After two days of filling holes in the roster, Tennessee set its eyes on the quarterback position. After seeing a majority of the top-tier prospects fall off the board, the Titans snagged quarterback Zach Mettenberger by trading away the seventh rounder in order to move up.
Dave Guberman and I discussed the move and what it means for the team.
Raj Prashad: So we’ve taken care of most of the draft, and I saved this one for last. Zach Mettenberger. His name has been everywhere. Analysts think he’s a sure-fire starter and Jake Locker could lose the job early in the year. I’m not sold on that. I think he’s a solid prospect and mostly a just-in-case guy if Locker doesn’t work out.
There’s a little Drew Breew/Philip Rivers quarterback controversy when the duo was with the San Diego Chargers in the way this feels. Thoughts on the LSU project?
Dave Guberman: I agree with that 100 percent. The Titans trading up in the sixth round to snag the last of the SEC quarterbacks was a good decision to perhaps develop him into a starting quarterback, as Whisenhunt has done with QBs previously.
RP: I tend to agree with that. They seem thrilled with him, but I don’t see him getting any play time, or really being pushed into it unless Locker gets hurt.
DG: Mettenberger will start the season as the third-string quarterback, with Locker starting, and Whitehurst backing up Locker. The job is Locker’s to lose, and unless he performs terribly, or suffers yet another injury, the team we have is Locker’s to lead, at least for another season.
Mettenberger is at least a year or two from being a consistent starting quarterback in the NFL. He has the size and the arm strength, which is encouraging, but Locker is a dual-threat QB. If he can just improve his accuracy and stay healthy, he is the guy. Locker needs to take that next step this season, or else Mettenberger will be Whisenhunt’s guy moving forward.
RP: It won’t even take Locker not playing necessarily well moving forward for Whiz to roll with Mettenberger. The former LSU gunslinger fits the mold of a “Whisenhunt guy” – like you said, he’s big and has a strong arm. While Locker is a dual threat, I don’t see him really fitting the mold of what Whiz wants to develop in Tennessee. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, because Locker has done and said all the right things since landing with the Titans.
That wraps up the draft, but we’ll have a complete roundup of all the posts from the “Under Review” series and a draft grade Tuesday.
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