Sunday, April 27, 2008

Titans 2008 Draft Choices: Huh?

I'm still baffled by the Titans' peculiar selections in this weekend's draft. Going into the weekend the team's biggest needs were defensive end and wide receiver. Coming out of the weekend, they kind of addressed the defensive end need and didn't do anything of note at wide receiver. They had chances to get better players at both positions.

I can't say anything about the Chris Johnson pick (the Titans' first-round selection) that hasn't already been said, so this is from's Pat Yasinskas:

After using a second-round pick in each of the past two drafts to get running backs LenDale White and Chris Henry, the Titans, who had lots of needs elsewhere (mainly wide receiver), turned around and used a first-round pick on East Carolina running back Chris Johnson.

Henry hasn't shown much and this move is probably a sign the Titans don't think he's going to work out. And White was a 1,000-yard rusher last season and the Titans probably don't need a new starter. They probably didn't get one because Johnson is undersized and may be nothing more than a third-down back. Johnson is explosive and could provide a nice complement to White, but you don't draft complementary players in the first round.

I get the impression that the Titans took Johnson because of his freakish 40-yard-dash time. (According to, "He's also not great between the tackles and has had fumble issues.") Incredible speed was the main reason the Titans last year used a high pick on Chris Henry, who'd played relatively little in collage. Drafting based on speed alone seems short sighted.

More questionable than the Johnson pick was trading up to select William Hayes (DE from Winston-Salem State) in the fourth round. Trading up in the NFL Draft is usually a bad idea; it's certainly a bad idea when you trade up in the fourth round to get a player who likely would have been available in the seventh. Even in the unlikely event that someone had stolen Hayes out from under the Titans' nose, a DE of comparable (and probably superior) talent would have been available later in the fourth round. They didn't need to give up picks to draft William Hayes.

Lavelle Hawkins of Cal was the only wide receiver whom the Titans drafted; he went late in the fourth round. Hawkins joins the trio of mid-to-late round wide receivers whom the Titans drafted last year, a trio that combined for five receptions and 38 yards last year.

I'm sure the Titans' draft class will bring some pleasant surprises. But no matter how good these players turn out to be, I'll still have questions about whom the Titans selected when: Which players would have been available in later rounds (or without having to trade up)?


Post a Comment

<< Home