Now that the draft is officially over we can kick back, take a look at what we needed going in to the draft, take a look at what we got, and then spend the next four months bitching about whether or not the new players will help us. That’s what being a true Titan’s fan is all about, right? I think it was obvious to all that with Kyle Vanden Bosch’s preference for dollars over victories leading him to Detroit that we were going to need help at the defensive end position. The other positions I had identified as needs included receiver, linebacker, and in the secondary. Let’s see how we did:
ROUND 1 PICK 16 (16) – DERRICK MORGAN DE Georgia Tech
The first round of the draft could not have been any more perfect for us. Jeff Fisher must have felt like it was Christmas morning when he saw Morgan sliding down the board. With Jevon Kearse and Vanden Bosch gone, Morgan should be able to step right into a starting position and make an immediate impact. Fisher and defensive line coach Jeff Washburn know how to develop successful defensive linemen and Morgan is a star in the making.
Williams is a big-play receiver who should provide depth this year alongside Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, and Justin Gage. Williams was also a major threat returning punts in college and could see action with the Titans this year returning punts.
ROUND 3 PICK 33 (97) – RENNIE CURRAN LB GEORGIA
The knock on Curran has always been that he is undersized at 5’11” and 235lbs. The Titans are betting that his intensity will help him overcome his potential physical limitations. Curran has fantastic awareness and is very instinctive when he plays. You can’t teach that folks, I think Curran is a terrific selection and will see significant time on the field this year.
ROUND 4 PICK 6 (104) – ALTERRAUN VERNER CB UCLA
The Titans traded away running back LenDale White and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson to acquire this pick so I expect fans to be watching Verner with extra interest this year. Verner is an incredible athlete and should see playing time in nickel and dime formations at the very least. He can be a ball-hawk at times but will have to improve his tackling ability to be a regular NFL corner
ROUND 5 PICK 17 (148) – ROBERT JOHNSON DB UTAH
Am I the only one having a hard time getting excited about drafting a player from Utah? Johnson is four inches taller and 10 pounds heavier than Verner and he will need every bit of it as he is not the athlete that Verner is. Johnson will also compete for nickel and dime formation duty.
ROUND 6 PICK 7 (176) – RUSTY SMITH QB FLORIDA ATLANTIC
If I wasn’t excited about a player from Utah then you can guess what I am thinking about Florida Atlantic. I actually love this pick. Smith will have all the time in the world to learn and develop behind Vince Young and Kerry Collins. Quarterbacks who get drafted and have no immediate pressure to perform are a good thing to have on your bench.
ROUND 6 PICK 38 (207) – MYRON ROLLE SS FLORIDA STATE
This was the smartest pick the Titans made. No, seriously, Rolle was a Rhodes scholar at Florida State and wants to become a neurosurgeon after his NFL career is over, he is the smartest of all of our picks! Rolle graduated from FSU in 2.5 years and spent 2009 studying abroad at Oxford. Rolle maintained a rigorous workout routine while away from the game but will have some work to do to makeup for lost time. I think he will find his way, he seems like a smart kid.
ROUND 7 PICK 15 (222) – MARC MARIANI WR MONTANA
Mariani has his work cut out for him. Playing at Montana will not have prepared him to face NFL caliber defensive backs. He may see some work on special teams but anything past that is a stretch.
ROUND 7 PICK 34 (241) – DAVID HOWARD DT BROWN
In an effort to make sure Rolle has somebody smart to talk to during training camp and road trips and things like that, the Titans turned toward the Ivy League and selected Howard. Washburn has a knack for producing quality defensive linemen and Howard is all upside.
I think this was a fantastic draft for the Titans. We got a top 10 player in Derrick Morgan at pick number 16 and he happens to play a position we needed help at, what’s better than that? Damian Williams adds receiving depth and big-play ability on special-teams. Rennie Curran will probably play right away at linebacker. Alterraun Verner, Robert Johnson, and Myron Rolle provide plenty of depth in the secondary which is much needed. If we can start 2010 playing like we did and the end of 2009 its going to be a fantastic year!