With the coaching search continuing, it's time to get back to the normal blogging schedule. After selecting offensive and defensive MVPs, I continue my efforts by selecting the Tennessee Titans 2013 rookie of the year.
And oh, boy, is this a fun task. First-round pick Chance Warmack played the most-started all 16 games at right guard and played ever offensive snap. If we were going by volume of contribution, there's no question he is your landslide winner. By impact, though? Eh, as he was maybe an average right guard-very good at some tasks (the things he did well in college), poor at others (like pass blocking and blocking on the backside of zone plays). Relative to expected impact for the tenth overall pick? Yuck.
Second-round pick Justin Hunter? A healthy inactive twice, for the season opener and later for a violation of team rules. Spent most of the year buried on the depth chart, playing more than 18 snaps in only five of the fourteen games for which he was active. Finished the season with 18 catches on 42 targets, a pretty lame catch rate.
Third-round picks Blidi Wreh-WIlson and Zaviar Gooden? Practically invisible, playing respectively 74 and 92 snaps on defense over the course of the season. Considering neither did anything particularly noteworthy on special teams either, you can't pick them. Ditto fifth-round pick Lavar Edwards (149 snaps).
In some alternate world where he stays healthy, fourth-round pick Brian Schwenke may have been an easy call. Injuries in training camp knocked him out of the center competition, though, and really hampered his play for the final half-dozen games. Two relatively good games may be enough for Jake Locker defenders, but I want something more.
In short, blech. There are three candidates I think you can choose: Warmack, Hunter, and Schwenke. Hunter seems to be the popular pick, but he had too many games where his contributions were minimal and not enough games where he contributed a lot for me to pick him. Schwenke, again, health. You have to be great in your smaller sample size if I'm going to pick you over somebody who played much more. He wasn't. Much as I hated the pick when it was made and hate it even more now after seeing how Star Lotulelei and Larry Warford played and how he played, Chance Warmack is my selection as Tennessee Titans 2013 rookie of the year. Now please play a lot better in 2014, okay?
I might have gone with Hunter, if only because he was a difference-maker in a couple of games (San Diego and Oakland come to mind). I know he only had 18 catches on 42 targets, but most of the year he was stuck playing catch with an erratic and inaccurate QB. I suspect that most of those incompletions were Fitz's fault, not Hunter's.