Mel Kiper is a mock draft legend. You can choose to like him or dislike him, but the man has made a name and a lot of money for himself with a lot of hard work. You have to respect that regardless of how you feel about his opinions.
With all of that being said, what would the Titans look like if they listened to Kiper in each draft since 2010? One note as we start, if the player Kiper picked for the Titans was already off the board, I am going to stick with the pick the Titans actually made.
That is the exact scenario we have in 2010. Kiper had the Titans taking Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP went to the Giants the pick right before the Titans, and the Titans selected Derrick Morgan. That picked worked out pretty well I’d say.
In 2011 the Titans selected Jake Locker with the 8th pick in the draft. Mel Kiper had them taking Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn with that pick. What would life be like if we never had the Locker years? (I still love Locker as a person.)
Obviously Locker didn’t pan out, but knowing what we know now, that the Titans have Marcus Mariota, Locker might not have been the worst pick. They probably would have drafted a quarterback between 2010 and 2015 when they drafted Mariota. The only guys that have turned out to be legitimate QBs from those drafts are Russell Wilson and Derek Carr. Both are really good players, but I’m good with where the Titans are right now.
Kiper’s final mock of 2012 had the Titans taking David DeCastro. The Titans actually selected Kendall Wright. You can argue that the Titans never figured out how to use Wright correctly, but there is no doubt they would have been better off with DeCastro. Had they taken DeCastro in 2012, they wouldn’t have selected Chance Warmack in 2013, and DeCastro is a much better player than Warmack.
In 2013, Kiper had the Titans taking Sheldon Richardson with the 10th pick. As mentioned above, the Titans took Warmack. I was 100% sure that Warmack would be a Pro Bowl player for a decade. I was 100% wrong. Richardson is a stud. Advantage: Kiper.
Anthony Barr was the final mock pick for the Titans in 2014. The Titans had the 11th pick in that draft. Barr went to the Vikings at pick #9. The Titans ended up taking Taylor Lewan, who was just selected to his first of what will be many Pro Bowls.
Marcus Mariota was Kiper’s pick for the Titans in 2015. As you might know, he was also who the Titans actually picked, and he is going to be really, really good.
The final pick for the Titans by Kiper in 2015 was Vernon Hargreaves III. That pick was slated for 16, but the Titans traded up to #8 to take Jack Conklin. Hargreaves went 11th to the Buccaneers. He had an up and down rookie season. He will end up being a good player, but I wouldn’t trade Conklin for him right now, would you?
So to summarize, if the Titans had listened to Kiper where possible, they would have ended up with Nick Fairley instead of Jake Locker (push), David DeCastro instead of Kendall Wright (advantage Kiper), Sheldon Richardson instead of Chance Warmack (advantage: Kiper) and Vernon Hargreaves instead of Jack Conklin (too early to call for sure, but early advantage Titans).
My conclusion here is that Mel Kiper is a better general manager than Ruston Webster, but that isn’t exactly a high bar.