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According to the “Experts”, Titans Draft Grade "D+"
Jeff Fuqua
Apr 28, 2008

It happens every year.

The draft “experts” second guess every NFL general manager and grade their drafts knowing it’ll be three seasons before the truth will be known.

Remember the high grades the Titans received in ‘03? Woolfolk was a steal, Calico a stud and Chris Brown looked like a huge value in the third round.

So take these grades for what they’re worth which ain’t much.


USA Today
Larry Weisman

"If they plan on running the wishbone, boost the grade. RB Chris Johnson ran the fastest times in the 40-yard dash at the combine and then ran right into the first round with a team that keeps drafting at this position (LenDale White, Chris Henry) and pays too little attention to its WRs and the holes along the d-line. No team had fewer TD catches last year than the Titans' nine and the Titans did not do enough here to help QB Vince Young."

Grade: D+


AOL.com
Michael David Smith

"The Titans love drafting running backs and added another with East Carolina's Chris Johnson, the fastest player in the draft. Johnson isn't a bad player, but he is a bad pick, because the Titans have a much greater need at wide receiver, a need they didn't address until the fourth round, when they chose Cal's Lavelle Hawkins."

Grade: D+


Detroit News
Mike O'Hara

"Johnson was the fastest back in the draft, and Jones will add a pass rush. Keglar was a sharp fifth-rounder."

Grade: C


Sporting News
Clifton Brown

"No excuse for failing to get Vince Young a top-rated receiver. Chris Johnson is a speedy back, but this team had the league's fewest TD catches last year. That may happen again."

Grade: D-


Baltimore Sun
Ken Murray

Pick to watch: "RB Chris Johnson had the fastest 40 time at the combine. While he's not a between-the-tackles runner, he can be a big threat if used correctly."

Bottom line: "Upgrades for the offense will help Vince Young."

Grade: D+


Fox Sports

John Czarnecki

"Eastern Carolina running back Chris Johnson ran 4.24 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Combine, and many scouts believe he has the escapability of a Reggie Bush. He should complement the inside bruising running style of LenDale White. Jason Jones of Eastern Michigan will be given every shot to replace Antwan Odom at RDE. Cal receiver Lavelle Hawkins plays faster than he runs and has a chance to be productive as a rookie. They took another Golden Bear in TE Craig Stevens, who is a much better blocker than a receiver. The Titans didn't land a lot of quality after Johnson."

Grade: D


The Sports Network

Tony Moss

"The Titans were obviously targeting a running back with their first pick, and took the speedy Johnson when Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, and Rashard Mendenhall all came off the board. Tennessee could frequently use Johnson in the slot, a la Brian Westbrook, to utilize his speed. The second- round pick, Jones, was a college tackle who looks like a right end at the next level. Tennessee took two much-needed targets (both from Cal) in Stevens and Hawkins on the second day, but Stevens is more of a blocker and Hawkins benefited from being lined up opposite DeSean Jackson as a collegian. Hayes must adapt to the NFL level right away for a team that needs his body for depth on the d-line. Elsewhere on the second day, Keglar will be a special- teamer due to his athleticism, but the raw Williams appears headed to the practice squad."

Grade: C-


Yahoo! Sports
Jason Cole

"This not a shot at Johnson, who is one of the fastest players in the draft, but this is the third consecutive year the Titans have spent a first- or second-round pick on a running back. They desperately need receiving help. Jones fills in for the loss of Antwan Odom. Hayes will get a shot at that job as well, but he was more of reach. Hawkins is a really nice pickup in the fourth round, but the Titans needed to get another one earlier."

Grade: D


Dallas Morning News
Rick Gosselin

"The Titans needed offensive speed and landed the fastest player in this draft in RB Johnson. Tennessee had the best fourth round of the draft, taking big school producers Hawkins and Kegler and small-school riser Hayes."

Grade: B


ESPN
Mel Kiper

"Running back Chris Johnson is a good player, but I wasn't expecting him to go to Tennessee, especially because the Titans need a wide receiver. (They should have looked at WR Devin Thomas in the first round.) They did get WR Lavelle Hawkins in the fourth round and Vince Young will like the former California wide receiver. Jason Jones can play DE or DT. I don't have a problem with the player they drafted on Day 1, but the philosophy is skewed. It was the third straight year Tennessee drafted a running back in the first two rounds. Craig Stevens is a good blocking tight end. William Hayes has good closing speed for a defensive end, but was a reach in the fourth round. Stanford Keglar was a good fourth-round pick with some ability, and seventh-rounder Cary Williams could make this team as a developmental cornerback."

Grade: C


Other comments:
Sports Illustrated
Peter King

"I should call this the Matt Millen Memorial Wide Receiver Stat of the Week, in honor of the Detroit executive who picked wide receivers in the top 10 of the draft in three consecutive years: The Tennessee Titans have taken a running back in the top 50 picks of the draft three years in a row -- Chris Johnson in 2008 (24th overall), Chris Henry in 2007 (50th), and LenDale White in 2006 (45th). I'm not really interested in hearing an explanation on that. It's just wrong."


Sports Illustrated
Tony Pauline

"Johnson was the fastest running back at the combine. Scouts still think the East Carolina product is much more athlete than polished ball-carrier at this point."


ESPN
Pat Yasinskas

"After using a second-round pick in each of the past two drafts to get running backs LenDale White and Chris Henry, the Titans, who had lots of needs elsewhere (mainly wide receiver), turned around and used a first-round pick on East Carolina running back Chris Johnson.

Henry hasn't shown much and this move is probably a sign the Titans don't think he's going to work out. But White was a 1,000-yard rusher last season and the Titans probably don't need a new starter. They probably didn't get one because Johnson is undersized and may be nothing more than a third-down back. Johnson is explosive and could provide a nice complement to White, but you don't draft complementary players in the first round."





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NEXT GAME
TBA
LAST GAME
Titans 17
Seahawks 13
Passing
V. Young:
17/28, 171 yards,
1 INT, LG 29,
RT 63.2
Rushing
C. Johnson:
36/134, 3.7 AVG, 2 TDs, LG 12
Receptions
N. Washington:
6/83, 13.8 AVG,
LG 29



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2009
TEAM STATS
Total Offense
12th
Total: 351.4
Passing: 189.4
Rushing: 162.0
Scoring Avg.: 22.1
Total Defense 28th
Total: 365.6
Passing: 258.7
Rushing: 106.9
Scoring Avg.: 25.1

2009
STAT LEADERS
Passing
V. Young
Attempts: 259
Completions: 152
Yards: 1879
Touchdowns: 10
Interceptions: 7
Passer Rating: 82.8
Rushing
C. Johnson
Carries: 358
Yards: 2006
Average: 5.6
Touchdowns: 14
Receiving
K. Britt
Receptions: 42
Yards: 701
Average: 16.7
Touchdowns: 3

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