Chris Ransom grades the Tennessee Titans 2015 NFL Draft. Does Tennessee have a bright future after drafting Marcus Mariota with the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft?
2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon A Grade
Tennessee needed a starting quarterback. I wasn't sold on Mettenberger and either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota would have been an upgrade at quarterback.
Marcus Mariota has better character than Jameis Winston. He also threw 80 touchdowns over the last two seasons with the Oregon Ducks. At the same time, 80 percent of his tape is from a shotgun spread offense.
Jameis Winston struggles down the stretch. Marcus Mariota on the other hand thrives down the stretch. During his final 4 games in 2014, Mariota threw 15 touchdowns and ran for 7 more before winning the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
If one head coach can get Mariota to adjust to a Pro Style offense right away it is Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt has made quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, and Phillip Rivers Pro Bowlers. Mariota might be next in line to join those 3 who were coached by Whisenhunt.
40. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma B- Grade
Dorial Green-Beckham was the #1 overall recruit in high school before committing to Missouri in 2012. Green-Beckham kept developing and showed flashes of potential near the end of his sophomore season.
Green-Beckham had character concerns at Missouri which led to his dismissal from the school following his 2013 season. After that he enrolled at Oklahoma.
Dorial Green-Beckham never played a down for Oklahoma because he was ineligible to play in 2014. As a result Oklahoma redshirted the 6-5 237 lb wide receiver. At the end of the 2014 season, Green-Beckham declared for the 2015 NFL Draft where he dominated the NFL Combine with a 4.49 40-yard dash and aced his Pro Day as well. Scary thing is Green-Beckham would have been the top receiver and possibly a top 5 pick in 2016 had he returned to school and played a full season at Oklahoma.
There's no question that Dorial Green-Beckham will be Marcus Mariota's biggest target. I'm just not sure he can beat out Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, and Hakeem Nicks for a starting gig while displaying better character. This feels like a boom or bust pick, and I'd be much more comfortable taking a receiver like this in the third round. That's why this pick got a B- Grade.
66. Jeremiah Poutasi, LT, Utah B- Grade
Tennessee already has a proven left tackle with Taylor Lewan their 2014 first round pick. The right tackle position was their biggest position of need. Tennessee has Byron Stingley who filled in for Michael Oher at right tackle in 2014 competing with Byron Bell, the Carolina Panthers left tackle for the starting right tackle job. Whoever loses the Stingley VS Bell right tackle job will be the backup right tackle.
Despite this Lewan needs a backup left tackle and you need a fourth offensive tackle as insurance on the roster even if you believe Bell can be a backup at either left tackle or right tackle should an injury occur. Jeremiah Poutasi is excellent at preventing sacks in pass protection, but struggles with allowing quarterback hurries on a constant basis.
That's the biggest reason why Poutasi will succeed as a backup left tackle on a team like Tennessee rather than fail as a starter. I liked this pick for depth in the third round. Still, I felt like the Titans should have addressed defense by getting a 3-4 middle linebacker at this spot, but with all the inside linebackers going in the second round, this was a solid backup plan.
100. Angelo Blackson, NT, Auburn C- Grade
Angelo Blackson wasn't ranked as high as defensive tackle teammate Gabe Wright. Blackson had a better performance at Auburn's Pro Day than Wright plus he has more experience as a starter as well when you consider the fact that he forced a fumble on Jameis Winston in the 2014 BCS Championship Game against Florida State.
Angelo Blacksom reminds me of Sammie Lee Hill coming out of Stillman. Ironically enough, Blackson will backup Hill in Tennessee.
108. Jalston Fowler, FB, Alabama C- Grade
Jalston Fowler is the best natural blocking fullback in the Draft. If you want a downhill runner at fullback you got with Tyler Varga out of Yale. Either way, taking a fullback this early is extremely irresponsible. Still I like this pick better than the Angelo Blackson pick at the top of the fourth in terms of value which is the only reason this pick got a C- grade. The truth is this pick deserves a D+ or D grade because taking a fullback this early is a major reach.
138. David Cobb, RB, Minnesota B Grade
David Cobb has excellent ball carrier vision and thrives on third and short situations making him a good rotational running back or a starter as your third down running back if you want to limit Bishop Sankey's carries. I still believe Sankey is the best running back from the 2014 NFL Draft, but at the same time Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers may challenge the Titans second round pick from a year ago for that honor if he keeps playing well.
I like Sankey as a 3 down running back. If Sankey fatigues or if it's third and 2 and you want to rest Sankey for a play or two to limit your carries you need a #2 running back that can come in and get 5 to 10 carries per game and that's what David Cobb will provide.
Cobb has good ball carrier vision and can read openings in the offensive line. If this guy gets by your front 7 he's taking it to the house for a touchdown. Cobb lacks speed at times because there are plays where he will put two hands around the ball because he's prone to fumbling. Cobb also struggled with pass blocking and catching out of the backfield, but corrected the latter by catching some screen passes down in Mobile during Senior Bowl week. Cobb is a great #2 running back for depth, but has too many weaknesses on tape to start which is why the Titans is a perfect fit for him.
I had Cobb graded as a sixth round pick. That's the only reason this pick received a B grade.
177. Deiontrez Mount, 3-4 ROLB, Louisville C Grade
Deiontrez Mount only has one year of experience as a starter. Like Lorenzo Mauldin and Marcus Rush he has the versatility to start on either side going up against left tackles or right tackles in a 3-4 defense.
The Titans should have taken someone else here. You cannot fault this pick too much though because it does address a critical need at pass rusher for depth.
208. Andy Gallik, C, Boston College A+ Grade
I love this pick. This was my favorite pick in the 2015 NFL Draft for the Titans.
Outside of Hroniss Grasu out of Oregon, I think this is the best pass blocking center in the entire NFL Draft. He may lack the run blocking that Cameron Erving or Grasu provides, but this is a tremendous value pick for depth at center.
The Titans' current starting center Brian Schwenke was a heralded center coming out of California, but has yet to post a full season with 16 starts under his belt. Depth was needed at center, and if Schwenke doesn't step up in 2015, Gallik will with Schwenke having to find a starting job or possibly even a backup gig elsewhere.
245. Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary A Grade
Tre McBride never had a 1,000 yard season at William & Mary. This guy did well at the NFL Combine and dominated William & Mary's Pro Day.
McBride had an awesome game on tape against West Virginia. The other thing to like about him is he can be a kick returner or punt returner on special teams.
Most teams had McBride graded out as a Day 3 pick in the fourth round. Getting McBride this late is quite a bargain.
Tennessee Titans Team Grade: B- Grade
Tennessee had a solid, but not a spectacular draft. Tampa Bay did everything in their power to ensure that Jameis Winston would make an immediate impact but drafting two starting offensive lineman in the second round. You'd like to think that's the case with the Titans after they took Marcus Mariota second overall, but the rookies on offense in Rounds 2-7 will have to compete for playing time in training camp.
The Titans brought in a few key players for depth on the defensive side of the ball. That should make the Titans feel more confident about their defense, but I still would have liked to see the Titans get a 3-4 middle linebacker.
The only other player besides Marcus Mariota that's guaranteed to start right away is Jalston Fowler. Fowler would be a blocking fullback on certain plays and he wouldn't play every down. Taking a fullback before the fifth round is extremely foolish so I question the decision to take Fowler this early entirely.
Guys like WR Dorial Green-Beckham, LT Jeremiah Poutasi, RB David Cobb, and C Andy Gallik are developmental players. How HC Ken Whisenhunt develops those guys will determine the Titans' future as well as his future as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee Titans 2014 NFL Draft Grades
Posted By Chris Ransom on 5/18/2014
Chris Ransom breaks down the Titans 2014 NFL Draft grades.
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