Tennessee Titans: Grading the Team's First Round of the 2012 NFL Draft

Daniel BarnesCorrespondent IIIApril 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Kendall Wright from Baylor holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #20 overall by the Tennesse Titians in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

I'll admit I was a little disheartened when I saw all the top defensive tackles were off the board before it was the Tennessee Titans' turn to pick. Then, miraculously, I saw that the Titans would have their choice between Whitney Mercilus and David DeCastro, and I was very excited.

Then, for the second straight year, the Titans surprised everyone by taking a player no one expected: Kendall Wright.

At first, I wasn't happy about this. This year's wide receiver class is very deep, so there's no reason to take a wideout so early. You can get a very good receiver in the third round, so using a first-round pick on one is a waste. Especially when a truly special defensive end and guard are there.

David DeCastro's fall to within the Titans' grasp was shocking, and I expected that the Titans' decision to be quick. DeCastro is the best guard prospect to come along in years, and since Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame guard, I thought that DeCastro had to be the pick.

Then I saw that Whitney Mercilus was also there. Even though I wanted DeCastro, I figured that, with both of those players on the board, there was no way the Titans would screw this up.

After all, Whitney Mercilus had 16.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and 20 tackles for a loss in 2011. Furthermore, who wouldn't want to have a jersey that reads "Mercilus" across the back of it?

Then the pick came in, and it was Kendall Wright.

Now, before I criticize this too much, I'll admit that the Titans' 2011 draft class was fantastic, and I hated it at the time. I wanted the Titans to grab J.J. Watt and Andy Dalton. I also hated the Jurrell Casey pick, the Colin McCarthy pick, the Jamie Harper pick, the Karl Klug pick and the Tommie Campbell pick.

Obviously my opinion was wrong. The Titans' front office put together a phenomenal draft last year, so they clearly know what they're doing.

Because of that fact, I'll give the Titans the benefit of the doubt to some degree, but I'm still not happy with the pick. There are other wide receivers that can be legitimate downfield threats that could have been obtained later.

However, a guard like DeCastro or a defensive end like Mercilus cannot be found later on. With the premium that is placed on pass rushers, there will be a lot of ends taken between now and then.

As much as I'm sure that Mike Reinfeldt knows what he's doing, I just can't see this as a very good pick.

Draft Grade: B-