A new post-Super Bowl mock draft projects the Tennessee Titans making an interesting selection in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft: Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter.
The latest projection from NFL.com's Chad Reuter isn't a surprise in terms of position group; the Titans' pass defense needs help. Instead, Lassiter raises some eyebrows because it's a name we've not yet seen associated with Tennessee.
Lassiter spent three years at Georgia, declaring for the NFL Draft following the 2023 season. The 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back received a high grade from Pro Football Focus (PFF), ranking as the No. 32 prospect in the class.
During his three seasons in Athens, Lassiter totaled 86 tackles, including 8.5 for loss. He was also responsible for 14 passes defended and an interception. The cornerback was a member of Georgia's back-to-back national championship teams.
Since Tennessee's season ended in January, the expectation was that the team would target a receiver with its second-round pick. Reuter anticipates the Titans going a different direction.
Kamari Lassiter evaluation
Folks who are unfamiliar with Lassiter will likely get their opportunity to see the former Bulldog during the NFL Scouting Combine in late February and early March.
Lassiter played at a high level during the 2023 season, allowing receivers to catch just 38.5% of the throws targeted in his direction, per Fantasy Pros. He might be a tad undersized, but he's proven to be a disruptor in the secondary.
"When in coverage, Lassiter has a smooth backpedal and quick feet to transition. He possesses good route recognition and understanding of concepts," Bleacher Report writes of Lassiter. "When in zone coverage, he does a great job of splitting threats with good leverage and spacing. He shows good reaction to the ball in the air but plays with his eyes in the backfield, too often looking for the big play.
"When working downfield, he has the speed to carry receivers deep. Most times, he does a good job of locating and playing the ball, but he panics at times and becomes too handsy. Ultimately, he shows very good timing when breaking up passes and has the ball skills to capitalize when he gets his hands on the ball."
Titans need cornerbacks
The Titans have several areas of concern entering the 2024 NFL Draft. Tennessee can't really go wrong whether it picks up a wide receiver or cornerback in Round 2.
So, let's assume the Titans target Lassiter in the second round. Here's why they need his help.
Tennessee's pass defense was awful in 2023. The Titans ranked 19th in opponent yards per pass (7.3), 29th in opponent completion percentage (67.8%), and 32nd in interceptions (six).
Cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Kristian Fulton are unrestricted free agents. Roger McCreary and Elijah Bolden will return next season, but both could soon be on their way out of town.
McCreary is entering the third season of his four-year contract, while Bolden hits the final year of his rookie deal.
Tennessee needs a solid, long-term option at cornerback. Grabbing a player in the second round who could step in and immediately make an impact would be a draft victory.
Why skip Round 1?
Reuter did provide a three-round mock draft on NFL.com following the Super Bowl. We're skipping over his projection for the Titans at No. 1 because, well, it's no surprise.
NFL.com believes the Titans will take Notre Dame All-American offensive tackle Joe Alt with the No. 7 pick in the draft. If something drastic changes, we'll keep you posted.
Tennessee does not have a third-round pick in this year's draft. Reuter does not anticipate the Titans will trade for one, either.
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