Since I wrote only a brief post last night on Chance Warmack, I thought I'd expand my brief thoughts on him.
The questions I had Thursday going into the draft were would any players be taken other than the top three offensive tackles and the rough top six defensive players in the draft before the Titans had to pick. If there were, then the Titans had, I thought, could add a difference-maker on a side of the ball where they don't really have any. If those top defensive players were gone, though, I thought they might try to trade down and if they had to stay put at #10 would take the top guard.
As the draft fell to them, two much-needed defensive standouts I thought were in that top six, Sharrif Floyd and Star Lotulelei, were still available. The more disconcerting thing to the Titans, though, was that one of the guards, Jonathan Cooper, was still on the board. With that presaging the possibility of a run on offensive linemen, the Titans did the safest, surest thing to fill the clear biggest void on the depth chart, drafting Chance Warmack to fill the right guard spot.
I covered Warmack in some detail when I wrote about the guards before the draft, and I'll provide a more detailed scouting report of Warmack after the draft, as I will of the Titans' other draftees, I said then I think he's a very good prospect, but without re-watching was not prepared to say he was clearly a better prospect than David DeCastro, whom the Titans passed on with the 20th pick last year. He probably is, but it was close in my mind. Lance Zierlein, one of the people whose opinions I trust on offensive linemen, though he was a very good prospect, a guard of the type that normally gets drafted in the first round, but particularly did not seem to love his feet. He's a much better mover than Larry Warford, but is still much more of a power guard than a guard for a team that's planning to run pure zone.
With the right guard need filled, the Titans will likely look to the defensive side of the ball on day two, as they did last year. There are a number of good corners still available, the run on safeties has yet to really begin in earnest, and while they're not as good as the ones who went yesterday, there are defensive linemen available today as well. Right now the Titans are probably hoping teams start to attack the quarterback group between 33 and their first pick tonight at 40. Will it finally happen, or will players like Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley and the like have to wait even longer, leaving fewer players they're likely interested in available for the Titans?
I'm not concerned about the team running pure zone. I think the whole "Texans offense" bit will relate more to play action passing than it will to focusing on stretch zone/OZ. At least, not any more than we already run it. Further, Alabama ran a bunch of zone. I haven't watched a ton of tape, but most of what I watched used zone as their staple. Obviously, he excelled in that system.
Pick 40 will be interesting. Just looking at history, the pick is likely one of the pre draft visits. I really like Cyprien. He played SS at FIU, but they put him over the top at times too. If you can find when he's in those spots, his range really flashes on "tape". I'd expect Gray, who loves versatility, likes Cyprien. Excellent ball skills (which is really what we need), but also the ability to be a box safety.
I wouldn't rule out Justin Hunter, either.
@Super_Horn Wow superhorn, you were spot on with the Justin Hunter pick! Glad to see you commenting over here now and not just at musiccitymiracles...Tom's write ups are really good and your insight here would be appreciated. Plus there is not the commotion/nonsense/arguing that goes on in the comments at MCM, which is really the only thing that brings the site down IMO.
Good post Tom. I was very happy with the Warmack pick, especially after being so angry last year after they passed on Decastro, when it was clear even from 2011 that interior line was a big need (especially when your highest paid player is a RB).