Frank Wycheck: Titans should draft a RB in first round

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In the NFL Network series, Path to the Draft, former Titan great and current analyst Frank Wycheck weighed in with his†thoughts on what the Titans should do with their first round draft pick.
Contrary to the opinions of many, including yours truly, who believe that the Titans should take a wide receiver in the first round, Wycheck thinks that a running back should be chosen.

His viewpoint is that the Titans would benefit tremendously from the presence of a playmaking running back who could also excel on kick-off returns and in the passing game.†Despite selecting a running back high in the draft the last two seasons, Wycheck thinks that the third time will be the charm in the Titans’ search for a difference-maker at RB.
On the show, Wycheck discusses two possibilities: Arkansas RB Felix Jones and East Carolina RB Chris Johnson.
Jones has emerged as a potential first rounder despite being overshadowed by fellow Razorback running mate Darren McFadden, who is expected by many to be a top five pick. Jones has good speed and would give the Titans a home run threat in the backfield.
Johnson is a dynamic running back and kick returner who put on a show at the recent NFL Combine. Johnson ran a blistering 4.24 forty-yard dash, which was the fastest time for a running back at the combine. He was also a great kick-returner at East Carolina during his collegiate career.
Mike Reinfeldt recently stated that the team covets a back who can excel on screen passes and draw plays but in my opinion, devoting a first round selection towards satisfying this need is a bit too lavish for my taste, especially considering other team needs at WR and DE.
As for the names mentioned by Wycheck, there is a possibility that Jones may not even be available when the Titans make their selection. Dallas owner and Arkansas alum Jerry Jones may scoop Felix up as a replacement for Julius Jones, who departed via free agency.
My fear with Johnson is that he will fail to live up to the hype generated as a result of his scintillating performance at the NFL combine. Their are also durability concerns with Johnson, who had neck surgery and†turf toe issues†during his days at East Carolina.
As a result of the success achieved during his playing days, Frank Wycheck’s opinions are always appreciated. However, here’s hoping Reinfeldt and company choose another path in this year’s Tennessee Titan draft.

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15 Responses to “Frank Wycheck: Titans should draft a RB in first round”

  1. Dave Says:

    I agree that WR and DE are “needed” more than a RB, but if either of these guys ( or someone else) can be a game changer on special teams, than I think it could be a good idea to draft them. The Titans definately need to find their way into the endzone quite a bit more often than last year and grat starting field position would help a lot.

  2. Dave Says:

    great , sorry.

  3. Drexel Perry Says:

    Dave,
    Like you, I’m in favor of adding a game changer on special teams. I just have a problem with selecting that type of player in the first round, especially in a draft where there should be good players available at WR and DE when the Titans are due to pick.
    Three of the league’s top returners weren’t first rounders: Devin Hester (late 2nd), Josh Cribbs (undrafted) and Leon Washington (4th round).
    Those kind of players are typically found later in the draft.
    I agree wholeheartedly that the Titans need to find the endzone more and that great starting field position would help them accomplish that.
    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Tom Gower Says:

    At his best, Frank Wycheck as a radio analyst is banal. At worst, he’s an idiot. Bring back Pat Ryan.
    It’s not that I don’t think the Titans could use an upgrade at the running back position. Anyone who’s heard me talk about LenDale White would see that. It’s just that RB is probably THE position where you could find a good player outside the first round. Picking an RB in the first round when you already have a back who meets what your head coach is looking for is an act of pure stupidity, and a waste of a valuable asset.

  5. Dave Says:

    We need a game changer. Someone other teams will fear, ala Adam Jones. If that guy is a running back and he’s available at our first pick, we have to take him. At this point it doesn’t matter what position the guy is, just that he needs to be paid attention to by the other team every game.

  6. jrtitans Says:

    The Johnson guy sounds pretty good. Im sticking with a previous post and still think the guy is Sweed for the first pick.
    The Titans definately should improve the return game which has only had success with D Mace and Pacman and getting a pick who can do it is very important. In the draft–the Titans seem to get a player who helps in the first , second, fourth and seventh rounds. Im for packaging the #2 pick with another round ( 3rd, 5th, and or 6th) and moving up and get another playmaker.
    Sweed and Johnson for the first day would be great pickups. There are others previously mentioned and even defensive guys–Im just saying that 20-30 in the draft appear to be some winners and I hope we dont wait till 48 on the second pick.
    Titan could pickup Thomas and Wyms who they have already seen and we are back to the line” Vince doesnt have any playmakers to help him”. If they move up , they should have two good ones.

  7. cld12pk2go Says:

    While we do have needs at DE and WR, I think we have filled enough holes in FA to be able to just go BPA.

  8. beedee Says:

    if the titans would have had the home run threat last year with pac jones, i see the titans winning at least two more games. he was such a difference maker both at corner and in the return game, spec teams needs that spark. i’m not sure the first round is where that has to be addressed but you can never have too much talent. my gut says the titans will trade down in the first or maybe try to get an extra 2nd and 3rd rounder.
    either way i just don’t holdmy breath on any WR pick by the titans.

  9. I.jason Says:

    I’m still a believer in the theory that a potential game-breaker on offence – no matter where he plays – will make the rest of the offence better. I’m also a believer in the statistics that say 1st-round WRs very rarely have a big impact on their teams in their rookie seasons, and are just as likely (slightly more, actually) to be a bust as they are to be a franchise player.
    That said, if the Titans are building for the future, and Sweed is available, grab him. But if the Titans are looking more short-term, and/or the top WRs are off the board by the time they pick, and a game-breaker RB is there, they should grab him. There’s nothing wrong with a 2-RB set, especially when one of them can catch out of the backfield.
    As for the DE issues, I don’t think they need to burn a first-rounder on one. With Albert and KVB playing on the other side, we have time for a young DE to develop, especially if Kearse can be a serviceable part-timer. And DE is supposed to be pretty deep, so unless an elite DE is there at 24, and all the offensive weapons are gone, a second-rounder should be just fine.

  10. David H. Says:

    Iím one of the Titans biggest fans and critics however, as much as I’d like to see Sweed or DeSean Jackson become the newest Titan I must say Iím kinda intrigued by Wycheck’s perspective. I mean WR is our most pressing need but, a thunder and lightning backfield sounds kinda cool. Iím not ready to give up on Chris Henry just yet but think of the tandem of Freddy T. and Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville. If we could duplicate that and have a legitimate home run type back, as bland as our receiving game is our offense would be improved. If you have a “scat back” who can be split out like a receiver it forces defenses to adjust accordingly and would open the middle up for guys like Alge and Bo Scaife. I made a comment on the “Mock Draft” article and still stand firm in believing that this team should take DeSean Jackson which would solve our need for a KR/WR. But… a guy who can share the load with LenDale and serve as a quick slot would be a scary thought for opposing defenses. Whoever we take I guarantee that Dinger has something special in mind for that guy. That is unless we take a DE with the first pick.

  11. kevin b Says:

    Drex, if you look at our draft history we have only two WR in the first round. I have to agree with frank a home run RB is the answer,( KR/PR especially) . I think we need a “lightning ” to go along with our “thunder” back ,remember that our former ends were both second rounders. If we can get jones or johson it would effect our pathetic scoring “inside the 20 “. think about it

  12. Drexel Perry Says:

    Kevin,
    I’d feel more comfortable about selecting a rb that high if a 2nd round pick hadn’t been used to select Chris Henry last year.
    Using three consecutive high picks in three straight drafts on the rb position just isn’t prudent, in my opinion. It is slightly reminiscent of what the Lions did with the WR position a few years ago, drafting Rogers, Williams, Williams and Johnson in consecutive drafts.
    Guys like Jones Drew, Darren Sproles, Leon Washington, etc. are available outside of the first round.
    As for draft history, the majority of those selections were made by the old regime: this is only Reinfeldt’s second draft.
    I’ve come to grips with the fact that the Titans aren’t going to be able to bring in the #1 WR they need via free agency or trade, so if they are going to invest in a WR in the draft, I’d rather see a 1st round pick spent on one then seeing the team continue to draft mid-lower round players who don’t pan out; Calico, Kent, Roby, or guys who don’t have elite talent and take a while to develop i.e. Roydell, Brandon Jones, Paul Wiliams, etc.
    I’d like to see the Titans get a blue-chipper at WR for once.
    Thanks for the comment.

  13. Dave Says:

    Lets hope our front office drafts an impact player. Someone who will contribute THIS year. The position he plays doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t produce immediately.

  14. Canadian Titan Says:

    Drexel is correct. Drafting another RB early isn’t prudent and is an admission that Chris Henry was a mistake. It’s one thing for Mike Reinfeldt to draft Henry on the basis that Floyd Reese might have made a mistake drafting Lendale, but he’d look ridiculous drafting a running -back in the first round. Frank Wycheck is one of my all-time favourite Titans. He was a great TE but his GM skills need some work. We should draft Sweed if he’s available, get a PR/KR later in the draft and draft a DE in the 2nd round. Even more importantly, lock up Roos and Haynesworth now before it gets even more expensive.

  15. adam Says:

    Latest News is that Len Dale has received several citations in Denver. Who knows how or if Goodell will deal with this, but Frank may be more correct than I initially thought.

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