Is there reason to panic if the Titans don’t draft a quarterback in round one? I know it’s very likely that the Titans take Matt Leinert or Vince Young with the number three overall pick. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that they don’t. The Titans could take Mario Williams, the top defensive end, or D`Brickashaw Ferguson, the top tackle. The Titans need a quarterback of the future. They also need help in other places. With a pick so high, the Titans might feel like they need a high-profile guy like Young or Leinert. At the same time, shoring up the OL with Ferguson or the DL with Williams could help the team more.
Ferguson is somewhat undersized for an offensive tackle. The Titans have slotted Michael Roos at left tackle, although Roos played right tackle all last year. A stronger offensive line would help a shaky running game and give a quarterback, even Steve McNair, better protection. Ferguson put on weight in college, so he could gain another 30 pounds and be ready for opening day. Right now the only other experienced OT prospect on the Titans is Jacob Bell. Bell has been primarily a guard, although he played right tackle last year. The Titans averaged 3.8 yards per carry last year, down from 4.4. Their failures in short-yardage situations are legendary.
Williams has moved up in the draft lately. He’s a physical freak with a Kearse-esque wingspan. The Titans drafted three defensive ends two years ago. Kyle Vanden Bosch was the best free-agent bargain in the league last year. He signed an extension, which takes care of one end. Adding a pass-rusher like Williams would really help a defense that was one of the worst units in the league last year.
There’s no lesser chance of failure in taking a defensive end or offensive tackle instead of a quarterback with the number three overall pick. The question is whether other needs could be addressed with the selection. If the Titans don’t take a quarterback in the first round, that might help work out a deal with Steve McNair. Heck, they could take someone like Omar Jacobs in the second round to fill the QB of the future role. Jacobs had a crazy 10-1 TD/Interception ratio as a sophomore at Bowling Green, although he suffered through some injuries as a senior. It’s always good to have options.