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News » Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2009-04-27

Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2009-04-27

Tennessee Titans Inside Slant 2009-04-27

For once, the Tennessee Titans went against the grain, and perhaps against their nature, to take a wide receiver with their first-round pick in Rutgers' Kenny Britt.

For years, draft analysts and Titans fans had tried to cajole the Titans into investing a top pick on a wideout, rather than their usual strategy of taking stabs at middle-round picks that have seldom blossomed.

In Britt, the Titans potentially have something they have never really had in the time they have been in Tennessee -- a big-play receiver with size. The closest they have come in the past in production was Derrick Mason, who was crafty and reliable, but hardly big at 5-foot-10. The next best was Drew Bennett, who at 6-5 had the size, but was at times inconsistent.

"I believe I have the receiver attitude when I'm on the field and the ball is in the air, I believe the ball is mine when it is in the air," said Britt, who had 87 catches in 2008 for the Scarlet Knights.

Britt comes on the recommendation of former Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith, who helped him train prior to the draft. Smith is a former pupil of Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who was his position coach with the Broncos.

The Titans did not draft Britt to sit, as coach Jeff Fisher explained.

"Clearly, Kenny is going to contribute and contribute early for us," Fisher said.

Beyond that, the Titans added other potential playmakers in need areas with defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks of Auburn in round two. Marks will help offset the loss of Albert Haynesworth, and drew comparisons to him from scout Cole Proctor, who evaluated him.

"He doesn't have the strength that Albert has, but he has the quickness," Proctor said. "He can get off the ball and that is what we are -- we are a pressure team up the field and adjust off the move. That is what he is going to bring."

In the third round, the Titans added more playmaking potential with tight end Jared Cook of South Carolina, and further added offensive depth in round five with Michigan State running back Javon Ringer.

For the remainder of the draft, defense, special teams and the offensive line were the focus.

However, if Britt and Cook pan out as the Titans hope, a passing offense that has been moribund for years has a chance to finally hold up its end of the bargain.

BEST PICK: Kenny Britt, the Titans' first-rounder (30th overall), was a pick the Titans had to make, after years of ignoring the receiver position. Even if Britt fails to live up to expectations, the Titans won't find much criticism in the choice, simply because it is the first time they have taken a receiver in the first round in 11 years.

COULD SURPRISE: RB Javon Ringer was chosen in the fifth round (No. 173 overall). It is a bit surprising in a draft without a lot of star running backs that a workhorse like Ringer would last until the bottom of the fifth round. If he comes close to his Michigan State production, he will no doubt make things uncomfortable for Chris Henry and possibly LenDale White.

A closer look at the Titans' picks:

Round 1/30 -- Kenny Britt, WR, 6-3, 215, Rutgers

With virtually no depth behind starters Nate Washington and Justin Gage, the Titans took the plunge and drafted Britt. Sitting at pick No. 30, they hoped to land either Britt or Hakeem Nicks, who went one pick earlier to the New York Giants. Britt gives the Titans a potential big-play receiver, something missing from the offense for at least five years.

Round 2/62 -- Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, 6-2, 308, Auburn

Marks' play tailed off his junior year at Auburn after a strong sophomore campaign. That was due to him playing on two high ankle sprains, a tribute to the toughness that attracted the Titans. Marks has the quickness to be an inside rusher and should be a good fit for defensive line coach Jim Washburn's system.

Round 3/89 -- Jared Cook, TE, 6-5, 246, South Carolina

The Titans were enamored enough with Cook, whom they considered a first-day pick, that they shipped a second-rounder in 2010 to New England to jump in and take him. Cook has plenty of upside, leading the Titans to believe they can create mismatches with him.

Round 3/94 -- Ryan Mouton, CB, 5-9 187, Hawaii

Mouton becomes the replacement for Chris Carr in sub-packages for the Titans and perhaps on special teams given his return skills. Perhaps best suited as a nickel or dime cornerback early on, he provides a needed upgrade and depth at cornerback.

Round 4/130 -- Gerald McRath, OLB, 6-3, 220, Southern Mississippi

McRath is a player the Titans tried to trade up for in the fourth round, only to have him fall to them late in the round. McRath's role will be on special teams and as a backup weak-side linebacker to Keith Bulluck.

Round 4/135, Troy Kropog, OT, 6-6, 318, Tulane

Kropog is line coach Mike Munchak's newest project, and he likely fills the void of third tackle held by departed free agent Daniel Loper. Kropog can play either tackle spot and can slide inside to guard in a pinch.

Round 5/173 -- Javon Ringer, RB, 5-9, 205, Michigan State

It was surprising to find Ringer on the board this late, and the Titans pounced, even though running back is not a need area immediately. Ringer will at least challenge for the No. 3 spot, and perhaps No. 2 behind Chris Johnson.

Round 6/203 -- Jason McCourty, CB, 6-0, 193, Rutgers

The Titans went back to Rutgers for cornerback and special teams depth. McCourty can also return kicks, and at 6-0 has decent size for a speed cornerback.

Round 6/206 -- Dominique Edison, WR, 6-2, 2-4, Stephen F. Austin

A project wide receiver, whose speed will allow him to help on special teams. The Titans like the size, speed combination as well as his decent production, despite playing at a lower level.

Round 7/239 -- Ryan Durand, G, 6-5, 307, Syracuse

Smart offensive lineman that will be another Munchak project to provide depth and possibly more in future years.

Round 7/242 -- Nick Schommer, S, 60, 197, North Dakota State

Another small school player who will get a chance to make his mark on special teams and compete to be the No. 4 or 5 safety on the roster.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 27, 2009

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Jamie Petrowski Name: Jamie Petrowski
Position: TE
Age: 26
Experience: 1 years
College: Indiana State
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