Draft Grader: Tennessee Titans
Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 draft classes has earned a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how the Titans drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
Rusty Smith wasn’t that guy.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Jason McCourty, CB (203rd overall pick in 2009): It’s hard enough to find a quality cornerback in the first round, so the Titans must be thrilled that they’ve found one in the sixth. He’s been good enough that he made it easy for Tennessee to say goodbye to Cortland Finnegan, McCourty has earned a +33.1 grade in 2,906 career defensive snaps.
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Chris Johnson, RB (24th overall pick in 2008): The more he plays, the greater the likelihood that this grade is to going further down. It feels like 2009 was such a long time ago, but it was something special. Johnson remains one of the most explosive players in the league.
Derrick Morgan, DE (16th overall pick in 2010): Quietly had an excellent 2012 season where he showed just how good a player he was a year further removed from a serious injury. Our fourth-ranked defensive end, he had only four sacks but his ridiculous 21 knockdowns highlight how much he hurt quarterbacks.
Alterraun Verner, CB (104th overall pick in 2010): The Titans do have a knack of finding good corners don’t they? His +23.5 grade over three years highlights this as he’s firmly locked down one of the starting spots.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Jason Jones, DT (54th overall pick in 2008): Wasted by the Titans at defensive end in his final year with the team, let’s not forget how disruptive Jones was when he was a defensive tackle. His burst off the snap was too much for most interior linemen to contend with.
William Hayes, DE (103rd overall pick in 2008): It didn’t quite happen for Hayes in 2011 (his last season with the team), but his work as a valuable member of their defensive line rotation over the three years prior makes him well worth the positive grade.
Kenny Britt, WR (30th overall pick in 2009): The sad thing about this is Britt would get a higher grade if he can stay on the field, and out of trouble off the field. Rare talent, if only he could deliver on it.
Javon Ringer, RB (173rd overall pick in 2009): Tennessee didn’t draft Ringer expecting him to rival Chris Johnson, and they haven’t been surprised in that regard. If they weren’t so dependent on Johnson, they’d probably benefit from the work Ringer is able to do in the passing game, an area in which he’s looked handy.
Marc Mariani, WR/ KR (222nd overall pick in 2010): You don’t often expect to get much out of your seventh-round pick, so the excellent rookie returning from Mariani was a real bonus for Tennessee. He was our top overall kick/ punt returner in 2010.
0.0: It could have been worse
Lavelle Hawkins, WR (126th overall pick in 2008): Until 2011 Hawkins had seen limited action in each year of his NFL career, before injuries helped him to a career high 560 snaps. While capable of doing something after the catch (13 forced missed tackles), Hawkins might finally be seeing his his time run out here.
Stanford Keglar, LB (134th overall pick in 2008): Just 45 snaps on defense and 13 special teams tackles as the fourth-rounder failed to catch on.
Cary Williams, CB (229th overall pick in 2008): The seventh-rounder may have become a starter in Baltimore, but he managed just 48 snaps for the Titans.
Jared Cook, TE (89th overall pick in 2009): Was never really utilized the way someone of his size and athleticism should be. If you don’t believe me look at the bidding war for his services that erupted when he hit free agency.
Gerald McRath, LB (130th overall pick in 2009): Got his chance to start in 2010, and while he didn’t let himself down, a lack of impact plays meant he struggled to get on the field a year later. Not a million miles away from being a good pick, but his demotion prevents that.
Dominique Edison, WR (206th overall pick in 2009): A rookie preseason star, Edison got on the field for two plays and spent some time on the practice squad before the Titans moved on.
Ryan Durand, G (239th overall pick in 2009): The former seventh-rounder got on the field for seven snaps before being waived during the 2010 season.
Nick Schommer, S (242nd overall pick in 2009): Waived once and for all before the start of the 2011 season, Schommer came close to cracking the starting lineup a couple of times, but in the end had to settle for five snaps on defense and three special teams tackles.
Damian Williams, WR (77th overall pick in 2010): There were some moments from Williams to get you excited, but not enough for you to be convinced he’ll be a star. Still with the team but not threatening to earn a bigger role.
Robert Johnson, S (148th overall pick in 2010): The former fifth-round pick got on the field for special teams in 2011 after spending his rookie year on the practice squad, and followed it up with 280 defensive snaps in 2012. A crowded group of safeties may limit his chance to improve on that.
Rusty Smith, QB (176th overall pick in 2010): You’ll excuse the pun, but the former sixth-round pick looked extremely rusty when he saw the field as a rookie. Tennessee appears to hope he can be a long-term backup.
Myron Rolle, S (207th overall pick in 2010): The Rhodes Scholar may want to rely on his smarts over his physical abilities. Spent a year on the practice squad before being waived.
David Howard, DT (241st overall pick in 2010): Waived before the start of his rookie year, Howard was a flier that didn’t even make the practice squad.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Craig Stevens, TE (85th overall pick in 2008): While Stevens was expected to be something of an impressive run blocker, that has never really materialized. With a lack of contribution as a receiver this is something of a disappointment.
Sen’Derrick Marks, DT (62nd overall pick in 2009): Was better in 2009, but let’s be honest he’s never delivered like a second-round pick should. Too easily handled in the run game, his moments of magic are all too rare.
Troy Kropog, T (135th overall pick in 2009): The former fourth-round pick never got on the field on offense and was cut after two years.
Rennie Curran, LB (97th overall pick in 2010): The third-round player was waived a year after being drafted and has just four special teams tackles to his name as a Titan.
-1.0: What a waste!
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Or here …
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
No Russell/ Leaf hybrids in this draft.
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