JOE BIDDLE: Titans need more from 1st round picks

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

As Titans fans can tell you, they haven't had a reason to buy Super Bowl tickets since 1999.

In recent years, the NFL team changed general managers and head coaches. Both former GM Floyd Reese and Coach Jeff Fisher were responsible for the franchise's one and only Super Bowl roster.

You only have to track its first-round picks dating back to 2005. It speaks volumes.

Quarterback Jake Locker is still a rookie when it comes to experience. The Titans top pick in 2011 studied under veteran Matt Hasselbeck his rookie year and was named the starter a little over a week before the season opener.

The jury is still out on Locker and this year's first-round draft pick, wide receiver Kendall Wright, who seems to be fitting in and should be a keeper.

After that, the Titans first-round draft picks have turned out to be busts.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan was top choice in 2010. The Georgia Tech product has spent more time in the training room than on the field. Morgan has played sparingly and this is a huge season for him to show the front office he was worth the pick.

Morgan has a solid first game, registering six tackles, tied with two other Titans for leading tacklers. He had one tackle for loss, but no sacks or quarterback hurries. They are depending on him to put heat on quarterbacks.

He has yet to live up to first-round expectations.

The 2009 first pick was wide receiver Kenny Britt. When he is on the field, he is worth every dollar. When he is messing up off the field, or rehabbing hamstring and knee injuries, Britt contributes nothing.

He missed the New England game after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for behavior off the field.

His latest scrape was trying to enter Army post Fort Campbell after 3 a.m. with a female soldier in his car. Officials smelled alcohol on his breath and charged him with DUI. That was incident No. 8 for Britt, all of them involving his inability to obey the law.

Britt is brilliant at talking the talk. Now he needs to walk the walk and keep his nose clean.

Britt can be salvaged. He also can just as easily go the other way.

Now it really gets dicey.

Running back Chris Johnson is draft class of 2008. He opened everyone's eyes with a rookie season when he ran for more than 2,000 yards.

Against New England, Johnson had 11 yards on four carries. He has been a shadow of his earlier profile. I'm not sure he ever becomes a serious threat to opponents.

Safety Michael Griffin was signed to a new five-year, $35 million contract in the off-season. His career after being a No. 1 pick in 2007 has been marred by inconsistent play. Against New England he was often lost, as he started at strong safety after playing most of his six years at free safety.

“Ain't nobody got to tell me right now. I know I played a terrible game,'' Griffin groused after the game.

The two top picks before Griffin were busts of unimaginable proportions.

They are still digging out from damage caused by taking quarterback Vince Young in 2006 and cornerback Adam “Pacman'' Jones the previous year. Talk about dynamic duds.

The blame for taking Young belongs to owner Bud Adams. He was infatuated, blinded by the success VY had in high school and college as a Texas icon. They could have had Vanderbilt product Jay Cutler, currently starting for the Chicago Bears.

Released by the Titans, Young lasted one season with the Eagles before being cut. Buffalo cut him this preseason before ever playing a game. It is doubtful he will ever start for an NFL team.
As for Jones, he ran with the wrong crowd, his posse from the Atlanta projects proved to be bad influences, as if Jones needed any help.

He is just hanging on in Cincinnati.

That's the last seven Titans first-rounds picks. It's a pretty shaky recipe for success.

It has helped make the Titans a middle of the pack NFL team, one that will have to be smarter in the draft room to overcome the previous damage.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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