With the draft in the books and before I delve into more detail on the players the Titans drafted, I thought it was worth taking a broader look at how the Titans handled the draft.
Coming into the draft, the Titans had two clear immediate needs, for a starter at right guard and a cornerback who could at least compete to play significant snaps as a rookie, even better if he could play in the slot. Beyond that, they had a need for depth at linebacker and defensive end in particular. Next in priority came future starters at a number of positions, including offensive tackle, linebacker, and safety. While not necessarily holes in the depth chart, the Titans also had a need for impact payers everywhere on defense, and particularly on the defensive line.
In selecting offensive guard Chance Warmack from Alabama with the tenth overall pick, the Titans filled that biggest need, for a starter at right guard. I wrote about Warmack before the draft and also covered him the day after the pick was made. Even the people like me who don't like Warmack that much think he's likely to be a good NFL player for a long time, and he clearly fills an extreme immediate need. That Jonathan Cooper was already off the board as the first guard probably made it easier for the Titans to grab Warmack here, though they seemingly would have otherwise considering that he was apparently the number two player on their draft board.
In the second round, the Titans traded up from their 40th pick to the 34th and selected Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter. There are two interesting things here, Hunter and the trade, and I'll discuss Hunter in this post and leave the trade discussion for another day. Before tearing his ACL in 2011, he flashed explosive big-play potential. As a tall (6'4"), thin (195 pounds) receiver, he inevitably drew comparisons to Randy Moss, though of course there are a lot more guys who look like Randy Moss than there are guys who play like him. Still, I thought he could be a top ten pick. In 2012, though, he played like a guy who was coming off an ACL injury, not showing the same physical explosion and struggling badly with drops. Hunter seems like Kenny Britt insurance, but this was a weird pick to me because the Titans seemed relatively set at receiver. Further, even early-round wideouts have shown they are very hit-and-miss in terms of rookie production. The Titans assumedly have a plan for how they'll use Hunter productively even as a rookie, but I don't know what that is.no comments