The one thing Tennessee Titans General Manager, Ruston Webster, and Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt haven’t been so good at in the past, is the art of deception. Although they aren’t as “well-schooled’ at misdirection as some of their counterparts, like say, the New England Patriots head man, Bill Belichick, but they’re learning.
After watching both, Webster and Whisenhunt’s press conference on Wednesday at the NFL Combine, I came away scratching my head. I was unsure if the Titans were going to check, bet, or raise on April 30th!
On one hand, Ruston Webster spent a few minutes praising his young quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, then assured all of us that he, and coach Whisenhunt would be interviewing Florida State Quarterback, Jameis Winston, and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota as they do their “due dilligence” during the process.
Zach Mettenberger, who was drafted in the sixth round last year, had six nice starts, where he was able to show off his NFL caliber arm, he was unable to put a “W” on the scorecard.
There were a lot of other reasons why Mettenberger wasn’t able to get a win, but in the NFL, part of the job description for a quarterback is to take the heat for losses.
After dangling the praise on Mettenberger, Webster played the misdirecction card:
"Webster said Wednesday the Titans are being straightforward with Mettenberger and have made no promises or determination about what they will do in the draft. That’s fine, but it requires them to say something less positive about him than they’ve been saying.“I know he is going to be reading a lot of things, hearing a lot of things,” Webster said in Indianapolis. “I was not able to give him a commitment. I don’t think we are in a position to commit to anything.“He knows we like him and he knows we value him, and we’ll just kind of go from there. We like Zach, but I am not willing to commit to anything, including who we are going to pick at No. 2 right now.”"
Then coach Whisenhunt picked up the ball, and told everyone, he will be taking a further look at the game film of Zach’s six starts before they actually make a decision for draft day.
It doesn’t sound to me like the Tennessee Titans have any idea what they are wanting to do in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Or do they?
The following are a few scenarios the Titans may be looking at on draft day as they “practice to decieve”.
As usual, after Free Agency comes, and goes, we may see a different course of action, and a new set of needs as draft day rolls around.
Florida State Quarterback, Jameis Winston is still projected by most draft experts as the most pro-ready QB in this year’s draft, and most agree that he will be taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first pick.
Further, the same experts agree that the Tennessee Titans will take USC DE Leonard Williams with the second pick.
Williams fits everything the Titans need. He’s the best player available, a defensive lineman who could start day-one, and represents the first step in fixing a defense that couldn’t get off the field in 2014.
With the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select…Leonard Williams, Defensive End, University of Southern California.
Jameis Winston is available when the Titans pick at number two. He comes with some off-the-field, and maturity issues that could bring back memories of 2006, and the third pick that brought Vince Young to Nashville.
History has shown us that off-the-field issues don’t go away when these youngsters reach the NFL. Just go talk to the Cleveland Browns.
The Tennessee Titans make a trade with the New York Jets who draft sixth. They get two first-round picks, and take Leonard Williams with the sixth pick if he’s still on the board, or Danny Shelton, Defensive tackle/Nose Tackle out of the University of Washington.
The Bucs take Jameis Winston with the first pick. The Titans trade the second pick to the Cleveland Browns for three first-round picks.
Cleveland takes Quarterback Marcus Mariota with the 12th pick. The Browns get yet another young quarterback, and The Titans draft Dante Fowler, DT/DE/OLB from the University of Florida.
This is an interesting scenario that could also include a trade that would bring Cleveland quarterback, Brian Hoyer to Music City as a backup to compete with Zach Mettenberger.
Brian Hoyer is not an élite quarterback, but played pretty well for the first part of the season, and got a raw deal in the Johnny Manziel debacle. He has been declared a free agent, and may be looking for a way out of the Dawg Pound.