When the Tennessee Titans came on the clock with the twenty-forth pick, all receivers were still available.
Draft experts everywhere kept saying, “This is a no-brainer. The Titans will get a big play receiver to give Vince Young a much needed target.” What do the Titans do? They draft a running back out of Eastern Carolina to be a change of pace to LenDale White and to return kicks.
Though thoroughly surprised, I actually didn’t have a problem with this pick. Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest of all members. He led the NCAA in all-purpose yards averaging 227.7 yards per game as a running back, kick-returner, and a receiver.
Many scouts have compared his ability to that of a Reggie Bush. That gives the Titans a dynamic talent to play in numerous offensive packages and be a force on special teams.
The one pick, however, that I questioned, was the second round selection of defensive-end Jason Jones out of Eastern Michigan. With the 54thselection in round two, receivers such as: Earl Bennett out of Vanderbilt, Early Doucet from LSU, Mario Manningham from Michigan, and Andre Caldwell out of Florida were all still available.
All four come from major BCS Conferences and have played major roles in big games in the spotlight. I realize the risk involved in selecting a receiver in the first round. However, I am a little confused as to why the Titans elected to wait until round four to select a receiver, especially when it was easily the biggest “need” for the Titans.
So, where does Tennessee go from here? I think there is still a good chance you see the Titans sign another receiver, whoever that may be. Though LaVelle Hawkins (forth-round selection out of Cal) is considered to be a great athlete who made spectatular plays during the Senior Bowl, they still have big question marks surrounding the receiving core this spring.
Expect Mike Reinfeldt to bring in an array of receivers to work with the team, much like he did last season by bringing in veteran Eric Moulds.
Whatever the case is, lets just hope that Vince Young is prepared to run and make plays on his own, because the front office has done close to nothing to improve the weapons around him this off-season.