If you've been paying attention since 2012, you've probably noticed that Ruston Webster has a type. Since he took over as General Manager, the Titans' draft classes have mostly featured guys with great combine measurements. His philosophy has been to draft elite athletes in hopes of refining and developing them down the road. However, his philosophy has the Titans' stuck in reverse as a franchise.
The idea sounds great in theory. You draft the best athletes that you find -- get the athletic ability that you can't coach. You then take those athletes, get them to your coaches and let them develop. Ruston Webster has done just that, but his coaches have failed to get his picks over the hump.
Don't believe me? Let's look at some examples.
Bishop Sankey: Top ten percentile in 3 cone, broad jump, bench press and 20 yard shuttle.
Justin Hunter: Top of the charts in broad and vertical jumps, with a 6'4 frame and arms for days.
Zach Brown: Didn't participate in all combine drills, but posted a 40 time in the 94th percentile of all linebackers.
Zaviar Gooden: 95th percentile in 40 yard, 3 cone, broad jump and 60 yard shuttle.
Taylor Thompson: DE convert, 4.5 speed with excellent broad and vertical jumps.
Coty Sensabaugh: 4.42 40 yard dash time along with a top ten percentile showing in the three cone drill.
Brian Schwenke: Top ten percentile in 10 yard, 40 yard dash times. Excellent in broad jump and three cone.
Dorial Green-Beckham: 4.4 speed out of a 6'4, 230 pound frame.
Taylor Lewan: A true workout warrior; outstanding in every athletic drill.
I could keep going, but you get the idea. At what point does athletic ability overshadow football intelligence and polish? For Webster, it seems like finding athletes was his only objective -- and I honestly don't think that's a bad way to operate. But if you're going to draft a roster like this, you better have big belief in your coaching staff. It looks like Webster did, but he got burned.
I'm not putting it all on Webster, but at some point you've got to realize your mistakes. Height-weight-speed guys will forever be intriguing, but drafting too much on upside alone will get you in trouble. Jon Gruden has always said "upside just means you haven't done it before." There's a lot of truth in that statement.
A lot of the blame deserves to go on Munchak's and Whisenhunt's staffs. Each of them failed miserable to develop receivers and offensive linemen. But at the end of the day, Webster was the one pulling the final trigger on these players. It's time for a change and a completely new philosophy.