With their own pick in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, 222nd overall, the Tennessee Titans selected Montana wideout Marc Mariani.
Mariani was a tremendously productive receiver for the Grizzlies as a junior and senior, catching 69 catches for 1308 yards and then 81 yards for 1495 and 13 touchdowns as a senior as the Grizzlies made it to the FCS (I-AA) championship game before losing to Villanova. At Montana, Mariani was a teammate of Jeff Fisher's son Brandon.
Mariani was not invited to the Combine, but apparently had a good workout at Montana's pro day, running a 4.48 and 4.49 in the 40. One scouting report considers him the FCS version of Texas wideout Jordan Shipley, a possession receiver who also returned punts and put up good numbers but may be best suited on the slot at the NFL level. Or, rather, he lacks NFL athleticism and won't be able to get open against non-Big Sky defenders.
But, hey, it's a 7th round pick and they pretty much all do nothing.
The Tennessee Titans added to their secondary depth by taking Utah S Robert Johnson with the 17th pick in the 5th round, 148th overall in the 2010 NFL draft.
Like 4th rounder William Hayes, Johnson was not invited to the Combine but was a 1st-team All Mountain West Conference selection in 2009 for the Utes. He needs to add strength and improve his man coverage skills, especially in his backpedal and hip flexibility, but is a very good zone player who can potentially develop into a starter. Like Verner, his immediate impact will likely be on special teams and it's unlikely he'd be ready to replace Chris Hope next year, but Hope does have 2 years remaining on his deal.
I know I wasn't big on the Hayes pick, but it's worked out better than I thought it would and Johnson fits this year's theme of guys who were very productive in college.
What do you think of this pick? Happy with the Titans' new-found focus on production?
With the pick they just acquired from Seattle in exchange for LenDale White, the Tennessee Titans added some depth at the CB position by selecting CB Alterraun Verner of UCLA.
Verner's described as being a scrappy, undersized corner who makes up for his lack of size with a high level of toughness. He's a guy who will probably make an impact initially on special teams but with his competitive nature, maybe he can emerge as a contributor down the road.
Selecting Verner continues this year's draft trend of the Titans picking up players who produced on the college level at big-time programs.
Any thoughts on this selection? Feel free to comment below.
In breaking news, the Tennessee Titans have acquired an additional 4th round pick (selection #104) in exchange for the running back formerly known as Smash, LenDale White.
White was made expendable due to the emergence of all-world RB Chris Johnson.
With White's departure, expect CJ to continue to carry the load, with Javon Ringer being the guy behind him. Also, don't be surprised to see the Titans draft a RB to replace White on the depth chart at some point today.