Marc Mariani was quite the steal as a 7th round selection. Speaking of steal, the same word aptly describes what 4th rounder Alterraun Verner accomplished in 2010.
Higher draft picks such as Derrick Morgan and Damian Williams didn't contribute the way that Mariani and Verner did, but both showed signs of being factors when pressed into action.
Up next, I'll take a look at year-two expectations for the 2010 Tennessee Titans draft class.
In limited action, Morgan showed his pass-rushing potential in the form of 1.5 sacks in only three games. Unfortunately, a season-ending knee injury prevented us from seeing more of Morgan in 2010.
Healthy and ready to go in 2011, I'm expecting a more than solid campaign from Morgan. With the loss of Jason Babin, Morgan is expected to start at one of the defensive end positions and his ability to rush after the passer and stop the run will be needed on the Titans' defensive line this year. At 6'3" and 278 lbs., Morgan already fits the profile of the type of DE the Titans are employing these days.
Barring injury (knocks on wood) I'm thinking 10 sacks is a very attainable goal for the talented Morgan in 2011.
Drafted to serve as the team's designated return-specialist, things didn't go as planned thanks to the emergence of fellow draftee Marc Mariani.
Meanwhile, at his natural WR position, Williams did display some potential in limited opportunities in 2010, snagging 16 receptions for 219 yards. He showed good hands and combined with his adequate size, provided us with a glimpse of one day becoming a solid part of the Titans passing attack.
With Justin Gage on the decline, Williams has a nice opportunity to step up as the team's #3 WR with a solid showing in August.
Curran's contributions as a rookie were mostly seen on special teams. Due to facing an uphill battle for playing time thanks to being buried on the team's depth chart at OLB, don't be surprised if special teams is once again Curran's ticket for playing time during his sophomore season.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Verner was quite the contributor as a rookie. Compensating for this lack of size with his playmaking prowess and tenacity, Verner quickly became an impact player in the secondary when given the opportunity to play.
In 2011, I'm expecting bigger and better things from Verner, regardless of whether he wins or loses the competition with Jason McCourty for the right to start at one of the CB positions.
Like Rennie Curran, Johnson didn't see much action on the field as a rookie. Also, similar to Curran, Johnson's got a fight on his hands if he wants to increase his role in 2011.
Of course, the combination of a bum hammy and the team signing vets Jordan Babineaux and Anthony Smith isn't going to help Johnson's plight for playing time either.
As a rookie, Rusty got his opportunity to start a few games but unfortunately, things didn't go that well to say the least. Accumulating a 25 QB rating with a TD to INT ration of 0-to-4, Smith did nothing to inspire confidence in his ability to be the team's future starting signal-caller.
With Jake Locker now serving as the future and veteran Matt Hasselbeck starring in the role as the veteran of the present, Smith's caught in the middle as the team's designated #3 QB.
Similar to fellow 2010 safety draftee Robert Johnson, Rolle is also faced with an uphill climb to find playing time in 2011.
Of course, if things don't work out on the playing field, Rolle has a great future away from the gridiron thanks to his academic achievements and potential.
Despite coming into the league as an unheralded 7th rounder from the Big Sky Conference, Mariani capped off his impressive rookie performance by being named to the Pro Bowl.
Mariani did quite well as the team's designated returner and I expect him to do the same in 2011. Moving forward, I'd also like to see Mariani get some opportunities to catch the football in the passing game.
Well folks, that completes the year-two outlook for the 2010 Tennessee Titans draft class. Any opinions/thoughts of your own? You know the procedure...leave your feedback below.
Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins both fighting for playing time is going to be fun to watch, hopefully both get into the mix. I'd really like to see a 5 wide set every now and then to get everyone out there, but that's probably unlikely to see.
Thanks for commenting.
As for an article about the rookies from 2 years ago (2009 draft class)...that's certainly an article that's in the works.
Once again...thanks for dropping by with your thoughts.
Thanks for the recap and outlook. Personally, I really hope Rolle is able to make the team this year. I have a man-crush on his background and want him to succeed in the NFL (if only to prove the Billicks wrong).
Is there a similar article in the works for the rookies from 2 years ago?