Chance Warmack is my favorite prospect in this draft class bar none, and if the Titans took him I would be ecstatic. In fact, you would have to go back to Ndamukong Suh to find someone who I was equally enamored with as a prospect. Warmack is physical, technically proficient, strong, quick (in short areas), and he fits a HUGE need for the Titans, HOWEVER I think there is someone else in this draft who would make us an even better team. With the 10th pick in the draft the Titans should select...Jonathan Cooper C, UNC.
I have written another piece about the argument for Cooper over Warmack, but I thought I would get more team-specific in this piece.
A guilty pleasure of mine is watching games from the Titans 2008 13-3 campaign. I constantly find myself asking, "What are we missing now that we had then?"
Do we miss Big Al and VDB that much? No, sure they were good in their prime but we had pressure coming from all over the field thanks to the wide-nine defense, and we have talent on the defensive line.
Were our defensive backs that much better? No, Harper was one of the biggest disappointments I can remember and Verner wears number 20 much better. Finny/a young Griffin/Fuller are comparable to McCourty/today's Griffin/Babs...well maybe they were a touch better, but its not like we had all-stars.
What is it that we are missing?! Wait, how is CJ getting five yards upfield before he gets touched? Do we have some All-Pro guards or mammoth OTs sealing the edge? Nope, just Amano and Scott (mediocre on good days) and we haven't changed OTs. Then how are we getting so much push?
Then I saw it, Hall, Scaife and Crumpler out weighing/muscling edge players and linebackers (Hey, we can do that now with Thompson, Walker, and Stevens). Lendale White ramming into defensive linemen for three yards gains routinely, and giving us a short yardage/goal line presence (Hey, we can do that too with Shonn Greene!).
And finally, the point of this piece, Kevin Mawae getting the dirty work done in the middle of the OL. He would grab, claw, hold, do whatever it took to get the job done while helping out the guards around him. Velasco is a good center, but he can't elevate the people around him like Mawae did, how can we replace that guy? Jonathan Cooper that's how. Cooper is the perfect ZBS center and Velasco was always a natural fit at right guard where he is more of a run blocker than a pass blocker. Cooper's athleticism, competitiveness, talent, and mean streak make him as desirable as Warmack, but in a slightly more important position.
Cooper could be the missing piece to replicating the offense of the 13-3 team of 2008. Tennessee already has better skill positions than it did that season, so they could be more balanced and more dangerous. Defensively, the Titans have loaded up on talented young players that I believe can be impact players in the NFL and they have signed veterans to add leadership and depth to a weak safety group. I don't see why this team couldn't be a 10-win team.
Comment and leave me your thoughts on what your thoughts would be on drafting Cooper and getting back to the 2008 offense.