JagNation Divisional Draft Analysis: Titans

When you look at the results from this years' draft, many experts claim that the Tennessee Titans had the worst draft out of any team in the AFC South. The main reason for that opinion, is the Titans selection of Michael Griffin at pick 19 when both Reggie Nelson and local product Robert Meachem were both still available, and believed to fill bigger needs for the team.

While Griffin should provide help to the 32nd ranked total defense, it was seen as a bit of a reach and somewhat of a luxury pick, given the multitude of needs the Titans have with their roster. They continued the philosophy of reaching for players who weren't overly productive in college with second round pick running back Chris Henry and wide receiver Paul Williams on the first day.

1st round-pick #19: Michael Griffin, S, Texas
While Griffin didn't seem to be the best pick for the Titans, he should step in right away and start alongside Chris Hope at safety. Griffin shows good range and quickness, but needs to improve his ability to help in run stopping. His penchant for blocking kicks (2nd in NCAA history with 8) should also be a welcome addition in Tennessee.

2nd round-pick 50: Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
This was an extreme reach for a RB that could turn out to be nothing more than a workout warrior. That is the kind of risk/reward pick you have to make when you let your starting RB leave in FA (Henry) and your 2nd round pick last year (White) can't keep his weight down. Henry rarely showed NFL ability while at Arizona, but he did come on strong at the end of 2006, rushing for 380 yards and 6 touchdowns in the his final four games of the season. He then wowed teams with his combine numbers, including running a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. If he can harness that talent, he could develop into a good speed back to combine with the pounder, Lendale White.

3rd round-pick 80: Paul Williams, WR, Fresno State
Williams is a player that has all the measurables that anyone would like to see in a prototype WR- 6'1 ¼", 205 lbs, 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. However, he has never been able to translate that to production on the field during his college career. He was first team All-WAC in 2005 with 43 catches for 729 yards and 7 touchdowns, but injuries and inconsistency caused him to only have 21 catches and 1 touchdown his senior year. The Titans hope he can develop into the go- to-guy for Vince Young, but that might be wishful thinking.

4th round-pick 115: Leroy Harris, C, NC State
You could argue that this was the best value pick the Titans made, getting a versatile lineman who has started 42 consecutive games at center, both guard positions, and left tackle. He projects to center in the NFL, but has the ability to play multiple positions. He is a guy that can learn from Kevin Mawae and take over as a long term solution at center.

4th round-pick 128: Chris Davis, WR, Florida State
This could turn into a real nice pick if Davis can reach the potential he had coming into FSU. He's a short guy at just 5'10", but has good speed and route running ability. His biggest asset in his rookie year might be his ability to return punts, as he could be forced into that role with the season long suspension of Pacman Jones.

5th round-pick 152: Antonio Johnson, DT, Mississippi State
They finally addressed their defensive line with this pick, an early draft entry as a junior. Johnson only started five games at Mississippi State after transferring from Mississippi Delta Community College. He is a very raw project player, but a player with his size and quickness could turn into a decent DT in time.

6th round-pick 188: Joel Filani, WR, Texas Tech
While he has the size you look for in a WR (6'2", 216 pounds), he is viewed as more of a system WR than a legit NFL prospect. Filani looks to be a possession receiver at best and running a 4.71 in the 40 pretty much assures that he won't blow past anyone. He is precise in his routes, has very good hands, and could become a decent fail-safe for Vince Young when plays break down.

6th round-pick 204: Jacob Ford, DE, Central Arkansas
Depending on how Ford approaches being an NFL player, this could turn out to be a good value for the team this late in the draft. Ford ran the second fastest 40 time (4.62) for a DE at the combine, although he needs to bulk up to play DE in the NFL, as his combine weight was only 249 pounds. Ford compares to a Robert Mathis type of player (body type), and could be good as a situational pass rusher as a rookie.

6th round-pick 206: Ryan Smith, CB, Florida
This could be a good pick for the Titans if Pacman Jones is indeed looking at long term problems with the league. Smith is a bit undersized for a CB (5'10", 174), yet seemed to be very adept at making the big plays during his senior season at Florida. He led the team with eight interceptions and his transfer from Utah was the addition that allowed Reggie Nelson to move to safety and solidify the Gators defensive backfield. He will need to improve against the run to become an every down player in the NFL.

7th round-pick: Michael Otto, T, Purdue
Otto is a late round pick at a position that could turn into a steal over time. He started 36 straight games and didn't allow a sack his final two seasons in the Big 10. He really should add another 15-20 pounds to play LT effectively in the NFL, but looks to be a solid player.

The Titans draft class has quite a bit of a make or break feel to it. If you are a Titans fan, you will hope that the glass is half full and believe that most of their draft picks will become key members of the team over time. Much of the rest of the league views the Titans '07 class as a group full of reaches, and players who never realized their full college potential, as the team ignored the main areas of need on the roster. The key to success for the Titans next year hinges on two things. The ability of Pacman Jones to be able to get on the playing field in 2007 and for Vince Young to improve on his 66.7 passer rating from last season.

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