1.11 - Anthony Barr DE/OLB UCLA
- GM Ruston Webster goes back to his Pac-12 roots and takes the best 3-4 linebacker available in Barr to assist Ray Horton in building up the 3-4 defense he is known for. Barr is a dynamic pass rusher specialist that has only played defense for 2 years after switching from running back. He is a very high upside potential type of player in the form of JPP but with a lot more college production. Interesting note: Webster has frequently dipped in the Pac-12 pool during his tenure with Akeem Ayers, Alterraun Verner, and Damian Williams battling for LA bragging rights, not to mention Brian Schwenke hailing from Cal. The Lou Spanos angle is worth a mention here too as he might know a little bit about Barr.
2.42 - Morgan Moses OT Virginia
- The offensive line reload continues as long time stalwart right tackle David Stewart is near the end of his illustrious Titans career. Moses had a good Senior Bowl week that has him going up the boards. He's known for being more of a punishing road grader but is coming along nicely as a pass blocker. Also proved that he could be the man without former Cavalier Oday Aboushi protecting him. Moses could be the designated heir apparent to Michael Roos when that time comes as well (after hanging around at right tackle). He's proven that he can play left tackle this year in Aboushi's absence.
4.108 - Zach Mettenberger QB LSU
- Mettenberger fits as a classic Whisenhunt quarterback in the sense that he's tall and has a rocket arm. We all can debate on Jake Locker's potential as a franchise quarterback for hours on end but it's clear that a backup plan must be developed after Ryan Fitzpatrick's lackluster showing in Locker's stead. The torn ACL is a concern, however as he tore it pretty late in the season but reports are that he should be ready by training camp. If he isn't healthy, the Titans can just use a "redshirt" year to bring him to full health for 2015. Mettenberger improved a lot under the guidance of LSU OC Cam Cameron, becoming more disciplined and aware in the pocket. Before Cameron's arrival, he was similar to Phillip Rivers in that you just didn't know what to expect on any given throw. His game has calmed down considerably. I also considered Aaron Murray but he just doesn't fit the Whisenhunt profile and also tore his ACL.
5. Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Coastal Carolina
- The Titans go back to the Carolinas to select a running back once more. Taliaferro is rising up the boards after a great showing in Mobile. He showed a surprising amount of quickness and agility for a guy his size (6'0 230) along with a willingness to pick up the blitz. And it's not like he just gives half effort on blocks either, he goes 100% into them. The anti-Jamie Harper if you will, Taliaferro knows what he is and hits the hole hard. This pick was rather difficult as Towson's Terrance West was very close in the mix.
6. Ben Benwikere CB SJSU
- Another year, another Shrine Bowl success story for the Titans perhaps? Alterraun Verner also played in the Shrine Game and has been pretty decent I'd say. Benwikere has been on my radar for the past couple of years. He's a ball hawk, snagging 12 interceptions in 2 years. Also he isn't afraid to tackle, given his 122 tackles over the 2 years.
7. Shaq Evans WR UCLA
- Webster dips into the successful UCLA pipeline again and gets their best receiver in Evans. He was a consistent target for the Bruins and brings kick return experience as well. The return game was a sore spot for the Titans until Leon Washington came along but both he and MCM favorite Marc Mariani are free agents and aren't likely to be brought back. Evans could contribute on special teams until he learns the playbook. He's a very consistent big play receiver who won't wow you with electrifying speed but knows how to get there. A Notre Dame transfer. At 6'1, he can go up and get it if need be. With veteran Nate Washington getting up there in years and holding a decent cap hit, it might be time to reload the back end of the receiver depth chart just in case Damian Williams doesn't come back. A four deep depth chart of Hunter, Wright, Washington, and Evans plus Williams would make the Titans really scary on offense.