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Why the next running back added to the Tennessee Titans shouldn't be a Chris Johnson

How a different style of running back should lead the Titans.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

As I said in an earlier post, a lot of mocks have the Titans going after Carlos Hyde in round two. There are several reasons for this.

1. He is the consensus top running back.

2. The Titans are the team with the most obvious need at running back in terms of snaps taken last year (and before).

3. No one wants to mock a running back in the first round, especially with teams laden with elite quarterbacks needing protection at the bottom.

So with all that in mind, the question for Titans fans should be: Do we want a running back like Hyde or should we try to replace Chris Johnson with Chris Johnson 2.0?

While it is tempting to looks for that dynamic player that can replicate what Johnson did early in his career, there really isn't a place for that in the Whisenhunt offense. The offense, as I understand it, is primarily a take-what-they-give-you mentality. Essentially meaning that you attack Cover Two with strong runs up the gut, and when they load the box to stop that you go hurry-up and try to catch them in a mismatch against players like Dexter McCluster, Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, and Delanie Walker.

However, to do that you need a player like Hyde that can punch it up the middle and get five yards or more on first down so that the defense has to honor that threat.

Can Shonn Greene be that guy? Maybe, but his health history and lack of defining characteristics won't give new Titans brass a ton of confidence. I think in this draft the Titans need to find a running back either in round two with Hyde, or (if there is someone with a much better grade that they can't pass up in the second) with another thumping running back on Day Three.

There are a few exceptions to this. Guys like FSU's Devonta Freeman come to mind as a player who can play between the tackles and also come up big in space. Another 4th/5th round target could be Bishop Sankey from Washington. Sankey isn't a great back, but he is balanced and his ability to contribute in the passing game and as a runner all over the field make him a great back to compete for a starting job without much pressure.