Titans' Draft Expectations
What will Reinfeldt do?
Mike Reinfeldt has never been in charge of a team's draft before, so it's not easy to predict what he'll do this weekend. However, there are a few clues about him that we can use as a guide to what he may do. Following are my expectations of what will happen.
Tennessee's new GM stated he viewed his position in managing the draft for the Titans to be as a consensus builder, compiling input from scouts and coaches alike. Translation: Jeff Fisher and his staff will have their opinions carry more weight than they previously did. Former GM Floyd Reese said he valued the opinions of his scouts more than the opinions of the coaching staff. Referring to how much his opinion was valued, a Titans assistant coach once said that Draft Day was always a good day to play golf.
Since he was a latecomer in the Titans' draft process, Reinfeldt will probably have to lean heavily on the scouts' and coaches' advice. Reinfeldt, the coaches and scouts are in a series of joint meetings this week and should finalize their plans for every eventuality by Friday.
Reinfeldt has a reputation for being fiscally cautious and conservative and we've noticed that in free agency. He places values on each player he reviews, so I'd expect him not to reach for any prospect. He'll make "safe" picks and not take any chances. This year, anyway. Maybe he'll get a wild hair every now and then and take a flyer on a prospect in the future. But not this year.
I further expect he will draft the best player available, according to the grades he's given them, at positions of need. I believe the highest-graded prospect on his board at DE, WR, or CB will be the first pick, regardless of which of those three position groups the player belongs to, (I've just recently started to come around to that opinion, after rethinking the subject several times.)
I'll be very surprised if Reinfeldt drafts the BPA at other positions of need, such as DT or RB, in the first round. But if Alan Branch or Marshawn Lynch are still available at #19, the temptation might be hard to resist.
As stated in this column previously, I'd love to see Adam Carriker fall to the Titans at #19, but do not expect that to happen. Still, my fingers will be crossed as the first-round selections are announced.
I will fully expect the first player chosen by the Titans, whoever he is, to be a starter and contribute immediately this year. This also means I expect Reinfeldt to select someone who he believes has the ability to be a starter on September 9.
If the Titans don't trade their second-round pick to the Chargers for Michael Turner, I'd also expect that pick to be used on a player who could start right away.
I expect Reinfeldt to draft, in no particular order, two WRs, a RB and a G on offense, two CBs, a DE, DT and LB on defense,
As far as division rivals are concerned, I expect the Texans to draft T Levi Brown and the Colts to take LB Lawrence Timmons, if possible. The Jaguars will probably take a receiver first, whichever one they have graded highest.
One note - I've recently heard that as many as ten receivers are projected to be off the board by the time the Titans draft in Round Two. Will that make a difference to Reinfeldt, assuming he believes that to be true?