May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Taylor Lewan (Michigan) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number eleven overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans: Mixed Feelings For Taylor Lewan


It’s been nearly a week since the Tennessee Titans drafted Michigan tackle, Taylor Lewan, in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Every hour, my opinion of the selection seems to change. At first, I was indifferent. Then, I hated it. Finally, I loved it – only to hate it again by the end of the day. It’s been stressful – and I haven’t left my basement since. That was an exaggeration meant only to show you the true hair-pulling nature of how I feel….and I do apologize for deceiving you.

This article is a glimpse into a maddeningly indecisive mind, and hopefully, if you feel like I do, I can provide some comfort to your discord. Basically, if you’re mixed up, rest easy. You’re not alone.

I’m mixed up, too. When I say I was initially indifferent to the pick, here’s what I mean: the Titans didn’t draft to fill an immediate position of need, but they did take a player who’s considered one of the best at his position. So, it wasn’t a knockout choice, but then again, it was far from a dud.

As for the “same ol’ Titans” sentiment, well, I understand why you want to say that….but it’s incorrect and unfair to Ken Whisenhunt and Ruston Webster.

It’s The Whizzer’s first year in Nashville! By “same ol’ Titans,” you really mean they didn’t draft the player that YOU thought they should have. This Titans regime is unlike any we’ve seen before – and that’s a good thing.

Were any of you clamoring for the Titans to draft Jurrell Casey, Alterraun Verner, or Kendall Wright? That turned out pretty well, didn’t it? What about in 2009, when you finally thought the Titans had seen the light and drafted their No. 1 receiver of the future, Kenny Britt?

How has that panned out? Yikes. For some, we will always be the team that drafted Albert Haynesworth, Pacman Jones, and Vince Young.

I trust Ruston Webster – and will continue to trust him until he’s shown me a reason to think he’s incompetent.

Personally, I was rooting for Eric Ebron, Anthony Barr, or Justin Gilbert to slide down to #11, but it didn’t happen. In fact, those 3 were selected in succession at 8-10. I had no idea what was going to happen.

Genuinely – I recorded a draft reaction podcast, and as everything unfolded, I had no idea what to say!

So, when Lewan was brought out on stage, I just said “meh.” Then, I started thinking about the Taylor Lewan character issues: the assault charges and the scandalous accusations made about him. I began questioning the pick.

Why would they draft the only player with pending aggravated assault and assault and battery charges? He doesn’t even play a position of need!

They spent a first round pick on a kid that won’t even have an impact in 2014! How does Taylor Lewan help put this franchise over the top?

He doesn’t! He won’t! He can’t!

On top of all else, Kyle Fuller and C.J. Mosley were still available….both players that would’ve been useful right away. What has this organization done?!?!

After dwelling on the negative questions swirling in my head, I asked myself “okay Stoney – so what are the positives of this ordeal?”

Taylor Lewan is a versatile offensive lineman. Some NFL scouts even suggested he’d be better suited to initially line up on the right side of the offensive line. But, Michael Oher was signed in the offseason to play right tackle! Ah – that’s right. Michael Oher’s reputation has taken quite a hit for poor play.

The Titans structured his contract so that they could get out of it after one year, if need be. Yeah – that bad. Okay – so Lewan can cover right tackle this season if needed? Great!

Also, in case you haven’t heard, Michael Roos is entering what is likely his last season in Nashville. Now, there’s an heir to the left tackle spot….a pretty good heir at that.

So, at the very least, Lewan provides quality, versatile depth to an offensive line that has been less than suspect for the past couple of seasons. Also, with Brian Schwenke and Chance Warmack being drafted in 2013, an incredibly young foundation has been set for a great line to last for the next decade.

Okay – now I love the move.

*sigh*

Here’s where we, as football fans, get carried away.

Taylor Lewan has never played a down of NFL football. We (yes, I’m guilty as well) speak as though he’s the best/worst player the Titans have ever drafted. Whether you think it’s a horrible move or a Super Bowl-winning move, we won’t know anything for at least a year.

Most draft classes take 2-3 seasons to figure out. The reality is that whether we like it or not, one thing is certain: Taylor Lewan is going to be playing on the offensive line for the foreseeable future. Before we bury the guy, let’s let him find his own way on the Titans’ depth chart.

As I write this, I like the pick….but you should check back with me in 2016.

This post comes from Stoney Keeley of The SoBros Network. You can follow the SoBros Network on twitter at @SoBrosNetwork, and read all of Stoney’s work at The Southern Brothers Network

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