Could the Titans be eyeing Stanford's RB Stepfan Taylor? Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans Preparing to Bring On A Power Back?


The Tennessee Titans are planning on making the playoffs in the 2013 NFL season. There is no hoping. They’re penciling their name in there. That being said, they’ve got some positions to fill and some more production to get out of some of their positions.

One thing the Titans have been missing since they let RB LenDale White is a bruiser, short-yardage back. RB Javon Ringer is set to be a free agent and while he’s a decent back, the Titans don’t have much use for him. That means the Titans will have an opening in their depth chart for Chris Johnson’s backup. Jamie Harper hasn’t learned how to be a power back and likely never will.

The Titans need to get someone who knows how to lean forward, pump those legs, and pick up the few yards they need for the first down or to beak into the end zone. Stanford’s RB Stepfan Taylor looks like he’s just the guy for the job.

Stepfan comes in at 5’11, 215 lbs.

Here’s what NFL.com’s draft profile says about him:

Strengths

Presents a thick overall build and good forward lean, making him a tough north-south runner to stop with an arm tackle. Running hard is never an issue, as defensive backs often find when trying to wrap him up. Flashes good quickness to offset before getting his body moving forward to receive the handoff, as well as enough burst to hit an open hole in a hurry. Possesses the vision and just enough speed to take advantage of an opening off-tackle if the inside gap is filled. Adjusts well to throws with his back to the quarterback and possesses the quickness and bullish running/stiff arm to beat defenders on the outside. Also displays good technique and skill in pass protection.

Weaknesses

Average long speed won’t allow him to be a breakaway threat at the next level. Not quick enough to takes plays to the sideline or cut inside an oncoming defender once outside the tackles. Dances a bit inside when anticipating contact, too, throwing himself off-balance. Doesn’t show tremendous explosiveness while still behind the line of scrimmage. Fails to consistently keep his legs moving upon contact with lineman and linebackers.

The Titans need a north-south runner. Why not take a shot with Taylor if he’s still on the board in the 3rd? CJ needs a change of pace back to be paired with. It’ll give Johnson a longer career and help him have less of these games where the Titans are boom or bust in the run department. He seems like a hard to miss prospect and giving the Titans a more consistent run game can only help QB Jake Locker.

Plus, imagine how this guy below would pair with CJ. We’d have to think of a new nickname for the duo that would resemble Smash and Dash.

What’s your opinion? Do the Titans need to add a bigger back to help Johnson carry the load?

 

You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Tennessee Titans

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.keiper Justin Keiper

    Taylor is definitely the back the Titans need. An all around back the can put his head down and pick up the first down.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Right? CJ needs someone to spell him and the Titans need a hard hitting back that can run north-south instead of always having to send the backs out wide. With the soon to be revamped O-line and Taylor, the running game could be right back on track.

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.keiper Justin Keiper

    I wish though that LenDale would have realized he wasn’t a feature back and would have just stayed. They were an awesome RB package.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Meh. The Titans let him go at the perfect time. Guy isn’t even in the league anymore. Got busted for performance enhancing drugs and hasn’t played since 2010 when he was busted.

  • Matt Ward

    Good article… I am just getting started looking at the lesser known RBs in this draft class. You make a compelling case for a guy like Taylor. As long as the Titans go after some OL help early, a hard-nosed runner like Taylor makes sense to help CJ get to his full potential. If the RFA tender isn’t too high, Chris Ivory might also make sense…

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Thanks Matt! There’s probably a few guys who’d fit the bill. The Titans just need that hard hitter they lost when White left. That first year for CJ, White recorded 773 yards and 15 TD’s while CJ recorded 1,228 yards and 9 TD’s. We need more production like that from our run game.