I won’t bore you with the details. OK, I’ll bore you with some details, but they should be the good ones. Thanks to some quality arm-pulling by Brandon aka @empulse, the mad genius behind the #mock franchise, I got to steer the Titans ship in the #mocksix experience. I got to bring along three “assistant GMs” who I lovingly call minions, Justin Stewart and Josh Gunnels of Titans Sized and Michael Giles of Twitter.
** Round Seven Update ** When I look at the available players, I’ll be as confused as when I watch Vampire Diaries with the wife.
** Round Six Update ** Needs were gone, and it’s best player available time, dudes. I was at an off-site meeting, which is translated to “where’s the free food and booze?”, so I had to ask my assistants to do the research for me. Josh showed up and suggested “Ask” Kerwynn Williams of Utah State. Riddle me this, who’s the third-down back for the Titans this year? Shonn “stone hands” Greene, Chris “lazy hands” Johnson, or Jamie “what, I haven’t been cut yet?” Harper? Exactly. Williams has speed, can catch the ball, and who knows, maybe he can be a dark horse returner candidate. What’s in the RB water at Utah State, anyway?
** Round Five Update ** There was one “need” position left, and that was defensive end. Michael suggested Lavar Edwards of LSU. LSU and FSU had deeper DE rotations than the Titans last year.
** Round Four Update ** It was Saturday morning and I was predictably hung over. The pick came up. I asked the draft room. Leon McFadden was the guy last round, so he’d be the guy this round. Greg Cosell mentioned him in the Shutdown Corner podcast this week, and that’s good enough for me.
** Day Three Update ** Did I mention we were rotating draft responsibility? We were on the verge of making our third-round pick and were one choice away, which is torment when you wait hours to add a player to your virtual roster. As the day came to a close, I had convinced the room to take Markus Wheaton. The following morning, one of the assistants made a last push for David Amerson. I’m not as convinced that the Titans need a cornerback and Amerson’s been talked about as a potential free safety in the league. I took the reins and selected Wheaton when our pick came up, I took him. I did have a moment of pause when I saw that he’s a somewhat undersized guy, as is Wright. So be it. Speed kills.
When it was time for our 3.35 pick, I was a few Fat Tires into my evening. The assistants wanted a player of need, and I drunkenly asked if E.J. Manuel was on the board. He was. I called it.
It’s hard to go into these drafts with a true strategy. You want to pick players who will make the team better in 2013 but the future’s important. It’s kind of like a fantasy draft in that you’re slotting a certain pick for a certain position but another guy drops so far that you have to take him. There’s no way that E.J. Manuel’s going to last that far, and even if he did, would the Titans take him? Screw the plan, we have the zone-read QB of everyone’s dreams, although if you said zone read and the NFL without joking last summer, you’d be laughed out of a draft room.
** Day Two Update ** It was a long day in the Titans war room, as the empty cans of Pepsi Max, Meister Brau, and Red Bull on the floor can attest. We talked wideouts, cornerbacks, defensive ends, safeties and even a middle linebacker or two. I was hot for a fella on the DL but Josh and Justin wanted Matt Elam and I made the executive decision to rotate the final choice on each pick among the four guys. Elam will be groomed for a starting role in 2014.
I really do believe that the Titans are going to take a guy other than a guard with their 10th overall pick. It has to be a tough call from a franchise that has two Hall of Fame offensive linemen who were top-ten picks themselves. The theory is the following: The Titans have just invested a ton of money in Andy Levitre, who for the next four years (after this year) will have a cap number of $8.6 million. Guard isn’t necessarily like tackle in that the blindside guy is valued way more than the other side. If you can skimp anywhere, it’s right guard.
It was fun and a little frustrating to go back and forth with three other people with whom I’ve had limited interaction. We found e-mail to be the best way to communicate and I created a Google Drive spreadsheet so we could keep track of our picks and our “wish list”. I thought to take it easy mentally and have Chance Warmack/Jonathan Cooper on top of the list and if a DT like Star or Floyd (going first and last name on those two gentlemen for ease of spelling) dropped to think about pulling the trigger.
The draft went as I think the actual draft is going to go next week. Totally boring with the Chiefs taking Joeckel and the Jags taking Dion Jordan. Then we entered the chaos zone. The Dolphins traded up with the Raiders to get 1.03 and select Eric Fisher. The Eagles took Star. The Lions went with Ezekiel “25:17” Ansah.
The Browns made a curious move in taking Geno Smith at pick number six. This allowed the Cardinals to take Lane Johnson at pick seven, and real Cardinals fans can only hope that’s the real outcome. The Bucs traded with the Bills to get the 8th pick and took Dee Milliner. Bills fans like this deal until they realize that eventually, Buddy Nix is going to have to make a pick. The Jets took Barkevious at 1.09.
It was time to make a pick. I tried to drum up some trade interest. The Rams owner offered the following: My 10, 40, and 107 for his 16 and 22. In short, I’d give up my 1st, 2nd, and 4th picks for the two Rams’ first rounders. My minions did the math and thought that our end came up short so I passed. I took Warmack.
Yeah, I said the opposite regarding what I think the Titans will do in nine days. On their board they probably have a player higher than Warmack who’s going to be there at the 10th pick. I do not have privy to that information, so I went for keeping Jake Locker upright and giving CJFUk one less thing to complain about.
Two picks later, the Rams traded up with the Raiders. The Rams offered the Raiders the same deal, except that the Rams got a third-rounder back instead of a fourth. It’s the power of the mustache, I tells ya.
As of 8:18 p.m., we’ve seen 14 picks and four trades.
Raiders 1.03 to Dolphins for 1.12, 2.11
Bills 1.08 to Bucs for 1.13 4.15 6.13
Raiders 1.12 2.11 3.04 to Rams for 1.16 1.22
Bills 1.13 to Giants for 1.19, 3.19, 6.19