Titans select Cal's Schwenke in 4th round

By STEVE MEGARGEE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-27 12:55

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Titans are taking nothing for granted in their attempts to improve the middle of their offensive line.

Two days after taking Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack with the 10th overall pick in the draft, the Titans continued reconstructing the interior of their line Saturday by using a fourth-round selection on California guard/center Brian Schwenke.

That continues a rebuilding process that started well before the draft.

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Tennessee lured free-agent guard Andy Levitre away from Buffalo with a six-year, $46.8 million contract. The Titans also signed free agent guard/centers Rob Turner and Chris Spencer. Fernando Velasco, the Titans' starting center last year, signed a one-year tender Monday.

Titans coach Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard, is trying to improve a line that didn't open up enough running room for Chris Johnson or provide enough protection for Jake Locker last season.

All those additions naturally might create uncertainty for the returning linemen.

``The natural question is, `What does this mean for me?' `` Munchak said. ``It means do everything you need to do to be the best player you can be. You'll get your opportunity on the field. You're going to have an opportunity to compete and make the team if you're one of the best players. Competition, there's nothing bad about that.''

Schwenke started 12 games at left guard for California in 2011 and moved to center last season. The Titans believe he can play both spots, but they prefer him at center. He recorded 85 knockdowns last season and finished second to Stanford tackle David Yankey in balloting for the Morris Trophy that goes to the Pac-12's top offensive lineman.

Schwenke worked out with Warmack before the draft and said he looked forward to playing alongside him. Both of them said they hoped before the draft they'd end up in Tennessee because they wanted to play for Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, both Hall of Fame guards.

Warmack's ``just an absolute monster on the field,'' Schwenke said. ``He's a great player. I watched his film. I'm very excited. I never thought I'd get to play next to him.''

Schwenke says he has the type of mean streak that he considers an essential ingredient for a successful offensive lineman.

``Absolutely, the best offensive linemen have a little bit of nattiness in them,'' Schwenke said. ``I don't think you're going to find the best offensive lineman who's a nice guy on the field. It's not going to happen.''

Schwenke garnered the Titans' interest with his performance at the Senior Bowl. After looking at his game tapes, the Titans were even more intrigued.

``Eyeballing him at the Senior Bowl, he stood out to me,'' Matthews said. ``Like Munch said, coming back and studying tape, I agree he was the top center as far as we were concerned. I'm very pleased he was still available.''

Schwenke will get a chance to play immediately.

``The best five's going to play,'' Matthews said. ``If that means two rookies, that's great, it means those guys are developing and doing well.''

Although the offensive line has garnered the most attention so far, the Titans also have tried to fill other needs this week. They traded up in the second round to take Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter and used their third-round picks on Connecticut cornerback Bidri Wreh-Wilson and Missouri outside linebacker Zaviar Gooden.