Tennessee Titans Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

Chad MintonCorrespondent IMay 7, 2014

Tennessee Titans Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

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    Whisenhunt enters his first season as head coach of the Titans
    Whisenhunt enters his first season as head coach of the TitansUSA TODAY Sports

    It's almost time for another installment of the NFL draft, and the Tennessee Titans are one of those fringe teams that just need a few key pieces to make the jump into the playoffs in 2014.

    They're currently looking up to the Colts in their division like the rest of the AFC South is. Ground can be made up as the Colts are currently missing a pick in the first round.

    The Titans could very well end up trading down in the first round of the draft to gain more total picks. They're currently missing a third-round pick, and that could be huge considering the type of talent that will still be on the board at that point.

    That third-round pick was lost in last year's draft when the Titans traded up to get Justin Hunter.  

    If the Titans could trade back in the first round to get more picks and still get the guy they want in the first round, it would make for a perfect scenario.

    There's also once again major questions at quarterback leading up to this draft for the Titans. We've been down this road far too many times with the Titans in recent drafts, and the Titans have to figure out when they're going to want to take a quarterback, if at all.

    Another position of moderate need is running back, and the Titans will almost certainly draft one of these running backs from a draft class that is deep.

    Both linebacker and cornerback are also strong possibilities in the first round for the Titans. Adding depth to a couple of other positions will be key later in the draft, as it usually is. 

    Check back here Thursday through Saturday as the 2014 NFL draft unfolds. Analysis and prospect grades will be posted as the Titans make their picks.

1st Round, 11th Overall: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

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    The Titans didn't reach for the ratings with this pick, but they did address a need that could come up in 2015 by taking Taylor Lewan.

    Michael Roos is entering the last year of his contract, and is also aging.

    The Titans also signed Michael Oher in free agency to replace the departed David Stewart. He could opt out after 2014. It could leave the cupboard pretty bare at offensive tackle.

    In other words, this could be a gaping hole next offseason.

    That doesn't leave a lot of room for Lewan to make an impact in 2014. However, I do think the Titans got a solid player that could be a cornerstone on this offensive line for years to come.

    It wasn't the sexy pick, but the Titans are looking ahead. The Titans would've been more effective if Anthony Barr had slipped to the 11th pick. Since he didn't, this isn't a terrible pick.

    The Titans are completely set on the offensive line heading into this season, and Jake Locker should have plenty of protection.

    Grade: B

2nd Round, 54th Overall: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    The basic replacement of Chris Johnson ends up coming in the form of Bishop Sankey. We knew the Titans would get a running back at some point in the draft.

    The Titans actually traded back in the second round to pick up an extra fourth round pick, and they still got one of the top running backs in the draft. 

    Sankey becomes the first running back taken off the board in the 2014 NFL draft.  He's a guy that can handle a heavy workload according to Charles Davis of NFL.com.

    The Titans are also getting a capable receiver out of the backfield with this pick. An area that Johnson was sorely lacking in.

    This is a productive pick that effectively solidifies the running game. The Titans now have two fourth round picks to work with. Great pick here.

    Grade: A

4th Round, 112th Overall: Daquan Jones, DT, Penn State

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    USA TODAY Sports

    There must be very little faith in the current crop of quarterbacks on the board for the Titans. They need a backup plan for Jake Locker and one would have made perfect sense here.

    However, this is no knock on Daquan Jones. His big frame at 6'4" should be a great addition to a 3-4 defensive front the Titans are changing to. Mel Kiper Jr. even said on ESPN's draft show that Jones could end up seeing some time at defensive end.

    The Titans are getting themselves a player with a high ceiling and plenty of upside to become an formidable player on any part of the defensive line. It was probably hard to pass up on Jones as he's fallen farther than maybe expected.

    The timing is just off for me a bit on this pick. The Titans would've been more efficient drafting a quarterback here, or even addressing the secondary.

    Grade: B-

4th Round, 122nd Overall: Marqueston Huff, CB, Wyoming

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Titans continued to address their defense after drafting Marqueston Huff with the extra fourth-round pick they obtained from the Eagles by moving back in the second round.

    It ends up paying off in the form of the Titans getting a speedy cornerback who had three years of starting experience at Wyoming. 

    Interesting note on Huff is that he could end up offering the Titans some flexibility in the secondary as a safety as well as a cornerback. He played some safety in his senior season at Wyoming. 

    It's not a horrible pick because the Titans are getting a versatile guy for the secondary that should also help immediately in special teams.

    However, I'm not completely in love with this pick. I thought the Titans would've been better served to take a chance on one of the many quarterbacks still on the board. Cornerback could have waited until their fifth-round pick to get a player with similar talent level.

    Grade: C+

     

5th Round, 151st Overall: Avery Williamson, ILB, Kentucky

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    I have a hard time understanding this pick at first glance. The Titans have added depth to positions that have needed it over their first four picks, but I can't say the same about this one.

    This pick puzzles me. As solid as Avery Williamson is in the character department, his game needs a lot of work. He's also limited athletically according to Nolan Nawrocki of CBSSports.com

    Perhaps the Titans aren't particularly high on what they have with Colin McCarthy and Zach Brown. 

    With all of that said, the Titans weren't even really in the market for an inside linebacker. This pick is a total reach for a position that doesn't need much attention.

    The Titans do get a high-character guy with great leadership qualities, which is what you love to see in your inside linebackers. He's a guy with potential to become a big special teams contributor.

    However, that's not enough to justify this pick for me. Adding more to the offense would've made more sense than this pick. 

    Grade: C-

6th Round, 178th Overall: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

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    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    The Titans now officially have their project quarterback behind Jake Locker by taking Zach Mettenberger in the sixth round. They actually traded up a few spots with the Redskins to get this pick.

    You have to give credit to Ken Whisenhunt and the Titans for waiting as late as they did at getting a quarterback, and yet still managing to get a guy that had a second-round grade by some.

    By buying themselves some time to still get a decent quarterback, the Titans have now added plenty of depth on defense with their previous picks.

    Mettenberger is your prototypical pocket passer that should fit in nicely under what Whisenhunt likes his quarterbacks to do.

    This is a great steal for the Titans. Character concerns and back issues are the only things you worry about, but there's little risk involved in a sixth-round pick.

    Grade: B+