Will Sen’Derrick Marks be a bust?


Rookie defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks has yet to exhibit the skills worthy of a second-round draft pick. From what I’ve witnessed, he’s barely shown the ability to be considered as a draftable player. As far as I know, he hasn’t been hampered by any kind of illness or injury. His failure to perform on the field is a mystery to me. I know the talent must be there somewhere or Jim Washburn wouldn’t have been so high on him.
Even as a rookie, a second-round draft pick should be pushing somebody for a starting job. Marks, however, hasn’t even made a serious bid to contend for a spot in the Titans’ four-man rotation. He has been wallowing near the bottom of the DT depth chart, unable to climb out of it. For most of training camp and the preseason, I thought Marks was no better than sixth out of the seven DTs.
Three players – Tony Brown, Jovan Haye and Jason Jones (when healthy) – have clearly been at the top of the depth chart. Kevin Vickerson and LaJuan Ramsey, in that order, were next, followed by Marks and Mitch King.

It wasn’t that way just in training camp, it carried over into the preseason games. If you look at the substitution patterns, Vickerson got into the rotation early and played fairly well, followed by Ramsey. Marks waited his turn with King and then mopped up in the fourth quarter against the other teams’ scrubs.
Marks is lucky to have survived the cut, and I don’t believe he would have if he was a late-round pick. I ranted about that before the final cuts were made and my opinion hasn’t softened since then.
I agree with Tom when he stated keeping five DTs is a “failure of roster management” and also believe Marks failed to perform. The two failures created some negative synergy. If Marks had lived up to expectations, the Titans wouldn’t have needed to keep five DTs. As it is, Marks will be consume one of the inactive spots every week and it’s really sad when a second-round draft pick is a healthy scratch. 
I’ll remember one thing about Marks for a while. One day in camp, I was watching the d-linemen as the team was working in position groups. Shortly after the practice moved on to eleven on eleven work, Washburn yelled, “What’s the matter, Marks? We were just working on that move ten minutes ago!” 
When you look at the guys who were cut last week, quite a few of them looked like better football players than Marks. Who knows, maybe Washburn is right and Marks will eventually become a good player. But right now he sure looks more like a dud than a stud.


9 Responses to “Will Sen’Derrick Marks be a bust?”

  1. BurheadTitans Says:

    Look at his college career (before the high ankle sprains last year) and he was easily one of the best defensive tackles in college football. His problem was that he was hampered by an injury early in OTAs that carried over to training camp. I don’t really understand how a fan can claim a player is a bust before his rookie season is over. I wanted us to draft Marks and I was glad we got him, I also knew he most likely wouldn’t get significant playing time. He is playing behind four experienced tackles, this is basically his redshirt season again.
    What he needs to do this season is improve his strength and technique. You won’t see much out of him in the first half of the season but once the injuries start coming once the second half of the season get’s here he’ll see more playing time.
    Don’t give up on him yet, he’ll be a special player for us later.

  2. Shawn Smith Says:

    Yeah, I see Marks being drafted as future replacement for Tony Brown, if he decides to leave for greener pastures (like Jason Jones was drafted to replace Albert)…not for what he can contribute this year. He has had injury issues in his last year in college and in OTAs…if he can regain that quickness he had before the injury then he’ll be a solid draft choice.

  3. beedee Says:

    Marks came into the NFL a year early, he needs to develope and I think the titans understand that. It’s not as if he was one of the many offensive skill players that they have drafted and poured 3 seasons into and never saw the field. I think he needs time get his feet under him and get used to the pace of the game… And he will. Laboy and his fellow draftee from alabama failed to impress until their final year and only saw playing time because the titans purged all their vets. Hopefully he’ll hav time to come around. Good luck Sen Derrick.

  4. Tom Gower Says:

    I agree with the thinking Marks is potentially more of a body for next year than for this year, but you generally don’t use second round picks to get those guys, you use picks on 5th rounders like the one you used on Antonio Johnson. That’s what makes this such a weird pick-the Titans almost seem like they’re in a one or two year interval when they could really go for it, but you can definitely find early picks who can contribute as rookies-heck, they did it with Britt, Cook, and Mouton. And, yet, Marks looks worthless this year. Frustrating.

  5. wheels Says:

    Amazing! 1 game into his rookie season he is labled a dud. We have the deepest d line in the NFL. He was a project type of player when we drafted him. The learning curve on the DL is pretty steep. Tom, let’s wait to see if Mouton, Britt, and Cook contribute, I hope they will but other than a few catches by Britt…
    Where is Drex when you need him? Sometimes I feel he is the only voice of reason writing here.

  6. kevin .b Says:

    I agree with wheels post 100% this type of stuff is just plain silly !

  7. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Nice to see that some of you guys still disagree with me at times.
    A few points to remember:
    1) second-round draft picks, unless they’re QBs, should contribute right away, not be inactive.
    2) a second-round draft pick shouldn’t be a project. It’s OK to draft projects in the seventh round, not in the second.
    3) if Marks had the talent to be drafted in the second round he should have shown it in training camp and the preseason, especially facing third-string guys across the line of scrimmage from him.
    Burhead, I hope you’re right that he’ll be a special player for us later.

  8. Will Says:

    I think the criticism of Marks and/or the Titans is right on. You don’t pick a guy in the second round and expect him to be number five out of five guys at his position, even during his rookie season.

  9. 2010 Tennessee Titans offseason positional analysis: DT « Total Titans Says:

    […] Slowly but surely, Sen’Derrick Marks started to show signs of being a producer down the road. Due to the team’s early season struggles, Marks had plenty of opportunities for playing time at the end of the year. […]

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