Reaction to Titans 2011 draft

I really liked the Titans first two picks in the draft but was rather discouraged with most of the rest of them at the time the selections were announced.  Now that I’ve learned more about them, and how the Titans are planning on using them, I feel a lot better.
 
Following are thumbnails on them, some disappointments, and food for thought after the jump.

QB Jake Locker -  the more I read and hear about him, the better I like this pick.  His accuracy issues are my major concern, and I heard Reinfeldt say the coaches will be able to work with him on this.  Let’s hope so.

OLB Akeem Ayers  -  I really liked that pick when it was announced and still do, especially that the Titans will play him on the line at times to be an edge rusher.  The only negative I’ve heard about him is a sometimes questionable work ethic.

DT Jurrell Casey -  is much stouter and sturdier than I first thought.  I’ve also heard the Titans had a second round grade on him, as did Mike Detillier, which makes me feel better.  I’ve heard several people compare Casey to the Eagles’ Mike Patterson.

MLB Colin McCarthy –  I was critical of this pick at first but when I learned he was rated by Optimum Scouting as the best player available going into Day Three, I tempered that opinion.

RB Jamie Harper -  this was another pick I initially liked and I like it even more now that I’ve learned he has good speed to go along with his other qualities.

DL Karl Klug -  I didn’t like this pick much at first, though I thought and hoped he would be moved out to DE.  Now that I’ve heard that he will be, at least some of the time, I like the pick a little more.  I’ll like it even more when I see him primarily at DE instead of DT.

OT Byron Stingily -  I didn’t like this pick much either, and still don’t, at least as far as wanting an interior lineman instead.  I do like this guy’s potential as Michael Roos’ backup.

DT Zach Clayton -  another pick I really didn’t like much at first but now feel better about.  He does seem to be a pretty decent run defender.

DB Tommie Campbell -  Mike Keith said the Titans had decided prior to the draft to use their final pick on the best athlete available, with the thought of taking a prospect and hoping he would develop into a good player.  Who knows, he might turn into another Cortland Finnegan or Blaine Bishop.  OK, probably not, but there is that hope.  He does have 4.30 speed and will probably be a good gunner.

Disappointments:

1)  No interior offensive linemen were drafted.  It was even more disappointing when the Titans passed on Marcus Cannon a couple of times.  Leave it to Bill Belichick to scoop him up.  The Patriots got a steal there that the Titans could have had.  Imagine him next to Big Country.  The Titans also passed a few times on Jason Pinkston.

2)  I also hoped for a strong safety.  Apparently, none of them were worthy of being selected.  It was supposed to be a weak draft for safeties but I thought DeAndre McDaniel and maybe Tyler Sash were possibilities.  Campbell may become a safety, according to Jonathan Hutton, as Tom wrote.

3)  No true defensive end was drafted.  I guess the Titans are considering Klug to be that player.

4)  The Titans didn’t draft a tight end, but if they had, I would have just wanted one who could block, to provide insurance in case of another Craig Stevens concussion.  Without another blocking TE, the Titans can always plug in Mike Otto as a tackle-eligible in two-TE sets.  Or they could pick up a free agent, which I imagine they’ll do.

Food for thought -  A lot of knowledgeable people are anticipating the defense to be more schematically versatile, including occasional 3-4 looks.  This makes sense with the pick of Ayers, a 3-4 edge rusher, with Munch’s statements of playing Ayers on the line, the ability of Casey and Clayton to play nose tackle, and the overall versatility of the Titans’ defensive draft picks, coupled with Jerry Gray’s affinity for throwing different looks at teams.  Note the 3-4 looks are expected to be occasional – it won’t be a full-time defense, nor should it be.

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