The Titans added to their draft class by signing 15 undrafted free agents. The full list of signees is:
C Kenneth Alfred – Washington State; RB LeGarrette Blount – Oregon; TE Gerald Harris – Mississippi; T Nick Howell – USC; RB Stafon Johnson – USC; DT Joe Joseph – Miami; LB Jacob Lewko – Pennsylvania; RB Dominique Lindsay – East Carolina; G John Malecki -Pittsburgh; C Kevin Matthews – Texas A&M; WR Mico McSwain – North Alabama; TE Steve Pfahler – Montana; FB Willie Rose – Florida Atlantic; WR Bobby Sewall – Brown; LB Patrick Trahan – Mississippi
Obviously, most of these guys have a very limited shot of making the roster, as the Titans the past few years have been about the hardest team to make as an undrafted free agent. The most obvious candidates from the above list are the guys at the position where the Titans are weakest, running back, so that means Pac-10 backs Blount and Johnson. A bit of an interesting pair, as both sat out most of last season.
For more, I thought I’d peruse the draft guides I have for more nuggets of info about these players:
Kenneth Alfred: Washington State has been, not to put too fine a point on it, terrible to unbelievably terrible of late, but Alfred has been one of the brighter spots, relatively speaking. He has good short area quickness and adequate but not great strength, but is below average at most other categories. A good college player who probably simply doesn’t have the size to be a factor in the NFL.
LeGarrette Blount: I won’t discuss the punching incident, or how you square signing Blount with a draft heavily focused on character but will simply note Blount is a bit of a controversial prospect. He had a rep as one of the better RB prospects in the draft coming into the 2009 season thanks to power back size and good productivity, but he has very questionable quickness and maybe no more than a marginal burst. He also flailed badly in pass blocking at the Senior Bowl, since that literally wasn’t something he was asked to do at all in Oregon’s rush-oriented spread.
Gerald Harris: A starter at Ole Miss, but no particularly NFL worthy qualities, as he runs mediocre routes, struggles to get off the line against press coverage, does not catch the ball particularly well, is not a particularly strong blocker, and lacks quickness. He’s a camp body.
Stafon Johnson: Before his weightlifting accident, the LenDale to Joe McKnight’s Reggie Bush, and similarly less talented. Like White, I wasn’t a fan of his at USC, as he was a bigger back who didn’t break enough tackles and provided almost no non-rushing skills. White, contrary to my expectations, turned from UDFA- as a rookie to serviceable along the lines of late career Ron Dayne, but I don’t see that upside in Johnson.
John Malecki: A potentially intriguing prospect who played DT his first couple years at Pitt before switching over to guard. Short arms and understrength, but good short area quickness. Not quite 6’2″, he probably doesn’t have the height with short arms to play guard at the NFL level, but maybe could be a guy that could do something after some time on the practice squad. It’s impossible to sort out the backup guard picture from the outside level, but Malecki seems like a guy who may be in the picture in a couple years with some seasoning.
Kevin Matthews: Bruce’s son is a Titan UDFA, as predicted by Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain on his twitter feed, but lacks his father’s size and athletic ability. Probably best thought of as akin to last year’s Alex Mortensen signing, whoever fills this needed spot has only a limited shot of making the practice squad, let alone making the team.
Patrick Trahan: Another Ole Miss Rebel and before that a juco player, Trahan is an undersized linebacker best suited as a 4-3 Will pursuit backer, a la Keith Bulluck. No, he won’t be nearly that good, and his current speed is more like late career Keith than early career Keith, but he does fit that mold. He’s an extreme longshot to make the team because of the Titans’ depth at linebacker, but does seem like a guy who could supplant Stanford Keglar after a year on the practice squad.
Hey, they’re undrafted free agents. Did you really expect me, Mr. Downer Gower, to be really optimistic? Information gleaned from GM Jr.’s 2010 Guide to the NFL Draft by Russ Lande and 2010 NFL Draft Scout Prospect Guide by Rob Rang et al. and my watching too much college football with a nod to Phil Steele’s incomparable college football guide for highlighting players I wouldn’t necessarily pay much attention to.