A small review of the Titans 2010 Draft Class after just one season.
The Titans went defense with their 2010 first round draft pick, taking DE Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech. Other notables the Titans drafted: CB AlterraunVerner and return ace/WR Marc Mariani (pictured). The Titans also selected the much talked about S Myron Rolle of Florida State, the Rhodes Scholar. Rolle would go on to the practice squad.
Mariani would go on to make the 2010 Pro Bowl as a rookie in the return game. You will have a hard time matching value and need better than the Titans did with this 7th round pick.
Verner would start 2 pre-season games and 12 regular season games. In the regular season, Verner totalled 101 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 3 interceptions. He became a much-heralded pick that should have gone higher than the 4th round. ESPN’s Chris Berman even nicknamed him After-Verner, a play on the term afterburner due to Verners speed in the open field.
Morgan was put on injured reserve in October. His effectiveness could not be adequately judged. He might as well be considered an extra 2011 first rounder. It should be noted that he did have 1.5 sacks before he went down. A step above other defensive ends taken in the first round in the afc south….(Jags DE Derrick Harvey anyone?).
QB Rusty Smith, of the Florida Atlantic, was taken in the 6th round and thrust into action during the 2010 season. He was woefully underprepared to fill in the absence left by injuries to both Vince Young and Kerry Collins. Luckily for Titans fans, Collins managed to come back just in time to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith, before bowing out to Collins, managed to throw up 4 INTs and 0 TDs on his way to 200 yards through 2 games. He only started 1 game, a 20-0 loss to the Houston Texas who had been playing awful at the time. Smith averaged 4.5 yards per attempt. That is pedestrian on a good day.
The 1-year of review certainly adds perspective but it is still too early to make a call on many of these picks, such as 3rd round pick at WR-Damien Williams, USC and also in the third round, LB-Rennie Curran from Georgia. With the Titans needing a new LB corps and only getting 1 sure-fire starter in the 2011 draft (Akeem Ayers, UCLA). Curran may continue to develop and possibly be a long-term starter along with 2009 4th rounder Gerald McRath, out of Southern Mississippi.
As far as Williams, he finished the 2010 season with 16 receptions for 219 yards. I can’t blame him, the QB situation was in constant flux and WR’s generally don’t impact the games for a few years unless they are one of the “All-Earth” selections in the top-20.
I hope you enjoyed the review and let me know your thoughts on the class.