Today Pro Football Focus looked at the Tennessee Titans as part of their Draft Grade series where they've evaluated draft picks from each team from 2008-2010. Follow the link for details on how the grading works and where our draftees were rated. Two were worth noting for me as it pertains to draft strategy this year:
Jason McCourty, CB (203rd overall pick in 2009): It’s hard enough to find a quality cornerback in the first round, so the Titans must be happy that they’ve found one in the sixth. Good enough that he made it easy for Tennessee to say goodbye to Cortland Finnegan, McCourty has earned a +16.1 grade in 1,763 career defensive snaps.
Alterraun Verner, CB (104th overall pick in 2010): The Titans do have a knack of finding good corners don’t they? Verner had our 16th-highest grade of all cornerbacks in his rookie season, and while he was relegated to nickel duties (no shame given the talent in front of him) graded positively in 2011. Superb value once again.
Both our young corners were rated high by PFF. This isn't breaking news. We all have seen this with our own eyes over the past few years. However, PFF does bring up an interesting point about our knack for finding great corners outside of round 1. Given the front office's success in finding these talents later in the draft, and the fact that we're in a good position with our two primary starting corners, it might make more sense to look into other positions in round 1. Of course, if there's an outstanding corner talent that falls in the Titans lap at 20, you pull the trigger. All things considered, though, corner is an area I'd call a position of strength at this point.
One last thing that jumped out at me was the evaluation of Derrick Morgan. They've basically graded him as average based on his limited action due to injury. Pre injury, their evaluation was glowing:
Derrick Morgan, DE (16th overall pick in 2010): Morgan gets something of a pass after an ACL tear as a rookie. He looked to lack some explosion as he worked his way work to full health which was a shame, because as a rookie he flashed big time ability in just 114 snaps. Let’s hope he regains that burst a year further removed from injury.