Thursday, April 3, 2014
Who besides the Titans will draft a RB?
By Paul Kuharsky
The Titans will be drafting a running back. Once they part ways with Chris Johnson, the position will qualify as their biggest need as they seek a draft pick to put into a committee with Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster.
One element of that draft need we haven’t covered yet is how few teams need a back.
I was part of a conversation with Mel Kiper Thursday and he could only cite three teams he felt have a strong need: the Giants, Dolphins and Titans. Most teams looking for a back are looking for depth more than for a No. 1.
In his Grade A mock draft , Kiper lists three, four or five “top needs” for each team in the league. It’s 130 needs in total, and he lists running back once -- for Tennessee.
“Every year we say this, every year there are third- to sixth-round running backs that are outstanding,” Kiper said. “And this year more than any other, because there is not going to be a first-round running back. There are not many teams now that need a running back. What, three to five, maybe, that could take a running back within the first four rounds? So you’re going to get some really good ones available on Day 3.”
I asked Kiper if the Titans don’t take someone like Tre Mason or Carlos Hyde in the second round and wait until the fourth or fifth round to grab a back, who he viewed as a good fit with Greene and McCluster. (The Titans do not have a third-round pick.)
“I would say Andre Williams, Boston College," Kiper said. "He doesn’t catch the ball well, but he’s an outstanding runner and he’s got a lot of talent and had a tremendous year. As a pure runner, Jeremy Hill from LSU. If you want a kid who’s a tremendously talented runner, he obviously played quarterback in that running offense at Georgia Southern, Jerick McKinnon.
He also mentioned Devonta Freeman of Florida State and Charles Sims out of West Virginia.
A skilled runner who doesn't catch well sounds like a guy who could work for Tennessee. Since that's McCluster's forte, the Titans could be patient in that department with Williams.