Tennessee Titans made a lot of headline news in the 2012 off season for all the wrong reason. The talented but troubled Kenny Britt was charged with resisting arrest, despite already having a laundry list of other off-field incident in the previous years. He was fortunate to only be suspended one game by the NFL Commissioner. Head Coach Mike Munchak’s ability to handle head coaching duty was also called into question, after a mediocre showing in the 2011 season (even though they finished second in the AFC South division). It was during this time that the Titans decided to start second year quarterback Jake Locker over incumbent veteran Matt Hasslebeck. When the season began, it did not appeared that Jake was not ready to lead the franchise to new heights. He finished the season with a paltry 56.4% completion rating and missed a couple of games with a shoulder injury. To make matters worst, their leading receiver, Britt, was hampered by a nagging injury and finished the season with just 589 receiving yards. His durability is a major concern for the Titans, because Kenny Britt has only finished a full NFL season twice in his four year career. Opening the 2013 offseason, the Titans tries to make moves to stay in contention within the AFC South. The key losses/releases so far are Jordan Babineux, Steve Hutchinson (retired), Jared Cook, Deuce Lutui and Leroy Harris. They have acquired several key free agents that will help them immediately as starters which includes George Wilson, Sammie Lee Hill, Andy Levitre, Delanie Walker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bernard Pollard and Shonn Greene. They will continue to fill holes through the draft in order to just keep up with the former division champ Texans and the surging Colts.
Tennessee Titans’ needs: DE, OG, OT, CB, C, QB, RB
1.10 – Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
The Titans needs a young pass rusher in preparation for Kamerion Wimbley’s eventual retirement and/or release. The aging veteran was solid but signs of slowing down is crystal clear. Additionally, former first round pick Defensive End Derrick Morgan has been disappointing to say the least; although he did record a career statistics in the 2012 season. Enter Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah out of BYU, a raw but very talented pass rusher. Ezekiel Ansah has only played football for two full season, but has impressed coaches and scouts alike on film and during his workout. HisSenior Bowl practice had intially worried scouts that he is too unrefined and may be a project. However, when he stepped on to the field, he squelch any doubts about his inability to play defensive end in the NFL. Ansah is by no means a finished product, as he is still trying to learn the nuances of the position, but his floor is already high enough that he warrants a top 10 draft pick talent discussion. The needs for pass rusher is almost always a priority in this day and age of NFL. Ansah will give the Titans a boost both in the passing and rushing defense, that the team sorely needs after ranking in the bottom half of the league.
Alternate considerations: Barkevious Ming (DE/OLB), Dee Milliner (CB), Lane Johnson (OT)
2.09 – Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
The Titans Offensive Line was a disaster last year plagued by injuries and poor chemistry. Their leading running back Chris Johnson was very vocal about his displeasure with the linemen, and understandably so. With both Duece Lutui and Leroy Harris gone, Larry Warford will be called upon to help the interior of the line together with newly acquired free agent Andy Levitre. Warford has a big frame, but moves with surprising quick feet and run towards the edge of the line to set up a lane for his running back. He also adds hustle to his game working his way up to the second level and has good use of his hands. Larry Warford needs to continue working on getting up quicker at the snap so that he will not be caught off guard by quicker defensive linemen. He is graded out highly by NFL scouts, and will be a much needed upgrade to a poor line.
Alternate considerations: Jesse Williams (DT), Menelik Watson (OT), Jordan Poyer (CB)
3.08 – Barrett Jones, OC/OG, Alabama
To emphasize the atriociousness that is the interior offensive line, the Titans will draft another inside offensive linemen. Barrett Jones from the newly crowned BCS Champions Alabama Crimson Tide, was graded out as a top linemen, but a lisfranc injury late in the season has caused his draft stock to tumble. The Titans would do well not to second guess themselves if Jones is found in the third round. Barrett Jones has experience in multiple spots on the offensive line during his college career, and appears to be a very intelligent. His awareness of where pressure comes from is among the best in this class, and he is capable of reacting to it appropriately. While he may not be the strongest or the most atheletic of his peers, Jones is what the Titans need to keep their young quarterback from being constantly pressured. He does have a lengthy injury history, but he continued to played through them. This is a position that may have a priority over others because the Titans did not have any healthy Centers last season, and had signed and re-signed veteran Kyle DeVan at least four times in one season.
Alternate considerations: Margus Hunt (DT/DE), Travis Frederick (OC), Will Davis (CB)
3.35 – Marquis Goodwin, WR, Texas
Initially thought to focus purely on Track and Field, especially after finishing 10th in the U.S. Olympic Trials, Marquis Goodwin decided to pursue a career in the NFL by declaring for the draft. Goodwin possesses athleticism that will have teams excited about his potential. He is very fast recording an official 4.27-time at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he not afraid to get hit by Linebackers or Safeties. Goodwin can eat up any space that the corner’s give him in a hurry, and will force his defender to turn in a hurry. However, he was not asked to run many routes during his college career and therefore has a limited knowledge of the route tree. He is also undersized with small hands, making him ideal to play in the slot. Regardless of these short comings, Goodwin will help the Titans by being a deep threat, and can develop more later on due to his gifted athleticism.
Alternate consideration: Josh Boyce (WR), Chris Harper (WR), TJ McDonald (FS)
4.10 – Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
Bacarri Rambo is a versatile Safety that can play in either position. He has a good combination of strenght and quickness and has a good feel for the quarterback’s passess. Rambo can help both in run support as well as play coverage. When he is asked to defend against receivers, he will not hestitate to fight for contested balls that are in the air. His talent however also comes with maturity issues, as he was suspended multiple times for alleged “unknowingly consuming marijuana”. On the field, Rambo is inconsistent, and especially vulnerable against physical receivers.
Alternate consideration: Earl Wolff (S), Leon McFadden (CB), Akeem Spence (DT)
5.09 – BW Webb, William & Mary, CB
In a passing oriented league, the Titans will need as many talents as they can to stop quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, etc. Currently, they have Jason McCourty, who took a step back last season, and Alterraun Verner as their starting Cornerbacks. B.W. Webb, a small school prospect, will be an excellent fit for the Titans’ slot corner position as he may be able to develop into a good player. Webb had a good show casing at the Senior Bowl, showing teams and scouts alike that he is capable of playing against talented college players. He can read and react quickly to the area of where the ball is, and has strong hands. He is somewhat undersized and plays better in zone than man coverage, which is something he will need to learn if he wishes to take the next step.
Alternate considerations: Khaled Holmes (OC), Aaron Mellette (WR), Nickell Roby (CB)
Traded 6.08 to Minnisota
6.34 – AJ Klein, ILB, Iowa
An underrated Inside Linebacker, AJ Klein is an instinctual and intelligent player who had back-to-back 117-tackle years. With very little wasted movements, Klein rushes towards the ball carrier in a hurry and halts their momentum. He is good at reading plays and has good shedding techniques to get away from blockers. He was seen as a leader among his teammates and can fire them up on game day. What is most impressive about Klein is his ability to return interceptions for a score (recording four such plays throughout his career). Some of his areas of growth are his tackling and lack of recovery speed. Klein also struggles in coverage somewhat, often getting beat by quicker and elusive receivers. He can learn behind Colin McCarthy and may be asked to be the next man up if McCarthy ever gets injured again.
Alternate consideration: Montori Hughes (DE), Manase Foketi (OT), Eric Martin (DE)
7.10 – Jordan Rodgers, QB, Vanderbilt
There is no doubt that Jake Locker will open the season as starter and the team has also signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to back him up in case of injuries. However, even the Titans’ front office are second guessing whether Locker is indeed the franchise’s quarterback. Locker showed no improvement in his accuracy, despite a full off-season training camp, and the team knows that Fitzpatrick is but a career backup. Enter Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Aaron Rodgers. Jordan does not have the skill-set nor the tools to be a starting caliber quarterback at the moment. However, he is a battle tested quarterback who led Butte Colege to an undefeated season and afterwards played in the Sout Eastern Conference as the Vanderbilt signal caller. He understands the timing of throws, and consistently puts the football in a good area where his receivers do not have to adjust or slow down. He is also capable of running the option offense, and has sufficient speed to run when the protection around him fails. With that said, Rodgers is short for an NFL quarterback and does not possess the same anticipation that Russel Wilson or Drew Brees does when they came out of college. Jordan also has mediocre arm strenght that will work against him when asked to throw the deep balls.
Alternate consideration: Marquess Wilson (WR), Brad Sorensen (QB), Jeff Baca (OG)
7.42 – Manase Foketi, OT, West Texas A&M
Plagued by injury and having to deal with a bizarre incident with his former school Kansas State Wildcats, Manase Foketi draft stock fell percipitously. Between the injury and his battle with his former school, Foketi did not see the field much. He was primarily a Left Tackle for the Wildcats, but he also has experience as an offensive guard. He is an aggressive run blocker and moves well for a 6″5′ linemen, in addition to his strength to stop opponents from rushing. His experience came mostly against lower level of talent, so it is difficult for evaluators to gauge whether he can withstand opponents who play at a much higher level. However, with such a late pick, there is little risk for the Titans to take this enigmatic player and see if he can develop into something more.
Alternate considerations: Jose Jose (DT), Alex Carder (QB), Jamaine Cook (RB)