As of Feb. 10, 2012, the Titans have contacted former defensive back Stanford Routt’s agent. In addition, rumors are swirling that the Titans have contacted the agent responsible for Jason Jones. Bringing Routt into the fold, and re-signing Jones could seriously affect the Titans draft plans.
Jason Jones: Jason Jones tried his hand at DE and I think we can all say that the experiment didn’t pan out as well as we hoped. He tends to overpressure and struggled holding the edge, however that doesn’t drop his value at DT. Jones is undersized and athletic (smaller than Klug) but he plays with the strength of a 300 lb DT. He can drive blockers back, and he seems more of a mismatch for guards and centers. His value is not as a full time starter (when was the last time the Titans had a DT who was?), but a rotational guy to give Klug a breather. If Smith and Marks don’t get cut, then the DT rotation will be deep and diverse enough to play in any situation.
Stanford Routt: Allow me to introduce the Titans fans to Stanford Routt if you haven’t seen much of his tape. Routt is a 6-1 DB who has spent time as a corner and NB. He is a good press corner who will help defend the slant pattern, and also has the speed to cover slot receivers if we choose to use him that way. If we sign him it will be probably be around half as much as what it would take to re-sign Cortland Finnegan. His downside is that he tends to play very aggressively and will draw some flags. He is a better athlete than pure corner, and his size and speed keep him in some plays even though his recognition and footwork were subpar.
Overall he is a middle-tier guy that would fill a big need for cheap, and under Brett Maxie he may be asked to play SS. That is not to say he should or will, but with Maxie’s experience switching CBs to S a guy with Routt’s athleticism but mediocre recognition might play better as a “thumper”.
How this changes our draft: IF both of these guys are signed (notice the big IF) the Titans will probably elect to pass on defensive backs in the first round. There is still another safety position to fill if we don’t feel that Campbell can crack the starting lineup as (I mentioned in my earlier story on him), but safeties are not premium positions, and quality can be found later in the draft.
Defensive end still needs to be addressed, unless for some reason they think that Jones can come back and have a much better year at DE. I think he is clearly a better DT than a DE, and hopefully the front office sees it that way too. The pick does clear up any speculation that we are going to spend any of our first 5 picks on a DT that isn’t clearly great value. With that I project our picks to go something like this DE, OG, OLB, C, S.
If anyone has an opinion on this article good or bad, or if you want to discuss anything leave a comment. Thanks for reading.