Tennessee Titans

Draft Picks 2010: Derrick Morgan Gives Titans Much Needed Defensive Boost

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Derrick Morgan from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as they hold up a Tennessee Titans jersey after the Titans selected Morgan number 16 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Stephen KasperCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

With the 16th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select Derrick Morgan, defensive end, Georgia Tech.

 

And boy, is he just what the doctor ordered.

 

After the selection, Tennessee held a press conference and made it clear they were looking for a defensive lineman in the first round.

 

They didn’t expect Morgan to be available at 16 but when he dropped out of the top 10, Mike Reinfeldt, Jeff Fisher and Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn all began to get their hopes up.

 

This draft is rich with defense and I expect Tennessee to continue drafting defense on Friday throughout Sunday.

 

But why Derrick Morgan exactly?

 

Is it because he was the 2009 ACC Defensive Player of the Year?

 

Maybe it was because he was named first-team All ACC?

 

Or possibly because he was also an AP All-American?

 

How about all of the above.

 

Derrick Morgan was rated the number one defensive end by cbssports.com and when he fell all the way to 16, it was a perfect fit, considering he fits exactly what Tennessee needs.

 

With the loss of defensive ends Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse, Tennessee signed Jason Babin from the Eagles.

 

Babin has talent, but he is not a significant replacement. Tennessee needed something special, and that’s exactly what they got in Morgan.

 

In 2009, Derrick Morgan recorded 12 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Yellow Jackets.

 

If someone absolutely wanted to play devil’s advocate, they could say Morgan didn’t play against the best teams in college, so how could he be the best defensive end in the draft?

 

Sure, the ACC isn’t the SEC or the Big 12 or even the PAC 10.

 

His biggest competition was probably Virginia Tech or Clemson, but he is still one of the reasons Georgia Tech won the ACC Championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl against Iowa.

 

Derrick Morgan, in my opinion, is the best pass rusher in the draft considering Tennessee was ranked 31st in pass defense last season, Morgan will come in and immediately improve that ranking.

 

He will not be able to do it alone though.

 

I expect Tennessee to build around Morgan and draft a linebacker, cornerback, and possibly even a defensive tackle somewhere between Friday and Sunday.

 

No matter how they draft, I have learned to understand there is always a meaning to the madness in Tennessee’s draft war room, and whoever they select will help the Titans be successful.

 

With Jim Washburn as a defensive line coach, the man who made Haynesworth, Kearse, and Vanden Bosch, Morgan has a very bright future.

 

The New York Giants gave Tennessee a sense of déjà vu though when they selected possible Tennessee prospect Jason Pierre-Paul at 15 right before the Titans, much like the way the selected Hakeem Nix right before Tennessee last year forcing the Titans to select Kenny Britt instead.

 

I like to think Britt was the better choice then, and Morgan is the better choice now.

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