Titans’ draft recap, rounds 5-7

The Titans had five draft picks in the final three rounds and used four of them on positions of need. The drafting to fill multiple needs was too late, in my opinion, but at least the needs were addressed.
Following are thumbnails on the five final members of the Titans’ class of 2007.

  • Rd 5, #152 – Mississippi State DT Antonio Johnson
    Summary of NFL’s scouting report:

    Compares To: Larry Triplett, Buffalo — Like Triplett, Johnson has the foot speed and quickness to penetrate and gain initial advantage … He is a typical two-gap player who works well in space, but it does take him time to recognize the play and he lacks a good feel for blocking schemes … His inability to grasp a complicated playbook is a concern and he lacks a feel for locating the ball like Triplett … Still, his size/speed will factor into where he goes on draft day.

    Andrew’s take — Could use a little more bulk on 6′ 3″, 305 pound frame. Could be a good fit in Titans’ two-gap defense. Very inexperienced, started only five games in Division 1A after playing in junior college. Will need to be coached up, but will have a great teacher in Jim Washburn. With as many negatives on him as there are in the scouting report, a lot of Wash’s yelling will be directed towards him. Has many similarities to Jesse Mahelona, a fifth-round draft pick last year. A project, but at least I’m glad this position was addressed.

  • Rd 6, #188 – Texas Tech WR Joel Filani
    Summary of NFL’s scouting report:

    Compares To: Eric Moulds — Filani is not as fast as Moulds, but both use their hands very well to power through the chuck and get into their routes. Filani runs very precise routes and except for a few concentration lapses per game, is generally reliable in securing the ball before breaking tackles to gain positive yardage.

    Andrew’s take — Good size at 6′ 2″, 216 pounds, but slow (4.71 40-yard dash). Good hands, good route running. Won’t be a deep threat but good in the red zone. Texas Tech’s pass-happy offense gave him plenty of opportunities, which he took advantage of, leading all Big 12 receivers with 103 yards per game last year. 23 TDs at TT. Intelligent (majored in Business Finance) player who was a teammate of OT Dan Loper for Red Raiders. I’m sure the Titans pumped Loper for info on Filani’s work ethic, character, etc., and got a thumbs-up. His red-zone ability should give the Titans a dimension they currently lack. Could be a good pickup.

  • Rd 6, #204 – Central Arkansas DE Jacob Ford
    Summary of NFL’s scouting report:

    Compares To: Robert Mathis, Indianapolis — Ford might be a better fit for linebacker, but he has questionable instincts and quick reaction skills to play there. He needs to be on the move to be effective, but is slow to diagnose and read keys. He needs to develop more strength to be more effective against the run, but additional bulk could impact his rare timed speed.

    Andrew’s take — Finally, the DE position is addressed. The bad news is Ford does not seem to be an every-down player. Will struggle to hold his own against the run. Doesn’t have the frame to bulk up much. Another project for Wash, but has good quickness and could develop into a decent edge rusher. The negatives seem to outweigh the positives for him as a DE. Would probably be better as a 3-4 OLB. His strength would appear to be as a speed rusher at RDE, but isn’t that also the best dimension in Travis LaBoy’s game? A head-scratcher.

  • Rd 6, #206 – Florida CB Ryan Smith
    Summary of NFL’s scouting report:

    Compares To: Ray Mickens, New England … Smith has excellent speed and natural hands, but while he hits with force, size issues make him a bit of a liability vs. the run at the next level. He has the fluid hips to turn and run with the receivers throughout the route and generates that second gear to recover when he gets behind his assignment. He is a dependable wrap-up tackler, but because of a lack of bulk he will be more effective in nickel and dime packages than a base defense.

    Andrew’s take — At only 168 pounds, he should be the smallest player in the league if he makes the team. Good speed, decent cover skills, but weak against the run. His best chance should be as a nickelback. Not an impressive pick but could help at nickel if Cortland Finnegan moves to corner.

  • Rd 7, #223 – Purdue OT Michael Otto
    Summary of NFL’s scouting report:

    Compares To: Matt Light, New England Patriots … Like Light, Otto is a very alert blocker who uses his quickness to mirror and his hand punch to shock and jolt with very good consistency … He will need to add more bulk for the next level, but he has the frame to carry at least 20 more pounds without it affecting his foot speed … He might not dominate and explode through blocks like you’d want from a left tackle, but he is mistake-free and it is rare to see him give up the sack.

    Andrew’s take — Quickness, good feet, good technique, gave up no sacks last year. Sounds like a good pass-blocker who can also develop into a decent run-blocker by adding strength and bulk in the weight room. Could make a good backup to Michael Roos. Where does that leave Dan Loper? Mike Munchak worked Loper some at guard for two years and might think of moving him to be the backup for Benji Olson and Jacob Bell, in addition to backing up David Stewart at RT. The two picks on the O-line this year will mean competition for Amano and Loper.

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