It’s Jake At Eight

by A.J. Coltrane

The Tennesse Titans traded up to draft Jake Locker with the 8th pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Locker was the second quarterback selected, much to the surprise of about everybody. To some degree this is Tennesse pushing the “reset button” on the Vince Young pick. Locker and Young both had mid-4.5 second speed in the 40 yard dash and are all-around great athletes. Young possesses the bigger body, the bigger arm, loopy mechanics, and a loopy head.

This should be a great fit for both Locker and the Titans. Mike Munchak is the Titans new coach. Munchak is a former offensive linemen. If the Titans maintain their run-oriented philosophy it will take some of the pressure off of the quarterback position — Jake will be able to sit and learn behind Kerry Collins, taking over either late this year or early next year.

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James Carpenter

The Seahawks drafted Offensive Guard/Tackle James Carpenter of Alabama in round one. (The link is to a Seattle Times piece by Jerry Brewer. Brewer is *very* skeptical of the pick.) I think the pick is solid — Carpenter played Left Tackle at Alabama and was the #2 rated Guard in the draft, and the #6 Tackle — if Carpenter doesn’t work out at Tackle he can be moved inside to Guard and team up with Russell Okung on the left side. This would echo the Walter Jones/Steve Hutchinson line of the Super Bowl Seahawks.

Here’s the CBS.sports draft profile for the 6’4″, 325 lb, Carpenter:

All-SEC for both of his years starting at left tackle, Carpenter was a pivotal part of the offensive success the Tide had during the past two seasons. He might lack the quickness the NFL looks for on the blind side, but likely is athletic enough for right tackle and also projects well inside at guard. A steady, durable and reliable performer, don’t be surprised if Carpenter ends up as a quality starter somewhere in the NFL.
Positives:  Impressive athlete. Excellent technique, decent knee bend and good hand placement. Can sink hips and generate power. Slides feet and extends arms well in pass protection. Has power in hands and can move defenders. Can run and hit second-level targets. Good ability to anchor, seal, trap and pull. Well-schooled in an NFL-style offense. Tough and durable, never missing a start.

Negatives:  Lacks the elite foot quickness needed for the NFL left tackle position. Somewhat stiff in hips and hence doesn’t change directions well. Frame is good except legs are a bit long. Vulnerable to double moves, especially inside. Pass protection set is somewhat high. Can be late off snap, mostly with a lot of crowd noise. Dives too much.

Mel Kiper has projected the Seahawks will take head-case QB Ryan Mallet in the 2nd round. My suspicion is that Mallet may be the second coming of Ryan Leaf or Jeff George. If the draft plays out that way I’m not going to be too excited. I still think Charlie Whitehurst needs more of an opportunity to show he can play, or not play.

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The Browns traded out of the number six pick, effectively passing on Alabama WR Julio Jones. I like Jones a lot, I think he may prove to be the best WR in the draft. I think Colt McCoy was probably a little bummed about that development. Instead the Browns took massive Defensive Tackle Phil Taylor. Taylor supposedly has some issues with his work rate. The Browns need the help on the defensive line, but I’m still not enamored with the pick.

Late edit, Wow! Look what Cleveland got for trading out of the #6 slot! It’s two #1’s, one #2, and two #4’s:

To make the move, the Browns acquired Atlanta’s No. 27 overall pick and second- and fourth-round picks this year, in addition to Atlanta’s first- and fourth-round picks in 2012.

Cleveland fans should be ecstatic with that!

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