The picks are in, the clock has run out and now the preparation for training camp begins.
As the dust settled after a hectic weekend of NFL Draft coverage, the Tennessee Titans walked away with a handful of young men that can make immediate impacts on the field, and some who will need more time to grow and prosper.
On Thursday at the Radio Music City Hall in New York City, the Titans used their 11th pick of the first round to get OT Tyler Lewan of Michigan. In his time with the Wolverines, Lewan started 48 of 50 games, 13 of those spent at left tackle in 2013 when he was named a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten. In 2012, he played 13 games at LT and was named first-team All-American and All-Big Ten. With his tough, hard-working attitude, Lewan will give the offensive line a real weapon that the Titans were hurting during the 2013 campaign.
In the second round, Tennessee drafted University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey after swapping second-round picks with the Philadelphia Eagles and acquiring an extra fourth-round pick. Sankey became the first running back taken in this year’s draft. In Washington, Sankey rushed for 1,870 yards (fourth-most in NCAA) and 20 touchdowns on 327 carries. His role will be taking the spot of Chris Johnson, who was let go by the Titans a month earlier and signed with the New York Jets.
In the final round on Saturday, the Titans traded with Washington to move up eight spots and drafted LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger at No. 178 overall. Mettenberger is the only quarterback taken by Tennessee after players like Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was still available in the first round, but opted not to pick him.
Mettenberger, who comes in at 6-foot-5, 252-pounds threw for 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns last season at LSU. He will be mentored by Jake Locker but comes to the Titans with some health issues. He tore his left ACL in his final game in November and had surgery in January. There were also reports that he failed a drug test prior to the combine, although said report was never confirmed.
Overall, the Titans had a solid weekend of getting some hard-working pieces. Other selections came on Saturday when they used their three picks on tackle DaQuan Jones of Penn State, defensive back Marqueston Huff of Wyoming in the fourth round and inside linebacker Avery Williamson of Kentucky in the fifth.
Tennessee will also bring aboard 13 undrafted free agents who include: Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews, Oklahoma C Gabe Ikard, Central Florida G Justin McCray, Oklahoma WR Jaz Reynolds, Oklahoma State WR Josh Stewart, Texas A&M WR Derel Walker, Texas Tech WR Eric Ward and Westminster TE David Wright, Syracuse CB Ri’Shard Anderson, Virginia Tech DE Jadon Gayle, Rutgers LB Jamal Merrell, Louisville S Hakeem Smith and Washington K Travis Coons.
Photo and information courtesy of titansonline.com/AP.