The Titans headed into this year’s draft with a lot of holes to fill. Despite a 9-7 record in the 2011 season, some of Tennessee’s previous strong suits had failed miserably. Once known for their hard nosed defense line with the likes of Javon Kearse and Albert Haynesworth, the Titans had only 28 sacks last season, the second fewest of any team in the league. And despite having one of the league’s best running backs in Chris Johnson, the Titans only managed 3.8 yards a carry, again second fewest in the NFL.
So just over two hours into the draft with the 20th pick, the Titans selected Baylor WR Kendall Wright. Does he fit any of the needs listed above? Not quite. In recent years the Titans have struggled to make a name for itself at wide out. Thankfully, with the selection of Kenny Britt in the first round of the 2009 draft, Tennessee was finally making headway. Out goes Kerry Collins and Vince Young, in comes Matt Hasselbeck, and BAM- Hasselbeck and Britt started off the 2011 season on fire. Until Week 3 when Britt blew out his ACL and ended his season. With Britt out, veteran Nate Washington stepped up his performance and young receivers Damian Williams and LaVelle Hawkins caught some balls too, but clearly not enough to keep their jobs in check.
Kendall Wright is an exciting pick. He was a four-year starter at Baylor, catching balls from the infamous RGIII and setting records left and right. The Titans are really going to look forward to his explosive energy that they have lacked in the position in recent years. At only 5’10, he’s not going to be the guy to go up and grab tough balls, but with 6’3 Britt on the other side, hopefully he won’t have to. He’s also not going to offer much in terms of blocking. What will be interesting is how the Titans plan to use him as punt returner. Marc Mariani has been decent back there, but Wright might add the explosiveness the Titans have been missing since the Pacman days.