May 15, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Tennessee Titans

#77 Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Tennessee Titans
Division: AFC South | Last Season Record: 7-9

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: Is Jake Locker the answer at quarterback? The Titans would have been wise to spend at least a mid-round pick on a quarterback, but could have targeted one as early as the first round.

Making the transition to a 3-4 defense under Ray Horton, they need to find that personnel. A nose tackle, and probably a pass rushing linebacker should have be on their radar, but the position that desperately needed to be addressed was cornerback.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

11. (11) Taylor Lewan, OT
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Michigan
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 312 lbs.

Round 2

22. (54) Bishop Sankey*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Washington
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 202 lbs.

Round 4

12. (112) DaQuan Jones, NT
Experience: Senior | School: Penn State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 324 lbs.

22. (122) Marqueston Huff, FS
Experience: Senior | School: Wyoming
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 195 lbs.

Round 5

11. (151) Avery Williamson, ILB
Experience: Senior | School: Kentucky
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 244 lbs.

Round 6

2. (178) Zach Mettenberger, QB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Louisiana State
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 224 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

Zach Mettenberger, QB (Round 6, Pick 2)
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Louisiana State
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 224 lbs.

Analysis: Before tearing his ACL late in the season, Mettenberger was a potential first round pick. He has some off the field issues, but he has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. He's going to a great organization, and will be coached up by Ken Whisenhunt.

Most Questionable Pick:

Marqueston Huff, FS (Round 4, Pick 22)
Experience: Senior | School: Wyoming
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 195 lbs.

Analysis: Nothing against Marqueston Huff, but I just thought he was a bit of a reach in the 4th round. What really makes me "question" this pick is that Tennessee chose to wait this late to draft a defensive back, and I doubt Huff fixes their cornerback issue.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

James Gayle, DE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Virginia Tech
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 259 lbs.

Analysis: Gayle should have been a mid-round pick, but there's a good chance he sticks with the Titans as an athletic, rotational pass rushing outside linebacker coming off the edge.

Other Free Agent Signings

Jaz Reynolds, WR, Oklahoma
Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma
David Wright, TE, Westminster
Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky
Josh Stewart, WR, Oklahoma State
Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech
Jamall Marell, DE, Rutgers
Justin McCray, OL, Central Florida
Travis Coons, K, Washington
Jerel Walker, WR, Texas A&M
Williams Poehls, OG, Montana

Draft Review:

Analysis: At first, the Taylor Lewan pick didn't make much sense, because they just gave a four year deal to Michael Oher. However, Oher isn't very good, and Lewan would be an upgrade at right tackle. Once the Titans and left tackle Michael Roos part ways after this season, he'll move over to the left side.

The Titans were criticized by some for drafting Bishop Sankey over Carlos Hyde, but I thought he was a good pick, and loved the fact that they traded back and picked up an extra fourth round pick. He'll remind some fans of Chris Johnson, though I believe he's more reliable in the passing game.

DaQuan Jones was a really good value pick in the 4th round. He's their potential answer at nose tackle in their 3-4 defense, and this will allow Jurrell Casey to play defensive end, which is a much better fit for him.

Marqueston Huff's versatility should allow him to find a role in Tennessee, while Avery Williamson provides good depth, but may be a long shot to beat out Zach Brown as the starting inside 'backer next to Wesley Woodyard.

Zach Mettenberger has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. If Jake Locker gets hurt again or struggles, a new era could begin very soon.

The Verdict: While they didn't make any splash picks, the Titans played it safe, and drafted well for the most part. My issue with their draft is that they basically ignored the cornerback position, which was arguably their biggest need, and they also failed to add another pass rusher.

Overall Grade: C+