The Tennessee Titans offensive line has been quite the topic over the last couple years. The Titans have had a couple of players that have been staples, so to speak, that are unfortunately on the “outside” looking forward.
Those two players are RT David Stewart and LT Michael Roos.
Stewart was drafted by the Titans in 2005 and is one of the few players that have been with the team through all the quarterback transitions from Steve McNair to Vince Young to Kerry Collins to Matt Hasselbeck to Jake Locker. He has been a staple not only for the offensive line but the franchise as a whole. At 6’7 and 315 lbs the nickname “Big Country” comes as no surprise.
He has definitely put in his time as a Titan but as we know all good things must eventually come to an end.
Stewart was known for being an extremely dependable and durable player for the majority of his career, but over the last couple seasons his age and all of the grueling playing time is finally start to catch up to him. In the last two NFL seasons he has missed four games from each of them.
Roos, on the other hand, has been a healthy and reliable go to guy on the offensive line. He is 31 years old and in his nine NFL seasons has only missed one game. He has started every game since he was drafted by the franchise in 2005 as well.
Durability is not the question when it comes to Roos, it’s the fact he is a sub-par run blocker. Roos is very similar in stature to his teammate Stewart also standing at 6’7 and two pounds lighter at 313 lbs. Roos has proved to be a sensational pass blocker in his tenure with the Titans but 2014 is the final year of his contract.
The question is will the Titans enter 2014 relying on him knowing that he is somewhat of a liability in the ground game, or will the Titans want to sign him to a deal after the 2014-15 season?
Here is where draft prospects Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan, and Jake Matthews enter the mix.
The three above mentioned draft prospects are all sure fire first round candidates. These young men are all talented in their own right and have their own special abilities, but any of the three could potentially be a Tennessee Titan come draft day in May.
The most intriguing prospect is Jake Matthews.
You can’t talk about Jake Matthews without bringing up his hall of fame father Bruce Matthews who had a storied career with the Houston Oilers and then Tennessee Titans. Up until a couple months ago before the Titans “relieved” Bruce of his duties, he could’ve potentially been coaching his son for the same organization that he had an amazing career with. While that won’t be happening in its’ entirety, son Jake could still end up in Titan blue as he would be a great player to replace Stewart.
Matthews enters the 2014 NFL draft as a product of Texas A&M and best known for making critical blocks in protecting the potential No. 1 overall draft pick, QB Johnny Manziel.
Matthews has long, strong arms and has initial quickness that can give him the upper hand when engaged against an opponent. Matthews is also a sensational run blocker which is something that Titans could use moving forward. If the Titans retain RB Chris Johnson I can already vision CJ following behind Matthews to create a hole and get to the outside. He is very good when it comes to driving opposing defensive ends off the edge, which would cater to a run style that CJ seeks.
He doesn’t have great foot work and foot speed, but that is something that can be worked at during summer camp.
Matthews will probably be off the board by time the Titans are on the clock, but if the Titans are even “thinking” about drafting an OT in this year’s draft, you better believe that if Matthews is on the board he will probably be selected.