AFC South: Earvin Johnson

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

While researching and pondering some players for the Best Match blog entry Monday afternoon, I was struck by something on the day that Nate Washington wound up signing with the Titans.

Take Six
Washington is the sixth try the Titans will make at finding production out of a receiver who came out of college in 2005. The first five:
Receiver School How obtained Current locale Comment
Courtney Roby Indiana 3rd-rd. pick N.O. Six games with Colts and Saints in '08, no catches
Brandon Jones Oklahoma 3rd-rd. pick S.F. Despite inconsistencies, just got 5-year, $16.4 million deal in S.F.
Roydell Williams Tulane 4th-rd. pick not in NFL Cut by Titans before 2008 season
O.J. Small Florida Rookie free agent not in NFL Two games, one-catch as injury fill-in in 2005
Mike Williams USC Free agent in '07
not in NFL
Played two of six games, no catches

Jason Anderson out of Wake Forest, another rookie free agent, spent some time on the practice squad in 2005. Coming out of their salary-cap purge that included cutting Derrick Mason, the Titans also signed five others as undrafted free agents: Chris Bush, Vincent Cartwright, Ellis Edbrow, Earvin Johnson and Alonzo Nix.

To their credit, the Titans passed on Williams and Troy Williamson when they were so so highly touted in that draft. To their discredit, the player they took instead at No. 6, Adam "Pacman" Jones, might have been a better football player but was an even bigger headache.

The three receivers still of note from that draft -- Braylon Edwards, Roddy White and Vincent Jackson -- were selected third, 27th and 61st. The Titans' strategy was to take three and hope at least one would break through, but they didn't start spending until they took Roby 68th.

But here's what I am getting at, and I am curious what you think:

Does the fact the Titans would go a sixth time into that group to sign a player who came into the league out of mighty D-II Tiffin as an unrestricted free agent serve as a testament to just how hard it is to find the right guy in a class?

Or is it an indictment of their ability to sift through a group and find the talent?

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