Could the Tennessee Titans Make a Play at J.T. Barrett?
By Kyle Zwiazek
The Tennessee Titans have an opening in the backup quarterback position. It is possible that they will draft J.T. Barrett out of Ohio State.
For a while it has been evident that the Tennessee Titans need a backup quarterback that fits their system. There are some options that can fit in free agency, but it is unlikely that the Titans will go that route. They had the option to sign some of these players last off-season, but stuck with Matt Cassel instead. The other option is to draft someone. There are a few options in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the quarterback that makes the most sense is J.T. Barrett out of Ohio State.
Barrett is an option quarterback that had a ton of success at Ohio State. He won a National Championship in 2015, was a first team All-Big Ten player for three seasons, and even was a Heisman Trophy contender at one point. Even though Barrett had competition his whole career, he managed to consistently find success as a leader at Ohio State. Barrett was team captain from 2015 to 2017 and would be a great addition to the Titans.
Do Any Other Players Make Sense?
Even though there are some players that would be more ideal to be the backup quarterback, the Titans would have to spend high draft picks on them. Two players that would make the most sense for the Titans would be Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield. The problem is both of those players have shot up the draft boards and will be impossible to obtain without spending a high pick. Jon Robinson will not want to waste a first or second round pick on a quarterback that is not going to be a starter. Since the Titans do not need a starting quarterback, they will look at the position further down in the draft for a quarterback; that is where J.T. Barrett fits in.
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Barrett is fast and has a big arm. He is also one of the more successful players coming out into the NFL this season. After being named captain by his peers three years in a row, Barrett has what it takes to lead. He can easily be one of the biggest surprises coming out of the draft in 2018. To make matters even better, Barrett had success as an efficient passer throughout his college career. He would be the perfect backup quarterback to Marcus Mariota.
Barrett fits the mold of a player the Titans should be looking at. He runs well for his size and is a natural leader. What also helps is that Barrett has had success as a backup in the past. He sat behind red-hot Cardale Jones in 2015, and when given the opportunity to play, Barrett played well. There also is the connection with some of the coaches on the roster: Head coach Mike Vrabel coached at Ohio State during Barrett’s freshman year and new defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs coached at Ohio State during Barrett’s whole career.
It is possible that the Titans can get Barrett in the 7th round or even as an undrafted free agent. This is a low risk, high reward option that the Titans should really pursue. Barrett is by no means the perfect option at quarterback, but he does have that “it factor” that may be able to solidify the backup quarterback position for the Tennessee Titans for years to come.