Of all the visits to the Titans, this one makes me hmmm
As the draft approaches, the Titans have hosted many prospects recently. They are interviewing them and trying to ascertain whether they will fit with the team’s chemistry. Each prospect will also bring a unique personal and game history that they will surely “dig into” as well.
Twitter is full of reports of which players visited which team. I prefer Charlie Campbell of Walter Football for keeping track of which players visit the team. When a fan tweets that “their boy” visited a team, it always goes well and they are always going to draft that player. The fan’s love of the player really muddies up the report. Also, keep in mind, it is rarely ever reported that a visit went poorly. Surely some visits don’t go so well. I strongly recommend using a reputable source when considering player visit news on Twitter.
These visits are essentially job interviews. Does the team want to hire this worker?
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Sometimes there are stories where a team just about falls in love with a prospect. Last year, Kevin Byard reportedly made a wonderful impression on defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau. Before the draft, we heard almost nothing of this great meeting. If we had, we would have surely projected the Titans to select Byard in the draft. If we had, other teams would have also expected Titans general manager Jon Robinson to select Byard. Robinson has to be secretive. Let’s not hold that against him. Let’s just hope there are prospects he adores heading into the draft. Those are the prospects that usually pan out too.
What do we hear after the visits? Sometimes there are reports by guys like Adam Caplan, Adam Schefter, or Matt Miller. Usually, though, we don’t hear much of anything. I start to look for what I call the aftertaste
I start to look for what I call the aftertaste. Have you ever had some delicious food or drink which had an appealing first taste, then after you swallowed it had yet another taste? A good one? We are amidst this aftertaste time.
I am not seeing any love for Mike Williams, Corey Davis, Jamal Adams, and all the usual names. What I am seeing is almost like a love restored.
Derek Barnett went to Brentwood Academy and the University of Tennessee. This Nashville native was on “everyone’s” projected draft sheet for the Titans in January and February. The Titans would draft local boy Barnett.
As the offseason carried on, Barnett has risen and fallen and risen again up draft boards. A wonderful player, he’s not quite good enough to be the fifth pick, better than the 18th pick. He is a second rounder. He is a late first round pick. He is back into the top 15. He hasn’t really been projected to be a Titans pick in months.
The other day, Barnett visited the Titans and the team website posted a nice article about it. A couple days later and (there’s that aftertaste) the sentiment seems to be that the Titans are quite intrigued by Barnett again.
Grain of salt
Everyone local always wants the team to select the local talent. It’s a common fascination we all have- some variation of “home grown talent” I suppose. Jon Robinson would never say he is going to draft player X before the draft. His quotes in the winter were simple and non-committal. They were along the lines of, “Barnett is a good player” and were never “we will draft Barnett.” There is a whole lot of make-believe here that must be digested. Don’t just jump on this please.
This very same dance took place with Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham in March. After his pro day, “everyone” had the Titans selecting him also. Some sites are being coy with Barnett and listing player X as the Titans pick, yet in the words it states that they are intrigued by Barnett too. Burned by the January projection? Who knows why they’re doing that. There is definitely an aftertaste going on with Barnett.
There is definitely an aftertaste going on with Barnett.
My thoughts on the locals
I have always and will always say that if a team adds a 7-8 year starter in the first round, he’s a fine pick. To some degree, I don’t care if he is picked early or late. If the Titans draft Barnett with the fifth and Cunningham with the 18th pick, I will be pleased. That’s two positions I think the team needs to fill and I think both players have a bright future in the NFL.
They should trade down
This always comes up about this time of year. Yes, it should happen and it is ideal. The problem is simply that there are humans in a draft. Many of us do all these mocks where a computer approves a trade or we just assume a trade is fair so it will happen. Humans aren’t always so eager to trade. NFL General Managers may be just fine with their pick at the spot it is in the draft. They may not want to move. Please remember real world trades and internet trades are totally different.
Would this happen?
Probably not. Possibly more likely would be Johnathan Allen and Cunningham or Reuben Foster and Barnett. This is simply carrying on with the local theme.