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Titans GM Ran Carthon was in attendance at LSU Pro Day

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By: Ryan Sikes

LSU’s Pro Day is always well-attended. In fact, all 32 NFL teams had representatives on hand Wednesday to take in the crop of draft prospects ahead of next month’s NFL draft.

According to NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe, Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon was among the front-office staff from around the NFL present at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

The Titans general manager was likely keeping especially close tabs on wide receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., and defensive tackle Maason Smith. Quarterback Jayden Daniels performed for those in attendance, also, but Tennessee isn’t in the market for a quarterback with Will Levis in tow.

With the seventh overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, Nabers, who met with the Titans ahead of LSU’s Pro Day, is a possibility for Tennessee, especially if Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt is off the board.

While the offensive line may be a more pressing position of need at No. 7 overall, wide receivers like Nabers do not come along very often.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds, the All-American wideout led the SEC in receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,569) and finished second in receiving touchdowns (14) behind only his LSU teammate, Thomas Jr., in 2023.

Nabers ran a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash and recorded a broad jump of 10-foot-9 and a vertical jump of 42 inches after not taking part in drills at the NFL Combine. He also measured at 6-foot and weighed in at 199 pounds.

Thomas Jr., who did not take part in drills after wowing at the NFL Combine, has seen his draft stock rise significantly over the last few months. According to PFF, he is a projected mid- to late-first-round selection.

The Titans, who are on the clock again at the 38th overall pick in the second round, would likely need to move up to grab Thomas Jr., or he could be an option if Tennessee trades back from No. 7.

After hauling in 31 receptions for 361 yards in 2022, the wide receiver posted big numbers as a junior. Thomas Jr. amassed the fourth-most receptions (68) and receiving yards (1,177) and, as noted before, led the conference with 17 receiving touchdowns.

Despite adding Calvin Ridley to a wide receivers room that already included Treylon Burks and DeAndre Hopkins, the Titans are wise to do their due diligence on the LSU receivers.

After all, Hopkins is under contract for only one more season and Burks has yet to live up to the hype of a No. 18 overall pick.

Without a significant addition, Tennessee may find itself in the same boat it was in entering this offseason when the team had a glaring need. On top of that, the Titans are one injury away from being dangerously thin in 2024.

As for Maason Smith, the defensive lineman primarily lined up in the “B” gap for the Tigers last season and offers flexibility to play both at defensive end and tackle in new defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson’s system.

The Houma, Louisiana native’s draft stock is back on the rise after an injury-plagued 2022 campaign saw him play in just eight snaps before tearing his ACL. Smith suited up in 12 games for LSU in 2023, recording 28 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and two pass deflections.

In terms of the fit, Denico Autry’s departure in free agency left a huge hole at the defensive end position and the Titans need another starter, even after the signing of Sebastian Joseph.

Smith would give Tennessee another rotational piece with starting potential. We’ve seen projections that have him going anywhere from Day 2 to early Day 3.

Originally posted on Titans Wire