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On the Roster: First Rounders

Posted Apr 24, 2013

“On the Roster” is a round-by-round look at when each player on the Titans was selected in previous NFL Drafts. With one day before this year’s draft begins, here’s a look at the first round.

On the Roster: 7th Rounders | 6th Rounders | 5th Rounders | 4th Rounders
3rd Rounders | 2nd Rounders | 1st Rounders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans have drafted six of the eight first-round picks they have on the roster and added the other two through free agency in the past two offseasons.

Safety Michael Griffin, who was selected in 2007 with the 19th overall pick, is the most-tenured first rounder on Tennessee’s roster. Tennessee drafted running back Chris Johnson from the 24th spot in 2008 and receiver Kenny Britt at 30th overall in 2009.

The Titans will enter the 2013 NFL Draft with the six players they have selected in the previous six drafts still on the roster.
Click here for a slideshow of first rounders on Tennessee's roster.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, selected at 16th overall in 2010, is the only player selected on that side of the football since Griffin. The Titans went back to offense in 2011 by selecting quarterback Jake Locker at the eighth overall spot and drafted receiver Kendall Wright with the 20th pick last year.

Tennessee is scheduled to pick 10th for the first time in Titans/Oilers franchise history in the NFL Draft on Thursday. Some have predicted the Titans will choose an offensive lineman, others have forecasted a pass-rushing defensive lineman, and a few have predicted a new member of the Titans’ secondary.

The Titans have used free agency in the past two years to add a pass rusher (Kamerion Wimbley in 2012) and interior offensive lineman (Chris Spencer this year) who were first-round draft picks. Seattle selected Spencer at the 26th spot in 2005, and Cleveland tabbed Wimbley at 13th in 2006.

Griffin has never missed a game in his six pro seasons and has started 89 of the past 90. He earned selection to the Pro Bowl after the 2008 season when he had seven interceptions and again after the 2010 season when he had a career-best 153 tackles and four interceptions. Griffin recorded four interceptions last season and has 21 in his career, along with 590 tackles.

Johnson earned selection to the Pro Bowl after each of his first three seasons, as well as the title of Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 after he set an NFL record with 2,509 yards from scrimmage and became the sixth player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He has 6,888 yards and 44 rushing touchdowns and has added 1,658 yards and four TDs on 230 catches. Johnson has had a touchdown of at least 66 yards in four of five seasons, including a franchise-record 94-yarder last season against the Jets.

Britt combines size, speed and athleticism that make it tough for defenders to cover him, but he’s been sidelined by multiple injuries, including a torn ACL and MCL that cost him all but three games in 2011. Britt had 42 catches in each of his first two seasons and returned from injury last year to post 45 receptions for 589 yards and four touchdowns.

Morgan suffered an ACL injury four games into his rookie season but has emerged as a player who is capable of defending the run and disrupting the pocket. Morgan has started the past 26 games and had career highs in tackles (66), sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (five) and passes defensed (five) in 2012 while adding 19 quarterback pressures.

Locker became Tennessee’s third first-round pick in as many seasons to miss a substantial amount of time because of injury in 2012. Locker suffered the injury during a play that didn’t count in the season opener and a worsening of the injury in the fourth game, causing him to miss the next five. Locker returned for the final seven games, and the Titans went 3-4 despite multiple other injuries on offense.

Wright tied Jacksonville’s Justin Blackmon for the rookie mark in receptions (64) last season. He gained 626 yards and scored four touchdowns on those catches and caught at least five passes in seven of the 15 games he played.

Wimbley started all 16 games in 2012 and moved from an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense to defensive end in the Titans’ 4-3. He recorded six sacks and nine quarterback hits.

Spencer has started 89 of 108 games he’s played in eight pro seasons (six with Seattle, two with Chicago). He’s expected to add versatility and depth to an offensive line that used six different starting lineups in 2012 and lost four of five starters in training camp to injury by the season’s end.

Titans Draft Central will have complete coverage of this year’s draft.

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