The Tennessee Titans didn’t have a ton of gaping holes to fill, but they did a nice job adding depth and looking to the future at offensive tackle, defensive tackle and defensive back.
The player that should make an immediate impact is running back Bishop Sankey from the University of Washington because he is an instinctive, competitive and shifty low-to-the-ground runner. In addition, he can be effective as a complementary zone runner who is capable of moving the chains and picking up chunks of yards. He should play a significant role in helping to replace Chris Johnson.
If there was a disappointment for me, it was that the Titans didn’t find a way to snag Derek Carr from Fresno State after working him out extensively. Zach Mettenberger from LSU has potential because he is a pure dropback quarterback and a strong thrower. However, he’ll require patient, confidence-building playcalling and a clean pocket to function at a high level in the NFL. In addition, he has starter talent in a vertical, downfield passing attack if he can learn how to take command of a huddle and continue progressing as a decision-maker.
The main thing that concerns me about Mettenberger is his injuries. Mettenberger is coming off an ACL injury and will require some rehabilitation time. I’m not sure if the Titans’ quarterback of the future is on the roster.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see first-rounder Taylor Lewan from the University of Michigan starting at some point this season, possibly at right tackle or possibly at left tackle, pushing Michael Roos to right tackle. Lewan should be a cornerstone lineman for years because he is nuanced in pass protection and would fit best in a slide-lateral movement, bucket-stepping, zone-based blocking scheme. This is similar to the 2011 New England Patriots when they drafted Nate Solder with the 17th overall pick.
In addition to the draft picks, they added 14 undrafted free agents including Travis Coons from the University of Washington and RiShard Anderson from the University of Syracuse. I believe Coons can make an immediate impact on special teams because he is a great athlete that shows great overall skill. In addition, he is smooth on field goals, big on kickoffs and a very capable punter. This is a good selection in free agency.
I believe Anderson can make an immediate impact in the secondary. Looking at the Pro Day results, he ran a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash. This means that he will be able to leave the line of scrimmage when a punt is kicked and reach at the point where the ball comes down just as it arrives.
I’m looking forward to observing these rookies as they being a new chapter in their life. That includes the OTAs which start May 30-June 1 as well as June 5-7, June 11-12 and June 14-15. In addition, I’m also looking forward to the minicamps which will take place on May 11-12 as well as June 19-21. The Titans look to start the year off right when they open the preseason at LP Field against the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2014.