People have already or are still releasing their 2014 NFL Draft grades. The Tennessee Titans have received a mixed response for a draft week that was headlined with first-round pick offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. Not everyone agreed with the thought process behind this selection. Why wouldn’t a team use a borderline top-10 pick on a surefire Week 1 starter or at least someone who’s 100-percent guaranteed to start when October rolls around?
It’s like drafting Lewan instead of Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater means an automatic ‘D.’ It’s funny because if Lewan is a good player after three seasons, then most experts won’t consider or even remember their previous beefs. They’d do their three-years-later draft grades, giving him a grade based on player quality and possibly other guys who were taken around No. 11 who had better/worse early careers.
I’m not the person who produces draft grades on players who’ve never taken a snap. My preference comes with waiting at least three seasons. As you’ll witness from my grading of the Titans’ 2011 NFL Draft, even three seasons isn’t always enough. The Titans still have multiple players who could blossom into quality role players or starters. Some players were under-utilized in the previous coaching regime. Others can’t stay healthy.
Below is a list of the Titans’ 2011 NFL Draft class:
Round 1, Pick 8: Jake Locker
Round 2, Pick 39: Akeem Ayers
Round 3, Pick 77: Jurrell Casey
Round 4, Pick 109: Colin McCarthy
Round 4, Pick 130: Jamie Harper
Round 5, Pick 142: Karl Klug
Round 6, Pick 175: Byron Stingily
Round 7, Pick 212: Zach Clayton
Round 7, Pick 251: Tommie Campbell
Difficult class to grade. Locker can’t stay healthy. Ayers was progressing upward before 2013 linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio got a hold of him. McCarthy can’t stay healthy. Klug has performed when given opportunities. A few other players remain on the roster.
Entering 2014 training camp, only Casey has evolved into a franchise cornerstone player. Yet, there are at least 3-4 other players who, with more consistency and better health, could develop into long-term fixtures. Seven of nine players remain on this team heading into their fourth seasons.
Over the next two weeks, Titan Sized will take a look at each of the draft selections. I’ll look at what each player has done with this team or elsewhere. I’ll give a grade for how each player has performed after three seasons. Because of the uncertainty that’s attached to some players, I’ll include a ‘potential’ rating for a couple players who could make significant strides in possibly their last chance this upcoming season (2014-15).
SOURCE: Football Database