Tennessee Titans: 2013 Relative Draft Picks
By Josh Gunnels
Justin Hunter was the highest risk/reward pick in the Titans 2013 draft. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US Presswire
A little while back I wrote a synopsis piece that covered the Tennessee Titans last 10 first round draft picks. The point of the article wasn’t to simply decide how good a career the player had, but rather to analyze the pick in reference to the other players taken around them. I also brought into play the other players at the same position or at positions of need by the team at that time.
We won’t know anything for a few years out, but I figured I would go ahead and set the stage for the Titans draft picks in 2013, and go ahead and see who they could/should be compared to for years to come. For the purpose of this article we’ll stop after 3 rounds, as it becomes nearly impossible to fault an organization for a “miss” that lasted that long.
Round 1 – Chance Warmack
The Titans took Warmack with the 10th pick overall. The other offensive guard, Johnathan Cooper was taken 3 picks earlier, saving the Titans the decision between the two. The Titans took the best player at the position of the greatest need, so there will be little comparisons here. A number of fans wanted DT Star Lotulelei, and if he ends up being the next Albert Haynesworth then there could be an argument for that move.
D.J. Fluker was rumored to be coveted leading up to the draft, because he could play guard immediately and then slide outside to tackle in order to replace the aging David Stewart in the future. If Fluker ends up having a stellar career, and Warmack tanks, then this is the most likely comparison that could be drawn. This however will be a stretch.
Round 2 – Justin Hunter
This is the pick where the most comparisons will be made in the future. Not just because they took a skill position player at a position of lesser need, but because they moved up to do so. The only wide receivers taken before Hunter, were Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, and his University of Tennessee teammate Cordarrelle Patterson. The wide receiver comparisons will come from Robert Woods who the Bills selected with the ninth selection in the second round, as well as Keenan Allen. Allen wasn’t taken until the 3rd round, and I’m not suggesting he was worth a second round pick. Only that the Titans could have waited and still gotten such a high prospect.
The more argumentative point of this pick will come from the players not at Hunter’s position. Tank Carradine was a coveted prospect by many Titans’ fans, and was coincidentally taken by the 49ers with the pick traded to them by the Titans. Not to mention any of the 8 cornerbacks taken between Hunter and Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Most notably Johnthan Banks, Jamar Taylor, Robert Alford and Darius Slay.
Round 3 – Blidi Wreh-Wilson
The only future comparisons that BWW should have would be against the defensive ends the Titans left on the board when he was selected. Damontre Moore and Sam Montgomery were both targeted defensive end prospects that were taken between the Titans’ two third round picks. With an strong need for depth and production at the position, the BWW pick could be held to the production at defensive end.
Round 3 – Zaviar Gooden
With their compensatory selection at the end of the third round, the Titans elected to go with the speedy outside linebacker. Much like Wreh-Wilson, Gooden’s comparison in the future should come form Alex Okafor, the defensive end from Georgia. The need at the position was much stronger, as was the consensus grade on the player at the time. If Gooden can contribute as much as Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown have, the last two Titans linebacker picks, then it won’t matter much.
Obviously only time will tell how many of these players pan out. It is important to remember when looking back on a draft pick however, those that were taken around the player and the options the team had, carefully balanced with their needs at the time.
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