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# : 11  2019 11:02:25

NASHVILLE , Tenn. (AP) Music City and the NFL are throwing quite a party for the draft, and the Tennessee Titans will be a couple of miles away at team headquarters quietly biding their time until hitting the clock.Were going to have to sit and wait for a while till were picking there at 19 if we stay at 19, general manager Jon Robinson said.The Titans hold the 19th pick overall after coming up a victory short of a second straight playoff berth in coach Mike Vrabels debut season. They have six total draft picks a year after drafting only four players, and the general manager who has made 14 trades since being hired in January 2016 has shown hes willing to move. Robinson traded up in the first two rounds last year to take linebackers Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry III.Now the Titans must decide how to help Marcus Mariota with the quarterback going into his fifth and final season under contract.Mariota has yet to start all 16 games in any of his first four seasons, and the Titans made sure to upgrade their backup quarterback by trading with Miami for Ryan Tannehill. They also released Blaine Gabbert, who went 2-1 in Mariotas place last season with the one loss in the regular-season finale.Tennessee goes into the draft with no specific holes after signing left guard Rodger Saffold, wide receiver Adam Humphries and linebacker Cameron Wake in free agency. Robinson also kept safety Kenny Vaccaro off the market, signing the veteran to a four-year deal two days before free agency opened, and bringing back offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile and running back David Fluellen.Perhaps adding a blocker such as North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury would be wise on Day 1 of the draft.Improving wherever possible is the goal after going 9-7 in three consecutive seasons with only one playoff berth.We all have to figure out how we can go from good to great, Vrabel said. We have to go from good to great. We have been 9-7 the past three years, which is stuck in the middle.Some things to know about the Titans:PASS RUSHDrafting another outside linebacker is a must even with Wake replacing Brian Orakpo, who retired a day after the season ended. The Titans traded up to No. 41 last year for Landry who is in position to start with veteran Derrick Morgan no longer under contract. Landry tied for third on the team with 4½ sacks starting three of his 15 games. Sharif Finch also should play more after the undrafted rookie had 1½ sacks, but more depth is a must for a defense that had 39 sacks last season.PROTECTING MARIOTAThe Titans remade the interior of the offensive line, letting left guard Quinton Spain leave as a free agent for Buffalo and cutting right guard Josh Kline after he declined to rework the three years left on his contract. Pamphile is expected to have a chance at right guard. Center Ben Jones is going into the final year of his contract, while the Titans have not announced yet whether they will pick up right tackle Jack Conklins fifth-year option after injuries limited him to nine games last season.MARIOTAS STATUSRobinson made clear that Mariota is the Titans starter with Tannehill brought in to push the younger quarterback. The Titans used their fourth and final draft pick last year at quarterback Nick Bosa Jersey , though Luke Falk was waived in the final roster cuts. The Titans are determined to help Mariota grow after he set the franchise record completion rate at 68.2% percent last season. Keeping Mariota healthy is the first step after he was sacked a career-worst 42 times.Were excited that Marcus is our quarterback, Vrabel said. I just think the durability of the player is critical. We only have so many guys. Being available is critical.MORE TARGETSThe Titans could use another tight end with veteran Delanie Walker coming off a broken ankle that ended his season in the opener, especially with Jonnu Smith winding up on injured reserve himself. Considering Humphries would have led the Titans with his 76 catches and five TD receptions last season, more help for a still-young receiving group remains an option.TRADED PICKSThree of the Titans picks come within the first 82 selections. They sent their sixth-round pick to Baltimore last September in a deal for linebacker Kamalei Correa and their seventh-round selection to Miami as part of a trade for Tannehill. Tennessee also netted the Dolphins second pick in the sixth round. ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) After spending his first 10 NFL seasons in Green Bay with the same quarterback and head coach, Jordy Nelson acknowledged it took a little time to adjust to his new environment with the Oakland Raiders.Nelson got over that fairly quickly and has done his best to fit in and adjust right away, becoming a leader in the receiver room and a trusted target for quarterback Derek Carr.Hes been a playmaker on the field, coach Jon Gruden said Monday. Hes been a consistent, reliable target at a couple positions. Hes been a real good influence behind the scenes. Weve been really, really happy with his addition to this team.Nelson gets the chance to reunite with Aaron Rodgers, coach Mike McCarthy and the rest of his former Packers teammates when Green Bay visits the Raiders on Friday night in an exhibition game.Those are the guys you miss that you see day-to-day, that you dont get to talk to as much as youre used to, Nelson said. Itll be fun to see them. Its kind of enjoyable as a preseason game so we can have some fun and get in and get out.The 33-year-old Nelson struggled last season with 53 catches for 482 yards and six TDs, recording a career-low 9.1 yards per reception as Rodgers missed more than half the year with injuries. Nelson had 25 catches for 290 yards and all six of his TDs in five games before Rodgers broke his collarbone last season.Those numbers plummeted once Brett Hundley took over and the Packers released Nelson in March. He signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, who believe he still has burst left in his game.Carr heard plenty about Nelson from his former college teammate at Fresno State Dwayne Haskins Jersey , Davante Adams, who played the past four seasons with Nelson in Green Bay. Carr said the only thing that has surprised him about Nelson is that he still has the speed of a much younger player.Everything that you hear about him is what you get, Carr said. He helps the receiver room raise their level, whether youre the second guy, third guy or youre just trying to make the team, he raises the level for others. Its not only with the way that he practices and works out and the way he takes care of his body and those things, but the way he goes after it mentally. He wants to think like the quarterback. If we throw a ball, were always communicating. Well say, Hey, if they play it this way, I like it like this. Just the way he communicates, it rubs off on those young guys, too.Nelson has plenty of experience. He had four 1,000-yard seasons in Green Bay, including 1 ,519 yards on 98 catches in 2014. In 136 career games, he has 550 catches for 7,848 yards and 69 TDs.Nelson made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and won AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 when he led the league with 14 touchdown catches a year after missing the entire season with a right knee injury.Once he got comfortable enough with the new offense in Oakland, Nelson has been able to share some of what he learned with younger receivers in Oakland.Once I started feeling that out, Ive been able to have more conversations with guys and really get into the fine details of maybe some suggestions or ways to help them create more separation, which is what were all trying to get at the end of the day, he said.While Nelson and Amari Cooper are entrenched as starters in Oakland, Gruden is still searching for someone to emerge as the third receiver. Martavis Bryant has been in and out of practice and Seth Roberts missed close to two weeks with an injury.Roberts returned to practice Monday but his time away has allowed Ryan Switzer and Griff Whalen to get more time in the slot in practice with Carr.Were all sitting there excited to see what happens, Carr said. Theyre all, I think, healthy. Well see. I think theyre all mentally ready, physically ready. Hopefully come game time, we can sit there and we can evaluate that spot.



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