2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Titans have flexibility picking at No. 20 overall

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-23 11:12

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans' biggest move in free agency fell flat when Peyton Manning chose Denver. They still have plenty of options in the NFL draft.

They filled their quarterback needs last season by drafting Jake Locker with the eighth pick overall and then signing veteran Matt Hasselbeck to a three-year contract. They chased Manning as a free agent only when owner Bud Adams decided to join the chase. Since Manning chose Denver, new general manager Ruston Webster has been busy meeting with a handful of veteran free agent centers and signing defensive linemen.

Tennessee also has visited with some of the top receivers available in the draft starting Thursday night. Webster said there could be clues there, but the choice will be simple at No. 20 overall.

``You just want to make sure you take the best player,'' Webster said. ``If receivers are there and a level better than the defensive player, it's always a possibility. I think, though, it'll depend on who else is there.''

Webster was promoted in January to general manager when Adams moved Mike Reinfeldt to chief operating officer. Webster has worked drafts for a couple decades starting with Tampa Bay and Seattle before coming to Tennessee. This will be his first making the final call on a pick, and he has just seven, Tennessee's fewest since 2003.

The Titans just missed out on a playoff berth in coach Mike Munchak's debut season, going 9-7 and losing out on tiebreakers to Cincinnati as a wild card. It was an impressive record considering Munchak had two new coordinators in Chris Palmer and Jerry Gray with no offseason to teach their schemes thanks to the lockout.

Gray also had a bigger challenge with four rookies contributing heavily on defense while still ranking eighth in the league in points allowed, giving up 19.8 points per game. But the Titans finished next to last with a measly 28 sacks, making improving the pass rush a big key this offseason.

Lost in the news of Manning choosing Denver was Webster signing Kamerion Wimbley to a five-year deal that will see the linebacker play at defensive end in Tennessee. Webster also re-signed Dave Ball to a one-year deal and brought in Leger Douzable in moves to take some of the pressure off hitting on a defensive end in the draft who can play immediately. They also expect more from end Derrick Morgan, the 16th pick overall in 2010, with his first full offseason.

``Defense is a big focus of ours this year,'' the general manager said.

The Titans also signed five-time All Pro Steve Hutchison as a free agent and plan to use him at left guard. They visited with Chris Myers, Scott Wells, Jeff Saturday, Dan Koppen and Jeff Faine only to see four sign elsewhere. It's part of trying to improve the interior of the offensive line after ranking 31st in the NFL in rushing, averaging 89.9 yards per game, with Chris Johnson having his worst season after signing his big contract extension.

On defense, Tennessee let cornerback Cortland Finnegan leave for St. Louis as a free agent. They slapped the franchise tag on safety Michael Griffin and signed safety Jordan Babineaux to a new deal.

The Titans open their offseason program Monday and are counting on that helping boost a defense that had so many rookies play so much in 2011. Linebacker Akeem Ayers, the second pick overall, was their first rookie to start all 16 games for Tennessee since safety Tank Williams in 2002. Third-round pick Jurrell Casey started 15 games at tackle, while tackle Karl Klug started one and played in all 16.

Colin McCarthy played in 13 and took over as the starting middle linebacker for seven games down the stretch. Cornerback Tommie Campbell, a seventh-round pick, played in 15 games himself.

``It's going to be a huge help for our coaches, our players, just for our players to be able to spend time with (strength coach) Steve Watterson and be in the training room with any rehab they have to do with (trainer) Brad Brown,'' Webster said. ``All of that is a positive and should definitely help us for next year. We still hope to hit with all our picks.''

Nate Washington, Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins all had career seasons at receiver, but Kenny Britt, their top pick overall in 2009, tore his right ACL in September. He's expected to be ready for training camp but has missed games with injuries each of the past two years. So the Titans met with Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame, Baylor's Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech.

They also met with South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive end Melvin Ingram.

So if Webster can follow up Reinfeldt's success, this should be a draft to remember.

``Hopefully, I'll remember it fondly,'' Webster said.

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Drew StantonSep 17 09:45p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton is in line to start his second straight game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 with QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) sidelined. It [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), LB Alex Okafor (thigh) and DE Frostee Rucker (calf) each did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB Larry Foote (shoulder) and P Dave [ More ]

Andre EllingtonSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

B. Green-EllisSep 17 08:03p

Several clubs have reportedly reached out to free-agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals), who is still in the process of rehab after suffering a hip injury in the preseason.

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities Wednesday, Sept. 17. The team was made aware of allegations by the Phoenix police and are cooperating [ More ]

Marshawn LynchSep 17 07:53p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Vernon DavisSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, and he is still on crutches.

Justin SmithSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (hamstring), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee) and DT Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Terrell ManningSep 17 07:33p

Miami Dolphins LB Terrell Manning was released Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dion LewisSep 17 07:23p

Arizona Cardinals P Drew Butler, Chicago Bears RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams, Houston Texans LB Jason Ankrah, Indianapolis Colts RB Dion Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cameron [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 07:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer is being questioned for a domestic violence incident, according to sources. However, he hasn't been arrested, and his status remains unchanged.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 17 07:03p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dwan EdwardsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers OT Byron Bell (toe), WR Philly Brown (ankle), OT Nate Chandler (toe), LB Thomas Davis (hip), DT Dwan Edwards (back), RB Mike Tolbert (chest), RB Fozzy Whittaker [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Shane VereenSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) has been added to this week's injury report, and he was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Julian EdelmanSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (back) was added to the injury report and was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Alfonzo DennardSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots S Don Jones (hamstring) and LB Jerod Mayo (non-injury) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (knee), [ More ]

Mike PounceySep 17 06:23p

Miami Dolphins DE Terrence Fede (knee), LB Koa Misi (ankle) and OG Shelley Smith (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. OT Branden Albert (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (calf), [ More ]

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

Brad JonesSep 17 05:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and DB Micah Hyde (knee) both were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Casey Hayward (glute) and LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Scott WellsSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee) and C Scott Wells (non-injury) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Brandon McGee (foot) was limited.

Tavon AustinSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Kirk CousinsSep 17 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return around eight weeks after head coach Jon Gruden said Griffin will be in a cast for the next 10 days. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and S Shiloh Keo (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), OG Ben Jones (ankle, knee), CB Johnathan Joseph [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 05:23p

The Minnesota Vikings intend to bring RB Adrian Peterson back after his legal issues are resolved.

Arian FosterSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group