2011 NFL Draft Reviews, Volume 2 (Cardinals, Browns, 49ers, Titans)
By reflecting back on the drafts of all 32 teams, I will look ahead to how each team’s draft class will impact their future, and whether each team maximized their ability to draft well this year. In each draft review, teams will be assessed of how well they drafted both on board value and filling team needs, displaying both how teams made great selections, and where they made big mistakes.
My NFL Draft reviews (three months too late) continue with the teams who originally picked fifth through eighth in the 2011 NFL Draft. Volume Two of Eight consists of the Arizona Cardinals. Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans.
Arizona Cardinals: No. 5 Overall Pick Patrick Peterson Can Contribute Immediately
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Round 4, Pick No. 103: Sam Acho, OLB, Texas (55th overall prospect)
It came as a real surprise that Sam Acho fell to the third day of the Draft, and the Arizona Cardinals got a real steal by getting him at this point in the draft. Acho came off of a great senior season, and is both a talented pass-rusher and very solid against the run.
Additionally, Acho’s character is tremendous, as he was last year’s recipient of the Campbell Trophy, which is given to the college football player who best exemplifies excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Acho is a very good athlete who should be well suited to make the transition to outside linebacker in the Cardinals 3-4 defense.
With his talents combined with his work ethic, I expect him to succeed for the Cardinals, and fill an area of need for the franchise as a draft steal.
Round 6, Pick No. 171: Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina (85th overall prospect)
Off-field troubles and injuries made for a rocky senior season for Quan Sturdivant, which certainly was the rationale behind his drop to the sixth round. However, while Sturdivant has his concerns, he is a tough, physical, run-stopping middle linebacker who the Cardinals got at a bargain rate in the sixth round.
At a need area on the roster, Sturdivant should make a significant contribution.
Round 1, Pick No. 5: Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State (4th overall prospect)
He certainly was overrated by many, but nonetheless, many draft scouts considered Patrick Peterson to be the best overall prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft.
For a cornerback, Peterson has both tremendous size and athletic ability. Peterson does allow opposing receivers to catch the ball, but he is a very sound tackler, and does not give up big plays. Peterson is a tremendous prospect who is ready to contribute as a starting cornerback immediately, and has the potential to develop into a shutdown cornerback.
The Cardinals felt that Peterson was the best player available, and he was certainly among them. He should make a great contribution in the secondary, and potentially also as a punt returner for the Arizona Cardinals, and they should not regret this selection.
Round 5, Pick No. 136: Anthony Sherman, FB, Connecticut (247th overall prospect)
I really do like Anthony Sherman as a player, and I think he will be very successful as a role player in the National Football League, so I would like this selection, except that he should certainly not have been selected above the sixth round, let alone in the first five picks of the fifth round.
Sherman is a very good blocker and special teams player, so he should make the Cardinals roster playing the role of a blocking fullback in short-yardage situations and as a special teams stalwart. I am not sure that the Cardinals should have used a fifth-round pick on him, but if he ends up having a long career for his skill in those areas, this pick could end up being worth it, so while I did not particularly like this pick, I do not necessarily dislike it either.
Round 6, Pick No. 184: David Carter, DE, UCLA (267th overall prospect)
This is another pick by the Arizona Cardinals that was not bad, but a pick that could have been better. David Carter’s best fit as a prospect is as a defensive end in a 3-4 system, so he is a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals.
However, Carter is a very raw prospect, who I thought should have been a seventh-round selection at best. On the other hand, Carter is an athletic talent for his size, and he could end up being a good player and a sixth-round steal. There was also no clear-cut better choice at the position, but the Cardinals did not have a need at defensive end, and could have addressed bigger needs on the offensive line with great value in a player such as Michigan guard Stephen Schilling, Arkansas State offensive tackle Derek Newton or TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick.
Carter’s upside makes him a decent selection in the sixth round, but they definitely could have made a better choice.
Not the Best Pick
Round 7, Pick No. 249: DeMarco Sampson, WR, San Diego State (351st overall prospect)
It is tough to criticize the Arizona Cardinals for using one of the final 10 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft on a very productive collegiate receiver with decent size and hands in San Diego State’s DeMarco Sampson.
However, given Sampson’s lack of athleticism, he will be little more than a possession receiver at the next level, and with other big receivers with much better athleticism and upside still available in LSU’s Terrence Toliver and Auburn’s Darvin Adams, the Cardinals should have left Sampson on the board, even though he is probably good enough to earn a roster spot, which usually makes for a good seventh-round draft choice.
But since Sampson should have gone undrafted in favor of more talented receivers, he was not the best pick here.
“What The…?” Picks
Round 2, Pick No. 38: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech (106th overall prospect)
After a disappointing, injury-plagued season as a redshirt sophomore at Virginia Tech, Ryan Williams should have been selected in the third day of the Draft as the 10th-best running back in the draft class.
Instead, Williams was one of the first picks in Round 2, and the second running back selected in this draft. Certainly, if Williams can return to form from his freshman year, he can be a very good running back, but this pick did not make sense for neither need nor value. Having selected Chris “Beanie” Wells in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, it is too early for the Cardinals to be drafting another running back at such a high point in the draft.
Given their needs on the interior line, the Cardinals could have made a great selection by taking one of the best available players off the board in Florida State guard Rodney Hudson. Instead, they drafted another running back, and not even one of the best backs available.
Round 3, Pick No. 69: Rob Housler, TE, Florida Atlantic (184th overall prospect)
While the Arizona Cardinals seriously needed to add a receiving threat at the tight end position, selecting Rob Housler on Day 2 was a massive reach.
First of all, there were still many better tight end prospects available, including the second- and third-best prospects at the position in this year’s draft, Tennessee’s Luke Stocker and Arkansas’s D.J. Williams. Housler is a great athlete with receiving ability, but he is very raw as a prospect, and while he would have been a very good pick on Day 3 as a developmental prospect, he should not have been selected early in the third round.
For the Cardinals to select Housler at this selection was a complete disregard for value, and the other talent on the board at the position.
The Arizona Cardinals were able to draft one of the top talents of the 2011 NFL Draft in Patrick Peterson with their first-round pick, and got two great bargains for their defense on Day 3 in Sam Acho and Quan Sturdivant. However, Day 2 was a total debacle, as the Cardinals made two major reaches in selecting Ryan Williams and Rob Housler.
The Cardinals filled some of their needs, but completely neglected one of their major areas of need—the offensive line. The Cardinals could have used upgrades at both offensive tackle and on the interior line, but the Cardinals did not draft a single offensive lineman.
Overall, while the Cardinals did find some value in this draft, they often neglected value, and failed to fill a significant area of need, so they grade out with a C-.
Cleveland Browns: Blockbuster Trade, Phil Taylor a Brown, Future Picks Added
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Round 5, Pick No. 150: Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh (76th overall prospect)
The Cleveland Browns traded two sixth-round selections, one of which came as part of the package that also included Peyton Hillis in exchange for Brady Quinn, to move back into the fifth round and select Jason Pinkston. This was a trade well worth making.
Pinkston was a great steal in Round 5, for he would have been worth a Day 2 pick. The Browns were in need of a right tackle, the position which Pinkston is best suited to play in the National Football League. Pinkston does not have great feet, but he is a massive technician who is very strong as a run blocker, and has the versatility to kick inside to guard as well.
Pinkston should be able to fill a void at either right tackle or at guard, and be a big bargain as a fifth-round selection.
Round 1, Pick No. 21: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor (29th overall prospect)
First of all, it must be explained how the Cleveland Browns ended up with the 21st overall selection. Of course, the Browns originally held the sixth overall selection, but in the blockbuster trade of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Browns traded away that pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the 27th, 59th and 124th overall selections, as well as the Falcons’ 2012 first- and fourth-round selections.
Then, the Browns traded the acquired 27th overall selection, along with their own third-round selection (70th overall), to move up to 21st overall in order to select Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
Given the Browns are playing a 4-3 as their base defense, there were better defensive tackle options available in California’s Cameron Jordan and Oregon State’s Stephen Paea, with Taylor being more of a nose tackle. However, the Browns will likely play some sort of hybrid defense, which could make the massive and powerful Taylor a great selection.
Additionally, the fact that the Browns ended up with three extra draft selections, even with the move up six spots following the initial trade down 21 spots, makes it hard to criticize the Browns’ selection at all, although it does not deserve criticism anyways. Taylor may be raw and have had character concerns in his history, but he is massive and strong, and could end up being a force on the Browns interior line, so he was a quality choice that added to the team’s major need area of the defensive line.
Round 4, Pick No. 124: Owen Marecic, FB, Stanford (101st overall prospect)
In the fourth round, a team could not go wrong by selecting Owen Marecic. Marecic may be the most versatile player in the entire 2011 NFL Draft. He was known for being one of few two-way players in all of college football last season, highlighted by one extraordinary sequence in a game against Notre Dame, in which Marecic scored a one-yard rushing touchdown, then 12 seconds later, returned an interception for a touchdown.
While Marecic played both fullback and linebacker at Stanford, his primary position should be fullback for the Cleveland Browns, although his prime value should come on special teams, where he will be a standout. Marecic will not be a star in the National Football League, but his versatility, work ethic and hard-nosed style of play are all aspects that any coach should love, and I see him being a very successful player at the next level. A great fourth-round pickup.
Round 7, Pick No. 248: Eric Hagg, FS, Nebraska (201st overall prospect)
Eric Hagg is another versatile choice by the Cleveland Browns. Hagg can play both cornerback and safety, making him a great depth player in the secondary. He is slow for the cornerback position, and is small for a safety.
However, Hagg is an opportunistic playmaker in the secondary, who is good at both coverage and tackling, and he should at least be able to be a role player in the secondary and a special teams contributor. As one of the last selections in the 2011 NFL Draft, Hagg was a valuable addition.
Not the Best Pick
Round 2, Pick No. 37: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh (86th overall prospect)
The Cleveland Browns desperately needed to add a defensive end, but early in Round 2, there were better choices available than Jabaal Sheard. Sheard is a solid all-around end who is good against the run, but is not a great pass-rusher.
Sheard was a reach as a second-round pick, especially with a potential star talent in Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers still available, even considering the concerns around his injured knee. Given that Sheard fills a need, and many of the top defensive ends were gone, this was not exactly a horrible selection, but it was poor value.
Round 2, Pick No. 59: Greg Little, WR, North Carolina (110th overall prospect)
Prior to last season, I thought Greg Little was a second-round prospect, but after being suspended for his entire senior season after receiving improper benefits, it came as a real surprise that he still went in the second round.
Little is a solid slot receiver, but he does not have the explosiveness to be the big playmaker the Browns need. The Browns had the right idea in drafting a wide receiver here, but should not have passed up two significantly better prospects still on the board in Kentucky’s Randall Cobb and Miami’s Leonard Hankerson.
Round 4, Pick No. 102: Jordan Cameron, TE, USC (297th overall prospect)
With the recent success of basketball players making the transition to tight end, Jordan Cameron is looking to do the same. Cameron has the size and athleticism of a basketball player, making him an attractive tight end prospect, but he only played one year of football at USC, and did not have great productivity.
Cameron is a good developmental prospect who would have been worthy of a late-round selection, but selecting him with one of the first picks of Day 3 was a major reach, especially with two of the draft’s best tight end prospects in Tennessee’s Luke Stocker and Arkansas’s D.J. Williams still available as great bargains.
Cameron does have the upside to become a big-time receiving threat, and could make this pick really pay off, but it was certainly not a great decision by the Browns.
“What the…?” Picks
Round 5, Pick No. 137: Buster Skrine, CB, Chattanooga (305th overall prospect)
While Buster Skrine has tremendous measurable speed, he is an inconsistent player coming from the FCS level, and was a huge reach as a fifth-round selection. While Skrine has good upside as a defensive back, he is a raw talent who should not have been selected ahead of the seventh round.
Utah’s Brandon Burton, who went two picks later, is a much better prospect at the position, and would have been a steal in the fifth round. Instead, the Browns got caught up in the hype of Skrine’s speed, and took a chance on him too early in the 2011 NFL draft. Not a good pick in the fifth round.
The Picks They Traded
Round 7, Pick No. 209: Traded in March 2010 for quarterback Seneca Wallace
Colt McCoy has established himself as the starting quarterback in Cleveland, but Seneca Wallace is a very good backup to McCoy. Giving up only a seventh-rounder for Wallace was a very low price to pay, for the Browns could not have gotten a better backup quarterback with this draft pick.
The Cleveland Browns may have executed the top trade of the 2011 NFL draft when they picked up a plethora of picks from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for their sixth overall selection. The Browns then moved back up from the 27th spot to the 21st spot in order to draft Phil Taylor, who is a big addition to the defensive line.
However, the Browns made poor use of their second-round selections, as they made two reaches on Jabaal Sheard and Greg Little. Jason Pinkston was a great bargain on Day 3, and the Browns found a very versatile player in Owen Marecic earlier on that day, but they also made a couple of massive reaches by selecting Jordan Cameron and Buster Skrine early on Day 3.
While the Browns did make a few great moves, they also made some very puzzling moves. They addressed needs on the defensive line, right tackle and wide receiver, with the linebacker position being the only major need that went completely unaddressed.
Overall, the Browns did a good job of addressing their needs, and made a great trade for stocking up on picks in both this year’s draft as well as next year’s, but due to many poor value selections, the Browns receive a B for this draft.
San Francisco 49ers: Colin Kaepernick Draft's Best QB Value as 36th Overall Pick
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Round 4, Pick No. 115: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State (52nd overall prospect)
By getting Kendall Hunter in Round 4, the San Francisco 49ers came away with a tremendous bargain. Hunter, the fifth-best running back in the 2011 NFL Draft, ended up being the 10th running back selected.
Hunter may not have great size, but he has good quickness, yet also has the toughness to run between the tackles and is also very good at blitz pickup for a back of his size. Joining Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon, Hunter should be a valuable addition to the 49ers’ running back rotation, especially as a Day 3 draft choice.
Round 2, Pick No. 36: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada (36th overall prospect)
In a year where quarterback demand was very high, yet the talent of the quarterback draft class was low, many quarterbacks were very over-drafted in 2011. The San Francisco 49ers managed to come away from it all with the one great value for a quarterback, by trading up to draft Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, the second-best quarterback in the class, at 36th overall, where he became the sixth signal-caller off the board.
After Cam Newton, Kaepernick is the most complete quarterback prospect in the draft class; he is a dual-threat with great athletic ability, but he also passes the ball very well, was very productive in college and has good accuracy. His upside certainly does not match that of Newton, but he has the skills to be a very solid NFL starting quarterback and he was drafted into a very good situation, where he should be able to develop behind Alex Smith at first and be groomed by new head coach and former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh into the 49ers’ next starting quarterback.
Kaepernick is an early second-round value, but considering that many quarterbacks were over-drafted, the 49ers truly got tremendous value on Kaepernick, who will likely end up better than many of the five quarterbacks drafted ahead of him.
Round 6, Pick No. 182: Ronald Johnson, WR, USC (222nd overall prospect)
Adding another wide receiver was a smart move in the later rounds of the draft, and they made a solid choice in the sixth round in Ronald Johnson. Johnson never lived up to his potential at USC, always struggling with inconsistency, but he has the skills to be a solid slot receiver in the National Football League.
There may have been better wide receivers still on the board, but Johnson was not a bad choice at this point.
Round 6, Pick No. 190: Colin Jones, SS, TCU (208th overall prospect)
An unknown to draft scouts prior to his senior year, Colin Jones absolutely exploded onto the scene, first with a very productive senior season for the Horned Frogs, then with a shockingly tremendous pro day, in which Jones put fantastic measurables on display.
Given that, it came as no surprise that Jones was a sixth-round selection, and he was a quality choice by the 49ers. The 49ers needed to add depth at the safety position, and Jones is a solid player who can provide depth and play special teams, while he certainly has athletic potential and upside to be developed into an impact player.
Round 7, Pick No. 211: Bruce Miller, OLB, UCF (172nd overall prospect)
Given his lack of size for the defensive end position, Bruce Miller needed to be drafted into a 3-4 defense where he can play the hybrid outside linebacker position. It is no surprise, given Miller’s underwhelming size and athleticism, that he fell to the seventh round, but the 49ers got a very solid player at good value.
Miller is not a great pass-rusher, but he is a well-rounded player who tackles well, and should be able to contribute on special teams. A very quality selection in the seventh round.
Not the Best Pick
Round 1, Pick No. 7: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri (26th overall prospect)
The San Francisco 49ers desperately needed to add a hybrid pass-rusher, but they should not have used the seventh overall selection on Aldon Smith. Smith lacks the polish to be worth a top-10 selection, and while he has impressive athleticism and high upside, he could also end up as a major bust.
The 49ers would have been better suited by selecting a more polished player with a complete game in Purdue pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan, who could have filled the same role as a 3-4 outside linebacker that Smith will, but will be more ready to contribute immediately and be a much better player against the run than Smith.
Other great options here for their value would have been California defensive end Cameron Jordan for a needed defensive line upgrade, or upgrade at cornerback with the best available player, Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara. Smith could end up being a big-time player for the 49ers and make this pick pay off, but there were definitely better options.
“What The…?” Picks
Round 3, Pick No. 80: Chris Culliver, CB, South Carolina (209th overall prospect)
Among many players who were selected on Day 2 that should not have even been in consideration yet was Chris Culliver. Culliver is a cornerback/safety tweener who battled injuries last season, and while he is a solid defensive back who would have been a good late-round selection, he was a massive reach in the third round.
There were also much better cornerbacks still available in Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa and Louisville’s Johnny Patrick. Selecting Culliver in the third round was a complete disregard for value by the 49ers.
Round 5, Pick No. 163: Daniel Kilgore, G, Appalachian State (not in top 400)
Having traded away their fifth-round pick to move up for Kaepernick, the 49ers traded back up into the fifth round to draft Daniel Kilgore. The problem with this is that Kilgore should not have even been drafted at all.
Kilgore was a productive guard at the FCS level, but there is nothing special about him to make him worth a fifth-round selection, especially with guards such as Michigan’s Stephen Schilling and Arkansas’s DeMarcus Love still available. By trading up, the 49ers completely wasted two selections to draft a player who was not even worth draft consideration in my opinion.
Round 7, Pick No. 239: Mike Person, OT, Montana State (not in top 400)
With Auburn’s Lee Ziemba still available, Mike Person should not have been the choice for the 49ers with this pick. Like Kilgore, Person had a strong career at the FCS level, but should have been an undrafted free-agent signing rather than an actually selected player.
Round 7, Pick No. 250: Curtis Holcomb, CB, Florida A&M (not in top 400)
At least Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person had been in the spreadsheets for my draft rankings, but Curtis Holcomb was not on my radar for the 2011 NFL Draft at all.
While cornerbacks with NFL talent in Kendric Burney and James Dockery went undrafted, a player who would not have even been in my top 600 draft prospects ended up as one of the more puzzling selections of the draft. At least it was in the final five picks of the draft.
The San Francisco 49ers may have made the best move of Day 2 by trading up to the 36th overall selection to get great value on the draft’s second-best quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers also got a great bargain early on Day 3 in Kendall Hunter.
However, Aldon Smith was a reach at the seventh overall pick, and the 49ers completely disregarded value in later rounds with the selections of Chris Culliver and Daniel Kilgore. The 49ers addressed major needs at outside linebacker and quarterback, but did fail to address their other area of major need, the defensive line.
The Kaepernick trade certainly earned the 49ers big points toward their grade, as did the bargain on Hunter, but their many poor selections dropped their grade to a B-.
Tennessee Titans: Risk-Reward with No. 8 Pick Jake Locker, Potential Franchise QB
Jake Locker at NFL Scouting Combine
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Round 2, Pick No. 39: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA (22nd overall prospect)
The Tennessee Titans got good value on Akeem Ayers as a second-round pick. With the pending loss of unrestricted free-agent Stephen Tulloch, the Titans needed to add at the linebacker position and Ayers was one of the best talents on the board at this point.
Ayers never quite lived up to hype during his collegiate career, but he is an athletic, instinctive linebacker who could really develop into an impact player in the Titans 4-3 defense.
Round 4, Pick No. 109: Colin McCarthy, OLB, Miami (116th overall prospect)
Even with the earlier selection of Ayers, Colin McCarthy was a quality selection in the fourth round. McCarthy is unspectacular, but he is a well-rounded linebacker who should succeed as a rotational player and a special teams standout.
He was a solid fourth-round selection, and he should make a positive contribution for the Titans.
Round 5, Pick No. 142: Karl Klug, DE, Iowa (127th overall prospect)
I am not sure that Karl Klug is the best fit for the Titans defense, but I cannot fault them for making this selection in the fifth round. While Klug’s best fit is as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense, Klug is a high-motor player who should find a way to succeed in the Titans defensive line rotation.
Klug played defensive tackle at Iowa, but he is undersized to play the position regularly at the NFL level, although he may be able to play the position in a situational role. As a versatile backup and special teams contributor, Klug should find his way onto the field for the Titans, and he is the type of player that teams should covet in the fifth round.
Round 7, Pick No. 212: Zach Clayton, DT, Auburn (182nd overall prospect)
Understandably, Zach Clayton was overshadowed by Nick Fairley as an Auburn defensive tackle. However, it seemed that throughout the draft process, Clayton never really got the credit he deserved.
Fortunately, one team recognized his abilities, with the Titans selecting him at good value in the seventh round. While Clayton may not be the impact playmaker up front that Fairley is, he is a tough, strong defensive tackle who is good against the run, and even has impressive athletic ability as he put on display at Auburn’s pro day.
Clayton could be a real bargain as a seventh-round selection; this was a good choice by the Titans.
Round 1, Pick No. 8: Jake Locker, QB, Washington (93rd overall prospect)
Questionable is an understatement when a team selects the 93rd overall prospect in the top 10 picks of the draft, but although drafting Jake Locker at eighth overall was a major reach by the Tennessee Titans, it could turn out to be the right selection.
Given that the Titans had a complete void at the quarterback position, they really had to draft a quarterback, and in a year very weak on quarterback talent, any available signal-callers would have been a reach at this point in the draft. Locker has displayed the talent that once had many believing he would end up being the No. 1 overall selection in this draft, but serious problems with accuracy, especially in his senior season at Washington, dropped his value to that of a late second-day selection.
However, Locker has the potential to be a star quarterback if he can solve his accuracy problems, and has tremendous character, work ethic and all the intangibles a team should want in their signal-caller. Therefore, while Locker was a reach at eighth overall, at least he has the highest upside among any of the quarterbacks in this draft not named Cam Newton, which made him worth taking a chance on.
This is a risk that could certainly end up with Locker being a major bust, but because of the potential reward and the team’s desperate need at the position, this is a pick I understand.
Not the Best Pick
Round 3, Pick No. 77: Jurrell Casey, DT, USC (107th overall prospect)
There were better options available at 77th overall than Jurrell Casey. The Titans did not have a real need at defensive tackle, and could have gone with better value to fill a need by selecting Miami wide receiver Leonard Hankerson or Texas defensive end Sam Acho.
But even if the Titans were to select a defensive tackle, there was better talent available at the position in Stanford’s Sione Fua and LSU’s Drake Nevis. Casey is a solid defensive tackle prospect who is an effective gap penetrator, but he was simply not the best value in the middle of the third round.
Round 4, Pick No. 130: Jamie Harper, RB, Clemson (230th overall prospect)
The Titans over-drafted on the selection of Jamie Harper in the fourth round. There is much intrigue about Harper as a prospect: He is a big power back with impressive receiving ability and athleticism for his size.
However, he was never as productive as he should have been in his time at Clemson, and was a reach anywhere above the sixth round, especially in the fourth round. Granted, there were no power backs of good value on the board at this point, so this pick is somewhat understandable from the Titans, but given that it was not a position of real need for the Titans, the Titans should have looked for better value with this pick.
“What The…?” Picks
Round 6, Pick No. 175: Byron Stingily, OT, Louisville (not in top 400)
Byron Stingily had a decent career at Louisville, and is massive in size, but he is a very raw mauler who I am not sure is cut out to be an NFL lineman. Stingily probably should have at least been on my radar as an undrafted free agent, but he certainly should not have been a sixth-round selection.
The Titans should have at least waited until the seventh round, or seen if they could get him as an undrafted free agent, rather than using a sixth-round selection while passing up better offensive tackles still available in Arkansas State’s Derek Newton and Auburn’s Lee Ziemba.
Round 7, Pick No. 251: Tommie Campbell, CB, California[PA] (not in top 400)
This is a guy who I admittedly knew absolutely nothing about prior to the 2011 NFL Draft. With cornerbacks with NFL talent still available in North Carolina’s Kendric Burney and Oregon State’s James Dockery, this was a bad selection, even though it was among the final five picks of the draft.
The Tennessee Titans certainly did not get good value with their first-round pick, which damages their grade, but taking a chance on a potential franchise quarterback was not an awful selection. The Titans did not get any bargains in this draft, but they did get very good value in the second round with Akeem Ayers and good value in Colin McCarthy, Karl Klug and Zach Clayton, all players who should contribute for their defense.
However, the Titans did fail to address some areas of need at defensive end and wide receiver, and did not get very good value with Jurrell Casey and Jamie Harper. The Titans’ draft could end up a strong one down the line if Jake Locker develops into a good starting quarterback, but the lack of value makes this draft worth only a C.