All indications are telling us the Tennessee Titans will not have an opportunity to draft Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but what if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass on the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, and take either Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, or even, God Forbid, USC Defensive lineman Leonard Williams?
No matter how good a defender is, he can’t carry an NFL team by himself
The Buccaneers are traveling to Tallahassee today for a private workout session with Winston, and are the odds-on favorite to take him with the first pick on April 30th, but it’s always fun to speculate the “what if’s”.
In fact, the NFL Insiders at ESPN have done a complete segment on this possibility with Tampa surprising everyone by taking Marcus Mariota with the number one pick. To a man, they all say if this were to happen, the Tennessee Titans HAVE to take Jameis Winston with the second pick.
The most interesting exert from this post came from Aaron Schatz (director of analytics), and speaks directly to most fans that I have encountered around social media who think the Titans should select Leonard Williams with the second pick.
"No matter how good a defender is, he can’t carry an NFL team by himself. If a team has a quarterback as good as J.J. Watt is as a defensive lineman, that team would go 15-1. The Texans, with Watt and marginal quarterback play, went 9-7 in 2014. That’s not a comment on Watt or Leonard Williams, who looks like the best defensive player in this draft. It’s just how the game is played."
The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers have not done well selecting a quarterback in the first round since taking Steve McNair with the third pick in the 1995 draft. If the truth were to be told, there has been some sort of curse on the position since Bud Adams relocated the franchise to Tennessee in 1999.
But the aforementioned statement from Schatz holds some validity as the Titans haven’t been a significant football team since missing on two early-round quarterbacks by taking Vince Young, and Jake Locker.
So I totally agree with the Insiders. To win in the 21st century NFL, you need a franchise quarterback, and taking Loenard Williams with the second pick, and not getting a quarterback almost guarantees more frustration, and more losing seasons in Music City.
If Jameis Winston is available when the Titans select, they must take a hard look at selecting him, or negotiating a trade that brings a quality quarterback to Nashville.
I’ve said all along that I want to see if Zach Mettenberger can live up to his potential, but I also want to see more options if he doesn’t. I can almost guarantee that if head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, and General Manager, Ruston Webster whiff on this draft, they won’t be in Nashville for the 2016 draft.
With all that being said, Whisenhunt, and Webster better have done their due diligence, and be ready to pull the trigger if Jameis Winston is available when they make the second overall pick.
The one thing that makes the NFL Draft so much fun is it’s uncertainty. Almost anything can happen, and usually does. If Tampa Bay does not select Jameis Winston with the first pick, I can guarantee that it will blow up almost every draft war room in the NFL.
Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?