Now for the biggest surprises of the NFL draft and the local perspective of the Titans pick:
2. Nick Fairley to Detroit: This pick had to make Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler quiver. Jim Schwartz has always been known for his defensive line schemes since his days here in Tennessee. He now has a potentially devastating assortment of talent with Suh, Fairley and Vaden Bosch. They guys are going to hurt someone this year, mark it down. The physicality and nastiness that Fairley and Suh will bring every game will set the tone for the Lions defense. Both guys are known for their rough borderline dirty playing styles and it should be fun to see how they play off each other.
Local Perspective: Titans select Jake Locker with the 8th pick. I could have easily placed Tennessee in the worst 1st round slot that is currently filled by Minnesota. For the very same reasons I didn’t like the Vikings pick is the same reasons I don’t like the Titans pick as well. Locker seemed like a reach at 8. The first thing I did when the pick was announced was to go straight to my phone as I received numerous texts, twits and facebook statues asking one simple question. Why Locker? It was projected that he would go in the first round but just not in the top ten. The Titans need defensive help just as much as they need QB and they were staring at a potentially dominant force in Nick Fairley in the face. Now I know a lot of people will say that the Titans need a QB more than anything and that may be true but over reaching for a guy with a career 56% competition rate in college? They could have selected Fairley in the 1st round and had plethora of choices at QB in the 2nd round with the 39th pick.
However, contrary to my beliefs, this is a guy who would have been the number one pick in last year’s draft. He has tremendous upside if the Titans staff can correct his accuracy problems that plagued his draft status this year. He has all the intangibles you look for in a QB. As Jon Gruden said he is as tough as a two-dollar steak and this guy means business when he tucks the ball and takes off running. Todd McShay put it best when speaking of Locker. He stated that his potential ceiling could be as high as Aaron Rodgers and his bottom could be that of Heath Shuler. This is the rub I have with the pick. Why roll the dice on such a high risk high reward player? In the first round you want to absolutely without a doubt make sure you get the best player you can at your position. Most are saying that the Titans have been in love with Locker since the combine but I just question entire front office if that is the case. Even if they were so enamored with Locker, I’m pretty sure they could have traded down and got some more draft picks in return. It’s just so many different ways the Titans could have went with the 8th pick but they seem to know something we don’t about in Locker.
Hopefully Locker is more Aaron Rodgers than he is Heath Shuler because he is now the face of the franchise for the Tennessee Titans for the foreseeable future.