Tennessee Titans General Manger Ruston Webster must be sleeping well these days. After feeling the pressure to deliver a quality draft class this year, Webster did just that.
Well…at least on paper.
Since taking over the position prior to the 2012 draft, Webster has hit on all three of his first round picks. Wide receiver Kendall Wright (2012), offensive lineman Chance Warmack (2013), and offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (2014) are all unquestioned starters heading into camp…and all three will be heavily relied upon this season on offense. If we’re projecting forward, then Titans fans should feel encouraged by the selection of Marcus Mariota.
But Webster made a somewhat cryptic remark after selecting his second round pick, the talented but controversial receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. He essentially stated that he’ll take the heat if things go awry with Green-Beckham.
“Wait…but everyone knows that DGB has red flags…what makes that remark cryptic?'”
The fact that things have gone awry with all of Webster’s second round picks.
It’s like that draft slot is jinxed.
In 2012 Webster selected linebacker Zach Brown in the second round. Brown flourished in his first two seasons, registering a combined 184 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 4 ints, and 2 defensive scores. Last season, his first in the new 3-4 scheme, Brown was lost for the season in week 1. Not only did he miss a season of his career, he’s also no further along in the new scheme. Brown is having to start from scratch, and hopefully he is able to return to form. He had a promising start to his career.
In 2013 Webster actually moved up to grab wide receiver Justin Hunter in the second round. The fact that we’re even talking about DGB tells you everything you need to know about Hunter’s inconsistency. A bust so far to put it mildly.
In 2014 Webster selected running back Bishop Sankey in the second round. Although it wasn’t entirely his fault, Sankey underwhelmed nonetheless in his rookie campaign. He got off the plane and immediately went into coach Whisenhunt’s doghouse…for putting the ball on the ground in camp. At season’s end, Sankey had just as many fumbles lost as he did touchdowns (2). All while averaging less than 4 yards a carry.
I call it a jinx for Webster instead of ineptitude because, at the time he made those picks, he was addressing real team needs. In 2012, Brown was brought in to revamp an aging group while helping to improve a run defense that was 24th in the league the prior year. In 2013, Justin Hunter was brought in as a much needed replacement for Kenny Britt…who’d fallen out of favor with the organization. And Sankey was brought in last season to usher in the new look post-CJ era at running back.
I mean, you can’t fault the man for trying, but something just hasn’t clicked for Webster when it comes to second round picks.
And now we have DGB…..
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony…if the most controversial second round pick of Webster’s tenure is the one who breaks the jinx?