Tennessee Titans, A Decade In Review : A Closer Look At The First Round Picks

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Dec 30, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

2011 – Jake Locker

Jake Locker.  Okay, this could be about 15 articles worth of material, but I will try and be brief.  The Titans quarterback is entering his third season with only 11 starts under his belt.  As far as drafting is concerned, this was the “year of the quarterback” after the lockout.  We all know Gabbert and Ponder went shortly after Locker, along with Dalton and Kaepernick going in the early second.

The Titans were starting a new regime under head coach Mike Munchak and new regimes often make their mark by starting fresh with a new signal caller.  The Titans have to be given credit on two things here though:

1) They didn’t take Gabbert.  Gabbert was widely considered the second best prospect behind Cam Newton.  The Titans skipped over Gabbert to take Locker, leaving the Jaguars to panick, trade up, and snag Gabbert.  Even the most ardent Locker detractors wouldn’t want Blaine Gabbert.

2) A new QB was a necessary evil of time and place.  They took “their guy” with the first pick, but weren’t under any delusions that he would start immediately.   Say what you will about rookie QBs having to start right out of the gate, but there is a laundry list of very good ones that didn’t.

The Jake Locker pick seems to be an answer or backlash against a series of picks that have marred the Titans franchise and cost the team years of stability.  For all his faults, Locker is a leader, hard working, and puts the team first.  After having two straight top 10 picks that had all the talent in the world, but didn’t have the correct mental makeup, the Titans may have overcompensated on this one.  All the intangibles are there, it’s just a matter of whether or not he has the ability.  I think so, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Locker could be the next McNair for the Titans.  He could be the one to galvanize a young team and have the talent to ead them forward.  Only time will tell, but it’s running out.

Grade: B-   *(with only 11 starts his should just be an I for incomplete, but I felt I had to give a grade)