The Tennessee Titans unsurprisingly decided not to take Jake Locker’s expensive fifth-year option, and it’s a full-blown make-or-break year for the former first-round pick out of Washington. I’ve actually been a Locker fan for quite some time, but he definitely needs to prove a few things next season. Not only does he need to continue to make good decisions and throw with consistent accuracy (he made big strides in both facets last season), but he also needs to show more development under a new coaching staff and must prove his health. After two injuries last season, the health concerns could even be the biggest cloud hanging over Locker’s future. There’s no doubt he has excellent tools and could be a franchise quarterback, but Locker will run out of leash if he struggles next season.
According to the MMQB’s Peter King, the first time he heard the possibility of the Tennessee Titans taking a quarterback in the first round came yesterday, and he adds that he’s hearing that the Titans will target a quarterback in the second round of the draft after looking at a cornerback in the first.
Pulling a QB in round two makes perfect sense for the Titans, and they are in the same boat as the St. Louis Rams are with former first overall pick Sam Bradford. As for the Titans strategy in the first round of the draft, I’ve always thought that it came down to snagging an edge rusher (Anthony Barr) for Ray Horton’s new front seven or drafting a high-impact CB. At this point in time, Justin Gilbert, Jason Verrett, and Kyle Fuller are three CBs I’m watching for closely from the Titans perspective, with the playmaking Gilbert looking like the most likely replacement for departed CB Alterraun Verner on paper (though Verrett seems to have more similarities to Verner as a player).