2012 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans' Draft Strategy

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistApril 23, 2012

The Titans love skill players early in the draft.
The Titans love skill players early in the draft.Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

All this has happened before, all this will happen again.

Teams tend to fall into patterns when it comes to the draft, so by analyzing past draft strategies we can gain insight into what moves a team might make.

The Tennessee Titans aren't a team that gives us much to go on when it comes to past drafts. Mike Muchak is just in his second year, while GM Ruston Webster is running his first draft with the Titans, though he has been with the team for a couple of seasons as director of player personnel.

The Titans are on their third general manager since 2006, and the chaos has been reflected in the early-round draft choices.

In the last six years, the Titans have drafted two quarterbacks in the first round, three running backs in the first and second round, and three wideouts in the first three rounds. Despite this repetition, the Titans are still possibly looking at a wideout in round one. This is not uncommon when there is regime change in the NFL. The new staff often wants to replace marquee players with "their guys."

The Titans have gone defensive in the draft 31 of 56 times (55%), but they love skill position players on offense. In the last six drafts, Tennessee has taken 18 running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks (32%). That figure doesn't even include Jared Cook, the tight end who was one of their best pass-catchers.

The Titans have taken 10 of 12 total cornerbacks selected after the third round, and they have taken four linebackers in the fourth round.

The one area the Titans have be loathe to take talent is on the offensive line. They've only taken five linemen the last six years, and none of them have been selected any earlier than round four.

Whether or not the pattern holds under Webster remains to be seen but, if it does, don't be surprised to see a receiver heading to Tennessee in round one.