I took a look at the Titans 2012 draft class and decided to go ahead and look at 2011 too. 2012 turned out to be a pretty darn good class for the Titans as 6 of the 7 have played significantly and 3 have assumed starting roles at their positions. Did 2011 fare as well? Let's take a look.
1st Round (#8) QB Jake Locker, Washington
Now in his second year, Locker played sparingly during his rookie season but showed the promise that led the Titans to draft him 8th overall. Locker didn't see significant action until November 20, 2011 in a tough loss at Atlanta. Locker acquitted himself quite well however and was 9 of 19 for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. He rushed once for 11 yards. He finished the year 34 of 66 for 542 yards, 4 touchdowns and a passer rating of 99.4%. He rushed for
After a hard fought battle in training camp, Locker won the starting position in 2012 only to get injured September 30, 2012 early on in the Houston Texans game, suffering multiple dislocations on his left, non throwing shoulder. He will likely undergo surgery to correct the problem following the 2012 season. Locker returned to the lineup in the Miami game, and led to his team to a great victory. I write about him extensively in my post on the Miami game. He is currently 76 of 127 for 903 yards, 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 90.8. He has 12 rushes for 103 yards with an 8.6 rushing average.
2nd Round (# 39) SLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
Ayers started every game his rookie season and finished 6th on the tackle list, behind fellow rookie linebacker Colin McCarthy, with 76 tackles. He had 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended, 2 sacks, 1 QB hit and 12 QB hurries. In 2012, Ayers has been allowed to rush the passer more as the Titans are blitzing more. Ayers currently leads the Titans in tackles at 76, and additionally has 3 sacks, 2 QB hits, 8 QB hurries, and 2 batted passes. He has played 565 out of 709 snaps.
3rd Round (# 77) DT Jurrell Casey, USCCasey started every single game for the Titans in his rookie season, and had an outstanding rookie campaign. He played 661 snaps out of 1142 and posted 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4 QB hits, 5 QB hurries, 1 pass defended and a forced fumble. Casey has likewise played every game in 2012 with a snap count of 475 out of 709. He has 30 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 4 QB hurries, 4 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble.
4th Round (# 109) LB Colin McCarthy, MiamiI don't think its a stretch to say the Titans drafted their leaders of the future in this draft. If Jake Locker is the leader of the offense, and he is, equally as important is McCarthy to the defense. McCarthy didn't' see significant playing time until week 4 of his rookie year, but once he did the Titans never looked back and he has been the starting MLB from that time forward. He played 542 out of 1142 snaps while posting 68 tackles (5th on the Titans), 2 QB hits, 2 QB hurries, and 2 forced fumbles.
The unquestioned leader of the defense, the Titans defense suffered dramatically when McCarthy went down in week 1 against the Patriots. McCarthy returned against Minnesota but was visibly not the same until the Miami game where he had his best performance of the year. I write about it in detail in my post on that game. He has played 323 out of 709 snaps while posting 36 tackles, 1 QB hurry, 3 tackles for a loss, 1 pass defended and a pick six.
4th Round (# 130 compensatory) RB Jamie Harper, ClemsonHarper saw limited action his rookie season and has shown flashes but has yet to make a significant impact. In 2011 he played 59 snaps and had 17 attempts for 44 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 lost fumble. He caught 4 passes for 32 yards. In 2012 he has played 29 snaps and rushed for 11 yards on 13 attempts with 3 touchdowns. He has caught 1 pass for 8 yards.
5th Round (# 142) DT Karl Klug, IowaI am at a loss to explain Klug's situation. Klug was a rookie sensation in the Titans defense and led the team with 6 sacks. Additionally, he had 5 QB hits, 13 QB hurries, 4 batted passes, and 2 forced fumbles. He was on the field for 520 out of 1142 snaps. In 2012, he has played 187 snaps out of 709 and has 2 tackles. Granted, rookie Mike Martin has made a big impact and is better against the run but I can't help but feel for Klug.
6th Round (# 175) OT Byron Stingley,
Didn't play his rookie year and has only played one snap in 2012. I have written about Stingley before he is a big athletic guy I am keeping an eye upon.
7th Round (# 212) DT Zach Clayton, Auburn
Clayton played 28 snaps his rookie year and posted 3 tackles. A developmental player he is currently on the practice squad.