Some Titans thoughts for the week

Brian Moore
Cover32
Matt Miller's notes with Titans comments
Matt Miller's notes with Titans comments

Some Titans thoughts for the week

I’ve been watching a bunch of Joe Mixon, Samaje Perrine, and Dede Westbrook lately. I always come away with the same thoughts: Wow that line is good.  The offensive line of the Sooners is full of youth. They would have to be drafted in future NFL drafts.

Matt Harmon of NFL Network and Footballguys does this reception perception feature where he plots out the routes wide receivers run on the route tree. A month or so ago, he tweeted out a list of wide receivers that almost exclusively played on one side of the field in college. Many on that list did not have much success in the NFL. DeDe was on that list. He had a fantastic season. He some “personal issues” and will probably fall heavily in the draft. Still though, I’m very curious if Harmon is onto something here. It will probably take years of data, but…something to think about.

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Titans third-string quarterback

At 29 years old, I have my doubt about Alex Tanney ever being good enough to start in the NFL. Can he really develop behind Marcus Mariota? Can I truly evaluate a guy that largely plays in the preseason? There are more questions than answers, but I often come back to the age of Tanney.

Some have suggested the Titans will draft a quarterback late or sign an undrafted free agent.

I don’t want the Titans to develop a young gun third string quarterback. I am not in favor of this traditional route. Let Marcus have the coach’s ear while he’s young. Some young developmental prospect could take time away from this.

The idea I have fallen in love with is to draft a running college quarterback. The classic guy that will never make it in the NFL, but was successful in college. There are plenty of them in every draft and they are easily signed as UDFAs. I have no preference as to which player so let’s call him John Doe.

Mike Mularkey seems to love the two and three tight end set. He explains it so simply and it really has this throwback flavor to it, when he speaks. He wants his guys to win the battle at the line of scrimmage and move the chains. There’s a toughness to it, a mano y mano classic flare to it.

If the Titans are onto their third string quarterback things are not good. No third-string quarterback in the NFL is the second coming of Joe Montana so we need to put aside grandiose expectations here.

I say put this John Doe at quarterback. Put Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray behind him. Roll with two or three tight ends and see what happens. For the plays, they can use the ordinary goalline and short yardage packages to have Henry wear down a defense and let Murray clean up with some fancy footwork. If need be, John Doe can keep the rock and make something happen. To mix it up, he can send Taylor Lewan out for a pass or Angelo Blackson can come in and do so. Nothing new for anyone to learn, not much for the rook to “pick up” as he joins the team.

It seems to lend to the mindset Russ Grimm has built within these linemen as well. If John Doe draws a play in the dirt or on somebody’s jersey, he’d probably get bonus points with Mularkey for that.  Re-watching videos of Mularkey speaking of the offense, I could almost swear he’d be in favor of this as a last resort offense.

Is this wacky? Sure it is, but so is the concept that a third-string quarterback with no NFL experience will come off the sideline and lead the team to the playoffs. This is much closer to their comfort zone and dare I say, “Taylor-made” for their personas. Then there’s Derrick Henry. Aren’t all of us fans curious what happens if he gets enough chances to throw his size around? Can defense really hold up for four quarters against the big fella’?

Trading down from pick 5

I can’t say this enough. I am only in favor of trading down a little bit, to still wind up with a top-five talent. The Titans may wait years to get a top five pick again. This is a cream-of-the-crop type prospect, five-star, a gem, and every other term thrown around. Jonathan Allen falls in many mocks and there is some sound logic to that. I love the idea of drafting Allen whether it’s at pick five or eight or nine or whatever.

What if they do?

This “no second round pick, must trade down to get some” thinking has been a bit much. The first round is always preferable, but …if they do. The Titans can still get the top rated player at many positions. They could land the top inside linebacker, tackle, nose tackle, center, guard, tight end, and outside linebacker while trading down. I’d like them to draft the top player at some position and am focused on that.

Too many people write that some second or third round cornerback is great. Some mention some defensive end that is projected to go at the end of round one; they feel this player is fantastic. The best cornerbacks go in round one. Fantastic defensive ends are selected at the top of the draft. There is something lesser about them. NFL teams have nitpicked everything about their game and their personal life and that is the result.

I want the best of the best in round one. Players ranked second best at their position is about my limit. These types that fall can be drafted in the later rounds as they should be. A GM doesn’t give up pick five to draft someone that wasn’t rated very highly.

Cornerback

As long as Jason McCourty is on the roster, I don’t believe the Titans draft a cornerback. This illustrates a belief they have in McCourty’s ability. If the Titans feel this way, there’s almost no room for a top corner to be added. I would already presume that Logan Ryan, LeShaun Sims, and Bryce McCain make the 53. If there is no player release or trade involving McCourty, I lean toward the Titans not drafting a corner.

Surprise of draft

I think it will be a trade for a veteran wide receiver. I’m not convinced the Titans want to wait while a rookie wide receiver develops. Surely they want the upside and the long career that a rookie wideout could have, but I don’t think there is patience there among the staff. After Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham their patience seemed slim. When Tajae Sharpe struggled in the regular season and they switched to Rishard Matthews being in on almost all of the plays- I think that was indicative of this too. My guess is simply that they want another player like Matthews. A veteran that will come into camp as a professional and produce in a predictable fashion on the field. As for size and speed, that will probably be determined by what veterans are available in trade.

This is year two of the Terry Robiske/Mike Mularkey offense. When teams enter the second year, they usually plan to add some wrinkles to the offense and build off the previous year’s success. I’m not so sure if they can do that with a high pick rookie wide receiver. Rookies generally have this adjustment period to life in the NFL and struggle to pick up the playbook. They could do this with a veteran.

Selecting a wide receiver later in the draft is different than at the top of the draft. They are not often expected to produce right away. They can sit on the sideline and “get some seasoning” before they contribute significantly.

My surprise would be a trade for a wideout like Eric Decker and then drafting a wide receiver in round four or so. All of the Mike Williams and Corey Davis fans would probably be thrown by this. As long as Decker(or whatever veteran) doesn’t cost a first round pick, it should work out well for the Titans.

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