The Titans give some clues about their draft plans

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Prospects’ visits indicate Titans’ priorities
 
We might be able to infer some of the positions the Titans are interested in addressing in the 2009 NFL draft by looking at the players they invited for pre-draft visits.
 
I’m not sure if my list of invitees is complete, but if not, it’s pretty nearly so. If you’re aware of someone I missed, please comment to bring me up to date. The number of prospects by position follows, giving a good indication of what the Titans view as their priorities.

Wide receiver – 9 prospects
Cornerback – 6
Linebacker – 5
Running back – 5
Defensive end – 3
Defensive tackle – 2
Offensive line – 2
Tight end – 1
Quarterback – 1
Safety – 1
DE/TE – 1
 
After tallying up the results, I was a little surprised that the receivers outnumbered all other position groups by such a margin. The number of linebackers and cornerbacks was no surprise, but the number of running backs was more than I realized. I knew they had several in, but wasn’t aware that five visited.
 
I also counted the number of players who have been projected as likely first-round selections. Four were linebackers (two inside, two outside), three were receivers, two were cornerbacks and there was one quarterback..The Titans were obviously interested in using the 30th overall pick on one of those guys.
 
They also brought in some projected second-rounders at receiver and corner. 
 
Obviously, the Titans aren’t still interested in all of those prospects. There were probably several who failed to impress their hosts on their visit.
 
But on the flip side, there must have been some who were very impressive, whether it was running drills, getting on the blackboard, discussing tape in the film room, or simply interviewing well. You can be sure those with good visits have increased the level of interest in them from the powers that be in the Titans’ war room.
 
Following is the list of prospects who highly interested the Titans at one time. Projected first-round selections are in italics.
 
Wide Receivers
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland
Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
Percy Harvin, Florida
Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia
Kenny Britt, Rutgers
Patrick Turner, Southern Cal
Mike Wallace, Ole Miss
Marko Mitchell, Nevada
Demetrius Byrd, LSU 
 
Cornerbacks
Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
Darius Butler, Connecticut
D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt
Jairus Byrd, Oregon
Lardarius Webb, Nicholls State
 
Linebackers
Rey Maualuga, Southern Cal
Clay Matthews, Southern Cal
Brian Cushing, Southern Cal
James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
Jason Williams, Western Illinois
 
Running Backs
Javon Ringer, Michigan State
Andre Brown, North Carolina
Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon
Glenn Coffee, Alabama
Javarris Williams, Tennessee State
 
Defensive Ends
Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond
David Veikune, Hawaii
Everette Pedescleaux, Northern Iowa
 

Defensive Tackles

Sen’Derrick Marks, Auburn
Roy Miller, Texas
 
Offensive Linemen
Cornelius Lewis, Tennessee State
Cecil Newton, Tennessee State
 
Quarterback
Josh Freeman, Kansas State
 
Tight end
Shawn Nelson, Southern Miss
 
Safety 
Reshard Langford, Vanderbilt
 
Defensive end/Tight end
Connor Barwin, Cincinnati
 
Barwin played TE for three years and DE for one. He’s being projected as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but that wouldn’t be his role with the Titans. I’d guess Tennessee is looking at him primarily as a defensive end but perhaps as a tight end as well. Although he doesn’t fit the profille for a 4-3 outside backer, it’s possible the Titans could try him there. Who knows, with his size he might even be looked at as a middle linebacker. Barwin is one of those athletes who could play several positions.
 
It should be noted that the Tennessee State and Vanderbilt players were “locals” and not counted against the 30-man limit on visits. It’s hard to say how much interest the Titans really had in them. Southern Cal’s Patrick Turner, a Nashville product, was also a local prospect.
 
How do you feel about the prospects the Titans invited? Do you think the positions the Titans focused on with their invitations will be reflected this weekend?
 
I’m predicting two of the prospects invited to Tennessee will be drafted by the Titans. What do you think?
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6 Responses to “The Titans give some clues about their draft plans”

  1. Scott Says:

    I think you are missing one guy: Connecticut CB Darius Butler. A report from Terry McCormick indicates that Butler visited the Titans: http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/content/sports/analysis-titans-draft-other-side-ball
    I am betting that 4 of these visitors will become Titans during the draft. Do you have any idea Andrew how many of the draft picks that visited the Titans last year were drafted by the Titans??

  2. Dave Says:

    Are the Byrd’s brothers? Wouldn’t it be kinda cool if we ended up with a “Hawk” and a “Byrd” catching a whole bunch of passes?

  3. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Thanks, Scott. I’ll update the article to reflect that. I don’t have the 2008 list of invited prospects handy but if I come up with it, I’ll let you know.
    Dave, to the best of my knowledge Jairus Byrd and Demetrius Byrd aren’t related. Incidentally, Demetrius was in a automobile accident Sunday and placed in intensive care. He’s now expected to make a full recovery, but nevertheless, it won’t help his draft stock.
    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. rick Says:

    Thanks for this list; it is what i’ve been looking for. I am hoping the information i’ve been hearing about Harvin being removed from the Titans draft board is a ruse. I am surprised that they didn’t bring in Brian Robiskie in. I would think they would want a rookie who could immediately contribute. Also do you have statistics on how many of invitees last year were actually drafted?
    thanks again.

  5. Andrew Strickert Says:

    My pleasure, Rick. The Titans have denied removing anyone from their board. I’m beginning to like Robiskie more and more. From what I’m reading on the different sites that perform player analysis, he’s now projected as a possible first-round pick, perhaps to the Colts.
    I’m afraid I can’t locate a list of 2008 pre-draft visitors. I don’t believe I kept mine, or perhaps it’s just been misplaced. I hope it wasn’t on my computer that crashed last year. 😦
    If anyone has this list or a link to it and can post it here, Rick and I would both appreciate it.

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Did a little research and I found that three Titan 2008 draftees had pre-draft visits with the team:
    Chris Johnson and Jason Jones:
    http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/content/sports/east-carolina-star-will-visit-titans
    Stanford Keglar:
    http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/content/sports/agent-charges-should-be-dropped-titans-draft-pick

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