other positions can wear the green dot, but in today’s NFL, defenses need a guy in the middle who can be trusted to play all three downs and convey the signals.

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Colorado State Rams running back A Jon Vivens (1) is tackled by Michigan Wolverines linebacker Junior Colson (25) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Junior Colson/ © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Not only has Ran Carthon mentioned other positions taking on that very important role, but he also mentioned rookies being able to come in and have that ability to be entrusted with it as well. While this draft class doesn’t have players of an elite pedigree, there are a lot who can come in and immediately start for the Tennessee Titans. Not just start, but play all three downs and gain that invaluable trust among the staff.
Let's break down some of the guys that the Tennessee Titans decision-makers will have on their radar head into Day Two and Three of the draft.

How They’re Graded

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Titans' Huddle Shape, Non-Mentions, Deep Holes and More

Brian CallahanNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans started with the very basics when many of them got together for the first time Monday as the team started organized team activities.

Like how they are going to huddle.

“Choir style?” Nick Holz said. “Some people are in a circle. Where does the quarterback stand? Is he always to your sideline? Is he to their sideline? There are more ways than you think. We’re in a circle. We’re a circle huddle. The quarterback is always to the offensive sideline. There we go. I can give that away.”

That appears to be how the Titans huddled last year, so the first offensive step isn’t a big departure from what returnees are used to.

Here are five other things from Wednesday’s press availability with Brian Callahan, Holz and Dennard Wilson that I found interesting.

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Evaluating the Top Tackle Options for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft

Evaluating the Top Tackle Options for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft


The Titans' desperate need for help at tackle is no secret. It’s been a point of discussion since it became obvious that Andre Dillard was not going to be the answer early on last season. Given the two-year disaster that the position has been in Tennessee, it’s somewhat surprising that nothing has been done to this point in free agency to offer even a temporary fix.

Amarius Mims
Amarius Mims (65) and Branson Robinson/ © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There are still some options out there, like David Bakhtiari, Mekhi Becton, and Cam Fleming that could be on the radar for Ran Carthon depending on what happens in the draft, but as things stand today, that position remains the flashing red light on the roster that you just can’t take your eyes off.

I have touched on my thoughts on this position group briefly in several previous columns but figured it would be worth a deep dive at this point as it seems exceedingly likely that the Titans will be taking a tackle within the top 38 picks in the draft. I’m going to break these guys down into three categories. Tier One is the group that would be viable picks at No. 7 overall or after a small trade back within the top 10, Tier Two are potential targets after a larger trade back to somewhere between 11 through 20, and Tier Three are options that I’d be comfortable with at or around pick 38.

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With Too Many Spots to Fill, Titans Should Not Draft a Safety

Marcus Maye
  Marcus Maye

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Even after a nice haul of free agents, the Titans have a long list of needs heading toward the draft.

Let’s put them in desperation order. In other words, given what they have on the roster, how much trouble would they be in if they don't get one? The worst of those comes first.

Left tackle – No one on the roster now is capable of holding the position down. It's clearly something they will address with one of their first two picks.

Edge – They have one and a half in Harold Landry and Arden Key, who’s been identified by the new regime as a situational pass rusher. They are not looking at Rashad Weaver or Caleb Murphy as dependable third-pass rushers or edge-setters.

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