With the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected Marcus Mariota, quarterback from Oregon. Despite many offers and choices, Tennessee made the only decision that was reasonable. There is now a face to this franchise, someone they can put on billboards, someone the fans can get excited about, and someone Nashville can love and never have to worry about.
The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner is a great player, 58 total touchdowns with only five turnovers a season ago. But more than that, he is an outstanding human being. Even in getting his #8, he showed great class. The number belonged to Ryan Succop, who offered to arm wrestle Mariota for the number. Marcus told him it was okay. It was Succop’s number first, and he could get a new one. In the end, Mariota got #8. Succop gave it to him, impressed by his class.
Mariota was introduced on Friday, but he wanted to finish and hurry off so he could go back to see Oregon’s spring football game to help his replacement any way he could. Jeff Lockie had a great game, completing 9-of-9 for 223 yards and three touchdowns, with Mariota on the sideline. Marcus Mariota is a leader.
Tampa Bay took Florida State QB Jameis Winston #1, with all his baggage. While Mariota’s first foray into social media on draft night was a proud picture with family, Winston’s first post was of himself, in his future jersey, over a plate of crab legs. Winston was accused of shoplifting crab legs in one of his most infamous transgressions at FSU. The Titans are the clear winner here.
But in the second round the Titans did not shy away from controversy, trading down, and then taking Dorial Green-Beckham, WR from Missouri. Beckham is an amazing talent who some compare to a young Randy Moss, but like Moss he could hardly stay out of trouble and ended up at multiple schools. Beckham transferred to Oklahoma but never played there, dismissed from the university. If he has matured though, Mariota has his favorite receiver already.
With the next two picks the Titans looked to get stronger up front adding G. Jeremiah Poutasi from Utah in the third round, and Auburn DT Angelo Blackson in the fourth. Poutasi started all but two games in his three seasons at left tackle. He is seen as an option at guard or at right tackle. Blackson is seen as a stout run defender who had 65 tackles in 42 games.
Tennessee bolstered the run game with the next two picks, FB Jalston Fowler from Alabama and RB David Cobb from Minnesota. Fowler averaged 6.5 yards per carry and scored 12 total touchdowns for the Tide while being recognized as a premiere blocker. Cobb was the feature back for the Gophers, rushing for 1,626 yards last season. Both are real steals in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively.
The first defensive pick came in round six with OLB Deiontrez Mount from Louisville. Mount had five sacks in his first full season as a starter last season. He is very versatile and athletic. Tennessee then took C. Andy Gallik from Boston College as their second sixth-round pick. Gallik was a four-year starter and a captain at BC in a very distinguished career. Finally in the seventh round, the Titans took W.R. Tre McBride from William & Mary. McBride is an all-purpose threat that could add substance to what was a poor return game a year ago.