Why the Tennessee Titans won't draft Alabama tackle J.C. Latham

The Tennessee Titans can't repeat their mistakes.

Alabama v Mississippi State
Alabama v Mississippi State / Justin Ford/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans have the seventh pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it looks like they are going to be in a position to draft a potentially elite player at a position of need.

Considering that the Tennessee Titans need a left tackle in the worst way and that you can never have enough receivers, you couldn't come up with a better scenario for the Titans than having a Marvin Harrison Jr., Joe Alt, or Malik Nabers fall into their lap.

However, with all the rumors swirling around, it sounds like there could be as many as four quarterbacks drafted inside of the first six picks. If that sounds too good to be true, those rumors were substantiated when the Minnesota Vikings traded up to add another 1st round draft pick, which almost certainly means that they are close to a deal with either the Arizona Cardinals or L.A. Chargers who own the fourth and fifth pick in the draft respectively.

So life should be pretty easy for the Titans, right? I mean, for two years now this team has had obvious issues at wide receiver and left tackle, and now they are being gifted a blue-chip prospect in the first round with a coaching staff that actually might develop someone.

Not so fast my friends.

Is this the gamble that the Tennessee Titans should make?

People in the media have been talking about trading down because it would, "be nice to have more picks" to fill the holes in this roster. So there has been an idea based around trading down and passing on these high-end players and then drafting a tackle with that pick.

After the Tennessee Titans sent GM Ran Carthon and HC Brian Callahan to Alabama's Pro Day, there have been some people connecting them to Alabama right tackle J.C. Latham.

Latham is a perfect example of whether or not the Tennessee Titans have really evolved and changed over the last year.

When Mike Vrabel had a heavy hand in adding players, analytics were widely criticized or ignored. He was someone who was focused on the old-school "feel" of a player instead of what the athletic testing might suggest. That is why he was on board with drafting Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson in the first round a few years ago, and we all remember how that turned out (more on that later).

Testing numbers are important for offensive linemen and if a lineman doesn't test it is because he knows he will do poorly, which is a huge red flag. No one knows that lesson better than new Tennessee Titans HC Brian Callahan because the Cincinnati Bengals have been burned by drafting offensive linemen with no testing data in the past.

James Rapien brought that up in a recent article saying,

"Latham didn't do any of the athletic testing at Alabama's Pro Day on Wednesday. 

He did field drills for coaches and scouts that were in attendance. The 6-6, 346 pound lineman would join Cedric Ogbuehi, Billy Price and Jackson Carman on the list of Bengals offensive lineman that didn't do any of the athletic testing during the pre-draft process."

If the Tennessee Titans truly believe in analytics then they should stay far, far away from Latham. Even if you ignore the clear assumption that skipping testing indicates that he is a bad athlete, the only solid numbers we have on Latham are his height and weight.

Since 2010 there have been two first-round picks that were 6'6 or taller and 346 lb. or heavier and they are Mekhi Becton and Isaiah Wilson. Would you pass on Joe Alt for Mekhi Becton or Isaiah Wilson? Is that third-round draft pick really worth rolling the dice on a proposition that hasn't worked out in a decade?

For those reasons, I believe that the Tennessee Titans won't draft J.C. Latham whether they trade down or not.