JOE BIDDLE: Titans pass on sexy picks to get Taylor Lewan - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Titans pass on sexy picks to get Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan

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The Titans drafted Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Titans drafted Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

With the 11th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans pick Taylor Lewan, offensive tackle, University of Michigan.

Huh? We waited two extra weeks for this? Who?

They just signed offensive tackle Michael Oher for four years and a pile of money. They have veteran left tackle Daniel Roos, whom Coach Ken Whisenhunt gives high marks from what little bit he has seen of Roos.

Give the Titans credit. They treated their first pick with a top-secret level security class.

We know left tackles are vital, especially if you have a quarterback that has been as injury prone as Jake Locker. The hope is that Lewan will replace Roos, perhaps as early as next season.

Still, drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick failed to move the excitement needle with most fans. They could have had Johnny Manziel as a backup to Locker, which they will have to acquire before the season starts.

But with football people, they put a premium price-tag on left tackles.

The Titans went with the Michigan lineman who prides himself as “nasty,’’ on the field, of course.

Lewan is due in an East Lansing court May 19, following one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault or assault and battery. All three counts are misdemeanors.

They were the result of an incident involving Lewan and Ohio State fans after the Ohio State-Michigan game on Dec. 1.

In 2011, Lewan and Michigan State defensive end William Gholston exchanged some heated words during a game in East Lansing. It was Gholston who got tagged with two personal foul penalties and a one game suspension for punching Lewan.

“If I do my job and do it 100 percent between the whistles and just try to physically dominate someone every single play and make them hurt at the end of the game, that’s enough for me to go home happy every Saturday,’’ Lewan said of his style of play.

“I enjoy the pain of it. Maybe I’m a little messed up in the head, I don’t know, but I enjoy hitting my face on another man’s face and trying to put him in the dirt and make him feel every single inch of it.

“Something about that, it puts me on cloud nine.’’

But there were some critics who had trouble making sense of the Titans top pick.

CBS Sports NFL Writer Pete Prisco was among those.

“I don’t get the pick after signing Michael Oher,’’ Prisco wrote while giving the Titans a “C’’ grade on their pick. “Is this the end for Michael Roos? They had other needs.’’

Whisenhunt wants to see just what the Titans have.

“That’s what (Organized Team Activities) and training came are all about,’’ Whisenhunt said. “He’s a versatile guy. I know he has played left tackle. … It’s important to cross-train guys, especially if you are going to have seven active on game day.’’

Whisenhunt did not rule out the possibility that Lewan will start despite the experience Roos and Oher bring to the table.

“If (Lewan) earns it, he’ll start,’’ Whisenhunt said. “There’s nothing wrong with competition and getting a good young tackle and finding out where he can play.’’

Lewan played in the 2013 Outback Bowl against Jadeveon Clowney and Florida. It was that game that Clowney shot the gap and leveled the Michigan running back, forcing a fumble and picking it up off the ground with one hand. It was not Lewan’s fault, but he was the one many blamed.

The Titans have some ground to make up with their five picks this weekend. UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr was already picked before the Titans went on the clock. So was another Titans target, cornerback Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State.

The Titans made Lewan the second offensive tackle taken in the draft, trailing only Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, who went No. 6 to Atlanta.

Webster admitted after the pick that he had three elite left tackles on the Titans draft board.

“He was one of those three,’’ Webster said, not revealing the order he had them in.

Offensive linemen only make headlines when they make mistakes. The Titans will find out in time whether they made a mistake or not.

Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com.

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