With all of the pre-draft trade talk and hoopla I was honestly expecting some sort of blockbuster trade for the #2 overall pick. Instead the Titans selected Marcus Mariota with their pick (yawn). Kidding aside, Mariota is a peculiar fit for the Titans offensive scheme, and Ken Whisenhunt has said that he is in the process of altering his playbook to better suit his talents. Mariota is a tremendous athlete, but his pocket passing needs to improve. Pocket passing and pin-point ball placement are staples of Whisenhunt’s offense, and these are two key areas that Mariota needs to improve on.
Pro’s: Extremely Athletic, Accurate, Quick Release, Throws Well on the Run, Elite Straight-Line Speed, Toughness, Good Decision Maker, Impeccable Work Ethic, Eager to Learn
Con’s: Needs to Improve Pocket Passing, Needs to Improve Ball Placement, Needs to Improve Footwork, Needs to Limit Fumbles, Needs to Add Bulk
Bishop Sankey was a non-factor last year in the Titans’ power run scheme. If the Titans switch to more of a spread style offense with read-option principles for Mariota, this could benefit Sankey the most; Assuming they do not draft his replacement tonight. Even if Mariota proves to be competent come Week One I would still avoid most of the Titans’ receiving options this year in fantasy. Kendall Wright has underwhelmed thus far, and has proven to be a chain-mover at best up to this point. We still do not know what Justin Hunter is, and this is a make-or-break year for him. Especially now with a presumed elite talent at QB. Hunter has all of the measureables you want in an elite #1 WR, but just hasn’t put it together yet.
If I had to choose any of the Titans’ receiving options to rely on in 2015 it would be Delanie Walker. He finished 2014 as TE6 in PPR Leagues (better than Julius Thomas, Travis Kelce and Jason Witten) with Locker, Whitehurst, and Mettenberger at the helm, so he should have just as many opportunities with Mariota slinging it, and rookie QB’s love their safety valves. Don’t get expectations too high for Mariota in year one as most rookies struggle no matter who they are, but I would expect him to finish somewhere around QB20 for 2015.