This might be the most overlooked battle, but it is arguably the most intriguing.
The veteran Matt Hasselbeck versus another eighth overall pick with a cannon arm and some speed to boot, Jake Locker.
The second-year University of Washington product was the only one of the nine most recent first-round quarterbacks to not register a start as a rookie.
However, with the nucleus of last year's team still intact, the Titans could very well be in win-now mode and hand the job to Hasselbeck.
That sounds like a good idea, but it's not the right way to go. Locker showed enough as a rookie in the limited time he had to prove he could live up to the hype.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer suggests that Locker is actually favored to start, despite a relatively successful season by Hasselbeck in 2011.
Not only will stud running back Chris Johnson be back in gear after a new contract, there is also the addition of first-round wide receiver Kendall Wright out of Baylor. The Titans are also hopeful for the return of Kenny Britt, but his off-field and injury troubles may make that reality less realistic.
The future should be now in Tennessee. Locker should get a shot—with a fine supporting cast around him—and Hasselbeck will prove to be a valuable mentor during what looks to be a tough schedule.
Many times—excluding the case of JaMarcus Trenell Russell—it's about passing the "eye test" at this level. More importantly, though, it's about instincts and just flat out making plays.
What sold me on Locker from the beginning was this play, his very first NFL touchdown.
The 55-yard laser pass shows he passes the eye test, and he has the instincts and improvisational skills to be a successful NFL quarterback.
I know it's only one play, but Locker's numbers as a rookie were tremendous. It will be exciting to see what better surrounding talent, a full offseason and ample time to master the offense will do for him.