Tennessee Titans best value draft pick since 2006 might surprise you

Jason McCourty #30, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Jason McCourty #30, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Maybe some of us missed the announcement, but in some sports circles, it appears that the definition of the word ‘value’ has changed. The Most Valuable Player Award is given out annually in the NFL, and over time, that award stopped being about ‘value’, and it started being about finding the best quarterback on a team that was doing pretty well that year or giving the trophy to a guy with a nice statistical showing. How else does one explain Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry not receiving more votes?

Here’s an interesting story, however. Recently, Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus named every team’s best value pick since 2006. Taking that honor for the Tennessee Titans was Jason McCourty, a five-foot-eleven, 196-pound cornerback who cut his teeth at the University of Rutgers and was passed on by most NFL teams five times or more in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Should Tennessee Titans fans be surprised that Jason McCourty is the guy?

When teams draft players in the sixth round of an NFL Draft, they aren’t thinking about potential starters. They often aren’t even of the opinion that those guys are going to make the team sometimes. Teams are literally grabbing guys and hoping they work out.

Boy, did McCourty work out! Tennesse didn’t just get that key piece. They got the starter they didn’t expect from a place they didn’t expect to find him.

McCourty played on some bad teams and never made the postseason as a member of the Titans, but he appeared in 108 games, started in 90 of them, and tallied 506 tackles, including 419 of the solo variety.

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Add that to 13 interceptions, 73 pass breakups, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns, and you have a pretty clear idea as to why his mention as the most valuable draft prospect taken over the past 15 years. Oh, and how about this? He’s still playing, albeit now for the Miami Dolphins after stops with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

Sure, it seems amazing that Tennessee could get someone like Derrick Henry in the second round (and with their fourth draft choice of all things), but when you get what they got out of Jason McCourty, again a sixth-round draft choice, that has to trump anything. That, friends, would be the true meaning of value.