Tennessee Titans: Taking a Closer Look at Team's QB Situation

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIMarch 29, 2014

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans will head into the 2014 season with a new head coach and the possibility of having a new starting running back, if they eventually move Chris Johnson.

But should the team be satisfied with what they have at the most important position—quarterback?

Jake Locker was taken with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, but in that time, he has played in less than half (23) of the team's 48 games. Last season, he played in just 7 games after a foot injury forced him to miss the rest of the season and led to Lisfranc surgery.

In a text message Friday to The Tennessean, Locker said things are going well and that his foot "feels awesome."

However, in his three years in the league, Locker has thrown 22 touchdown passes while turning the ball over 20 times. On top of that, the team released veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who put up an 82.0 rating while filling in for Locker last year.

That should send a clear message to Locker that he must perform well this coming season.

But what if he doesn't? What if he gets injured? Do the Titans just call it a wasted season?

The team did sign Charlie Whitehurst to be the team's backup after he spent last year with new coach Ken Whisenhunt in San Diego.

Whitehurst has been a career backup, appearing in just 13 games in his eight seasons and throwing just three touchdowns to go with four interceptions.

But if the past has been any indication, Locker won't suit up all 16 games this season, meaning there's a good chance the team will have to turn to Whitehurst.

Behind him is former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson. The Oakland Raiders selected Wilson in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, but cut him before the season started.

He became the highest player selected in last year's draft not to make the opening day roster for the team that drafted him.

As you can see, there isn't much hope in Tennessee if Locker goes down.

So that begs the question, should the team look at a quarterback in the upcoming draft?

Blake Bortels, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater will all most likely be off the board by the time the Titans go on the clock with the No. 11 pick in the first round.

But former Fresno State signal caller Derek Carr could be available.


Carr is an accurate passer who can put the ball where it needs to be. There aren't many throws you won't see him make.

He put up massive numbers during his college career, throwing for nearly 13,000 yards and 113 touchdowns in his career.

He will need to improve his footwork in the pocket, but a team like the Titans should be interested in his ability to throw the ball downfield.

If the team doesn't want to go that route, there are several quarterbacks they could obtain in later rounds that should be productive NFL players.

Stephen Haas

Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois would be a good choice.

Garoppolo has a good arm and a quick release. In addition, he has good mobility and is able to escape pressure with his feet.

Patrick Semansky

A.J. McCarron will also be there in the second or third round.

McCarron is a smart player who displays good mechanics. He understands where to put the ball and how to throw a player open.

He also comes from a winning program, putting together a 36-4 record as a starter and being a member of three National Championship teams at Alabama. That won't hurt his cause.

Carr, Garoppolo and McCarron are three players the Titans definitely need to consider drafting in May.

Of course, there's always the option of not addressing the position at all. If that's their choice, they will have to hope and pray that Locker is the franchise quarterback they drafted him to be.