Dec 4, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Chris Hawkins (35) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Do the Tennessee Titans Really Need to Add a CB?


The Tennessee Titans have been associated with CB’s in quite a few mock drafts. Some have them taking a CB with their first round pick while others have them picking up one later in the draft. My question is, do the Titans really need to add a CB?

I think people are forgetting the depth that we already have at that position. Even with the loss of Corland Finnegan, the Titans would have Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Ryan Mouton, Chris Hawkins, and Tommie Campbell. That’s five. Verner and McCourty would obviously be the starting corners and I think Mouton and Hawkins could battle it out for the third spot and perhaps be in a rotation with each other and Campbell.

Hawkins is a young guy who showed his worth this last year in a game against the New Orleans Saints in which he started in the place of an injured McCourty. Hawkins didn’t blow the socks of anyone but he was able to hold his ground against one of the most potent passing offenses in the league lead by Drew Brees, who broke Dan Marino’s single season passing record during the 2011 season.

Mouton hasn’t ever impressed me, though I can’t say I don’t have a little bias from left over anger over watching him botch punt returns his rookie season. He’s still a young guy who could mature into a player that could be of some rotational value to the Titans.

Campbell obviously is the most exciting of the lower three cornerbacks. He may very well be the fastest Titan on the roster and showed it during a trick kick return that he took to the house during the 2011 season. Though Campbell has some learning and maturing to do, he has the potential to be a star in this league.

With that kind of depth at the position, I think picks could be spent at positions of greater need, such as DE, S, and OLB. It’s starting to look like the Titans will lose a couple DE’s due to free agency and adding a fresh young batch of young guys certainly couldn’t hurt. Witherspoon’s clock is also ticking and the Titans could look for a replacement for him later in the draft, someone they can groom behind him for a year. There’s also the obvious lack of depth at the safety position which will have to be addressed.

So I ask again, do the Titans really need to spend a pick on a CB in the upcoming draft? I don’t think so.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Alterraun Verner Chris Hawkins Cortland Finnegan Dan Marino Drew Brees Featured Jason McCourty Popular Ryan Mouton Tennessee Titans Tommie Campbell Will Witherspoon

  • albertogonzalez

    I really like this one, you are right. If Finnegan leaves, the corner position is safe. Let’s say we would have just above average corners in the league. If Titans decide to stick with those 5 corners, that means more money for new free agents. I like the approach.

  • seagle1

    I could easily see the Titans taking a CB and I could see needing a CB. They have 5 now, lose Finnegan to free agency and you absolutely have to replace him some how some way. There are not too many team in the league that roll into a season with 4 CBs on the roster. I don’t see them taking one with their first pick but I can see them taking one in rounds 4-7. They seem to take a CB eery year, why stop now.

  • albertogonzalez

     @seagle1  McCourty, Verner, Campbell, Hawkins and Mouton. But you have a point. Some low profile CB or late round CB may be brought to generate some competition. That willl definitely happen.

  • seagle1

    Ahh yes, my bad….guess I wasn’t thinking of Mouton. Really don’t think I should be either, coming off an achilles injury and he wasn’t even that good before the injury and now he may slide into the 3rd CB job or nickel job. I just think we need more experience there. A more affordable veteran.

  • TitanBlueGoVols

    Yep its definately time bring in a shutdown corner. Don’t know if there one is this draft. Would love to trade this years or second years second round pick for Namdi Asomah from the Eagles don’t think h
    e really fits there.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @albertogonzalez Thanks. I just think McCourty and Verner need to be given the reins if Finnegan disappears. They’re both young up and comers. Lets see what we’ve got.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @TitanBlueGoVols So you don’t think McCourty or Verner can develop into that type of corner? I’d stay as far away from Asomah as I could. Overrated.

  • seagle1

    It seems like a forgone conclusion that Finnegan will leave. But I really have a hard time believing that Hawkins, who was basically a practice squad player the last two years, and Campbell a guy who had a kickoff return for a TD and really nothing else last season, can take over for Finnegan, a former all pro, who was basically a starting CB with how much the Titans played nickel last year.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @seagle1 Hawkins had a bit of playing time while McCourty was out with his injury and Hawkins stood his ground against the like of the Saints. 
     
    As for Campbell, he is obviously a project, but to totally wipe him off the board and not pay attention is somewhat naive. Especially when he’ll actually have training camp this year in which he could grow a lot and show improvement. He’s a fast guy who was one of the top recruits out of high school before his poor choices got him kicked out of Pittsburgh. 
     
    Players are too easily written off now a days with how many rookies start their first year. 

  • seagle1

     @jstitansized Hawkins was also one of the top recruits coming out of high school, and he started two years at LSU. That landed him on the practice squad for the Jags, Ravens, and then the Titans for the last month of the season. I’m not writing him off at all but if your two starters are Verner and McCourty and then you lose Finnegan, a former all pro to free agency and you replace him with Hawkins and Campbell……..that is a huge drop off in talent and experience.
     
    As for Campbell, I didn’t totally wipe him off the board and not pay attention. I actually think its a bit naive to think that just because he is big and fast and was a former top recruit that he can basically line up and play as a starting CB.
     
    With that said, do both of these players intrigue me…most definitely. Do they seem ready to take the reins when Finnegan leaves….not at all. I think the best option is to find a vet that will sign a 2 year deal making 2-4 mil annually and can be our nickel back.

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @seagle1 I don’t count being 3rd on the depth chart /or in a rotation with that position as starting really. Either way, going out and getting a “veteran” seems like a waste of money, IMO. No veteran we’re going to bring in is going to be on Finnegan’s level of play. Why not give some young guys a chance out there?
     
    Using practice squad as a scape goat for why a player shouldn’t be starting isn’t viable. There are plenty of players who’ve come out of nowhere to be starts such as Giants salsa dancing receiver or laurent robinson who took years to be impact players.
     
    How about a player more familiar to the Titans? Chris Carr? Went undrafted. Didn’t really record any playing time with the Raiders or Titans. Made it to the Ravens and ended up playing due to injuries and recorded 2 interceptions and 44 tackles with good play. 
     
    I understand where you’re coming from, but any vet we bring in for cheap to replace Finnegan is gonna be a huge drop off in play. Why not see what we’ve got in the young guys on the roster?

  • seagle1

     @jstitansized Well you may not count being 3rd on the depth chart a starting position but when you play 50% of the time or a little more as Cortland Finnegan did last year then it is pretty much considered a starting position. He was considered the best blitzer the titans had, an asset in the run game and could hold his own in coverage and was considered so valuable as the 3rd db in those situations that Jerry Gray purposely put him there to take advantage of his skill set. Now when free agency begins he’ll be one of the most sought after CBs in the league and they won’t be paying him to sit on the bench so I would consider him a starter. Have you looked at the veterab DBs available? There are more than a few that would be less expensive than Cortland, probably would not be as good but would still be an upgrade over Campbell and Hawkins so IMO…..that doesn’t seem like a waste of money at all. Why not give a young guy a chance who might not be quite ready but has the potential to maybe one day be pretty good? Well, when playing DBs too early in their career, you run the risk of ruining their confidence if they don’t grasp what you’re doing and a player playing with no confidence can simply disappear and be out of football in a matter of months(see numerous CBs that we’ve had that were highly thought of and did nothing Andre Woolfolk, Rich Gardner, Tony Beckham) and the list goes on and on. Another reason to not play a young guy if he’s not ready is that the Titans finished one game out of the playoffs last year and if you play a guy who’s not ready then that player could easily help account for 2-3 losses.
     
    There are many players like Victor Cruz, the salsa guy that have come out of nowhere….that happens in a sport that has 53 players on a game day roster and a practice squad of 12 players. Not to mention guys that are on the street who were never drafted. Laurent Robinson was a third round pick by the Falcons in 2007 so comparing him and Cruz is apples and oranges to me. Robinson always had the potential he was just injury prone.
     
    How about Chris Carr, he left via free agency because the Ravens offered to let him play DB, which the Titans were not open to doing. The guy has had 4 ints in 3 years and none this past year when he played only 9 games. Come on, I could average 2 picks a season with the Ravens D. They blitz constantly, consistently put pressure on QBs, they are always ranked in the top 5 in the league, and they know how to force turnovers. 
     
    I see your points as well, I just believe that the Titans can find a vet that won’t be a huge dropoff in play and they won’t have to break the bank to get( Terrel Thomas, Richard Marshall, Jason Allen, Tracy Porter) to name a few. I also would love to see Campbell and Hawkins flourish with the Titans but the odds that a practice player and a 7th round draft pick both make a positive impact playing the same position on the same team have to be astronomical.

  • seagle1

    Add to it the fact that the Titans have taken at least one DB in every draft for the past 20 years and I would almost be shocked if they didn’t draft a CB this year.
     

  • http://www.justinlstewart.com/ jstitansized

     @seagle1  http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/34697/cortland-finnegans-explanation 

  • seagle1

     @jstitansized Well that seemed pretty run of the mill. I though we knew why they didn’t want him….it was always about the money. We also knew who the next in line was because we know the roster. Good luck Ryan Mouton!!!
     
    I totally agree with the move though….you just can’t pay him the money he wants and will probably get elsewhere.