At this point, I almost feel like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are my friends. Between listening to them on radio and reading their stuff, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with them. I may go through withdrawals after this weekend. Today on ESPN radio, Mike Golic gave two incredible details about Kiper. First, he has been doing this for 25 years. 25 years! If I had been doing this 25 years ago, I would be using my ham radio to vent with my Houston Oilers buddies. Second, Kiper doesn’t have any material in front of him during the draft. It’s all memory! He can just ramble on about the TE from Grambling State selected in the 7th round off the top of his head. He’s basically a savant, or like that kid from “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. Either way, pretty impressive stuff.
In my mind, the Titans first round pick needs to be a WR. I have no way to back this up, but I bet Coach Fisher is tired of hearing the excuses for Vince Young. How many times has he heard some version of “When are you going to get some offensive weapons for Vince?” Well, they’ve already acquired a solid veteran TE in Algie Crumpler and an offensive guru in Mike Heimerdinger. The Titans haven’t selected a WR in the first two rounds since 2003, but I think Fisher will break form to shut people up. By picking a high-profile WR, management creates the illusion of “We have the weapons, let’s see if Vince can perform.” This might be naïve, but perception is everything in this Results Now league.
So with the gut feeling that the Titans will take a WR in the 1st, the next question is which one should they take. I think it’s safe to say that Devin Thomas of Michigan State will be gone before the Titans’ pick. I’m fine with that. The kid only has one solid season under his belt. I don’t think he’s proven very much. Most people are making the case for Limas Sweed, a former teammate of Young at Texas. He was on local radio the other day, and seems like a great guy. In the whole scheme of things, I have no idea how to judge WR talent. All I know is what I read, and who I watched in college.
So I’m going to go a different direction and say that the Titans should select Mario Manningham from Michigan. At that point in the draft, I understand that it would be reaching a little bit, but in the end, who really cares. Manningham has been described as a bit of a prima-donna. That’s usually a bad thing, but I think that’s what this offense needs. He’s a playmaker who has a ridiculous ability to catch the deep ball, and we need somebody who can take over a game. Every time I watched Michigan play last season, it seemed like he was easily the best player on the field.
Either way, I would rather buy a Manningham jersey than a number worn by potential DE pick Phillip Merling. That has to count for something, right?