Looking back to last week, it’s even more evident that Tennessee Titans made a number of interesting selections over the NFL Draft weekend.
Fellow cover32 staffer Dave Guberman and I decided to discuss Tennessee’s selections from each round. Below is our conversation on first-round pick Taylor Lewan:
Raj Prashad: Well, let’s start with Lewan. Interesting pick with Aaron Donald and C.J. Mosley still on the board. He was probably the best player available and probably a backup plan for Michael Roos or Michael Oher to depart next summer. Your thoughts on the first round?
Dave Guberman: I definitely agree that Lewan was the best player available at No. 11. Not gonna lie, I didn’t know much about him before Tennessee drafted him. As good as Aaron Donald could become, the Titans defensive line is so deep, and they rotate players in and out constantly, I feel that made Donald less valuable for the Titans.
Mosley could have been a solid pick, but I do see him as more of a middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, and with the Titans switching to a 3-4 hybrid scheme, he may not have been a perfect fit.
RP: Ken Whisenhunt was pretty honest from the get-go when he said they would snag the best available. I can see your points on Donald and Mosley, but feel like a run-stuffer is really what Tennessee needed out of this draft and it could have gotten that with Donald. When the pick came up, I expected a trade or Donald and was a little shocked when Lewan went off the board.
DG: I was definitely a little surprised when they chose Lewan, as I was expecting a defensive back like Darqueze Dennard or even a quarterback in Johnny Manziel perhaps. Maybe Justin Gilbert was the defensive back they wanted, and when the Browns snagged him at No. 8, they opted to go another route.
After watching Lewan’s game-tape and seeing that he is a 6-foot-7, 309-pound monster who ran a 4.8 40-yard-dash at the combine, I was pretty satisfied with the pick. He could end up being a cornerstone on the outside of the Titans offensive line for the next 10 years. I think that Oher could see playing time this season, but as of now, I see Lewan and Roos as the clear-cut starting offensive tackles for the team heading into training camp.
RP: I don’t think any Titans people outside of myself really wanted Johnny Football. He has a swagger about him that reminds me of guys like Deion Sanders. He’s just so confident in himself that it seems to rub off on his teammates.
As to your last point, that’s really the biggest question.
After giving that kind of money to Oher (four years, $20 million), how do you not start him? Roos is a vet and you’d expect him to start as well. Honestly, I’ve got Lewan sitting back and watching for a year until Tennessee decides which tackle won’t be there next year.
DG: Lewan does have some…aggressiveness problems I guess you could say. Maybe a year to sit back and watch his rookie year could let him develop and mature a little, while learning from the older guys on how to be a contributing part of the team. Oher’s contract is a good point, but whichever two of the three solidify themselves as the best offensive tackles throughout OTA’s and training camp, those two will get the nod.
That’s it for the first round, but check back Saturday for our breakdown of the second round.