Titans snagged best center in the draft


I’m fairly impressed by the Titans’ fourth draft pick, center/guard Leroy Harris. Although he played both positions at NC State, it looks like the Titans will use him primarily as a backup to Kevin Mawae, and possibly to be his eventual replacement.
The Titans have Harris listed only as a center on their roster and Jeff Fisher said they had him rated as the best center in the draft. That’s saying something when you consider that Ryan Kalil and Samson Satele were selected back to back in the second round. It probably also explains why the Titans leaped at the chance to draft him when he was still available in the fourth round.
I won’t be a bit surprised to see o-line coach Mike Munchak give Harris plenty of work at guard as well. Munch believes in having well-rounded linemen, which is why he’s worked all of the new ones at multiple positions.
In many ways, Harris is similar to C/G Eugene Amano. I’m going to go out on a short limb here and predict Amano will be the first man in line to backup starting guards Benji Olson and Jacob Bell. I don’t view this as Harris competing against Amano for the same job, instead I view them as complementary pieces of the puzzle.
The line should be the strength of the offense this year and Harris and Amano should both be reserves who can step in and contribute if need be.
Amano and Bell are both restricted free agents and may not be back next year, which makes Harris even more valuable.
Mawae has three years remaining on his contract and he still looks to have enough gas in the tank for at least one more season, if not two or three.
Although I was disappointed in the Titans for not using this pick on a defensive end, I felt the same way about the Titans’ first three picks. All in all, however, Harris looks like a guy who will be a valuable member of the o-line for the next four years.
I fully expect Harris to make the final 53-man roster this summer, along with Amano and Loper as the three backups.
Harris’ competition in training camp will include C/G Justin Geisinger, G Isaac Snell, OL Marques Ogden, and T Dan Loper, who’s also played a little guard. Loper is the only one of them with a good chance at making the roster, and he should make it once again for his ability to backup tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart.


5 Responses to “Titans snagged best center in the draft”

  1. Andrew K Says:

    Are you going to renege on everyone of your assessments. My God. Have some balls man and stick by your picks. If you don’t believe me go back and read these articles: http://mvn.com/nfl-titans/2007/04/30/thoughts-on-titans-2007-draft/

  2. Glenn M Says:

    In that article he said he “liked the player, not the pick.” He didn’t want us to get the best center in the draft, he wanted us to address some of our more glaring needs in that pick. I think what he is saying here is that, while we didn’t get what we really needed, Leroy Harris was a good choice for the position of Center.

  3. Andrew Says:

    Andrew K., I will not tolerate racial slurs on this site. I’ve gone back and edited your comment to remove the word which is offensive to most people. Perhaps you didn’t mean it and will plead ignorance for badly misspelling an inoffensive word as an offensive one, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt — this time. If there’s a repeat offense, I will have your IP address and any proxy IP addresses banned.
    Since you didn’t appear to like what I wrote here, you probably won’t like most of the rest of the rookie reviews which I’ll be writing. I wrote before that I didn’t like most of the draft picks and I’m sticking with that. That being said, those guys are now Titans, whether I like it or not.
    What would you like for me to do? Write that I hope they’ll fail, just to prove me right in my initial impressions of them? Whether I agreed with their selections or not, I hope each of them can contribute in some way to the team this year, and that’s what I plan on writing about — how each of them may be able to contribute. For what it’s worth, I hope the selections I didn’t agree with prove me wrong.
    Thanks to Glenn for pointing out that I liked Harris as a player but didn’t like the pick. I simply wished the pick had been used for a defensive end, the same thing I wanted to see on Day One.

  4. Garo Dykstra Says:

    It always amazes me that around/after the draft a rookie is going to do this and that for a team, but when the season rolls around, if that rookie is a starter or being heavily relied on, then the same rookie becomes a liability.
    I personally think with Harris the Titans will not miss a beat when Mawae retires, and he will have a very long, good career. Harris was a steal for the 4th round and the Titans/GM/Fisher did a good job of going for value over need as its very hard to count on rookies. It shows the GM/Fisher’s patience and intelligence of building this team, not succumbing to the “win now at all cost” mentality, but by building this team the right way, patiently and smart, going with value over needs in the draft.
    Titans O-line is the strength of the team with Mawae (center) being the most important part. Grooming a talented player like Harris behind a great center in Mawae is very smart for the long term future of this team, and Harris provides excellent depth right now in case of injuries. We made our strongest point stronger.
    I also believe people under-estimate Antwan Odom. IF, big IF, he can stay healthy, I believe he’s a very important part to our defense. Laboy is nothing but a situational pass rusher. Odom can play both the run and pass equally well and if you remember, Odom was the sole reason in the Titans mixing in the 3-4 defense. When he got hurt, we became limited in our flexibility and depth. His health is the key to our defensive line problems. (I read they are already spicing things up with moving Vanden Bosch around and using Odom inside/beside KVB for stunts. )
    One other important note concerning drafting a DE. We drafted both very talented d-lineman (Johnson, Ford) who are raw but have potential. Im sure that played into the drafting of Harris in the 4th, knowing that both Johnson and Ford would still be around later, as oppose to Harris still being around. There is no rule or anyway to know if a 4th round DE is going to be better than a 6th round DE.

  5. Andrew K Says:

    That was what I meant to say, not the other word. My bad with spelling, I’ve always had a problem with that. Sorry to anyone that I offended.

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