Pickers mailbag: Fifteen question edition, something for everyone

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Draft excitement is about to boil over. I've worked hard on this mailbag to help us work our way to Thursday night.

Here's some schedule talk from earlier this week.

On to your fine questions, which I appreciate.

In your years of covering the Titans and in honor of the nfl draft, who is the biggest bust and biggest overachieving draft pick made by Titans???

— Robert White Stuard (@Robertdeerfish) April 20, 2019


PK: It’d be hard to find anyone who did better than Cortland Finnegan, a seventh-rounder who was a first-team All-Pro

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- NFL owners tend to be eccentric and somewhat mysterious, operating behind the scenes.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk interact with fans more than most, and Thursday night she made the sort of appearance that few of her peers would consider.EveningAmyAdamsStrunk1

In front of an audience of 300 people in downtown Nashville at an event to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Tennessee, she spoke for over an hour with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. It was an off-the-record conversation -- no reporting, no recording. [Unlocked]

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Scout's take: How pre-draft meetings work from someone who's been in them

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Paul asked me for a look at the pre-draft process through the eyes of someone who's been involved. So here we go.

Draft Meetings: The pre-draft meeting process for most NFL teams start two weeks before the draft. Depending on who runs the draft (GM, HC or owner) the pre-draft meetings could range anywhere from a month long to just a few days. The process can be a long one for all involved. Most meeting times will start at 7 am and run until 9 pm in the evening.


Photo: Outside linebacker Sharif Finch got $42,000 guaranteed as an undrafted free agent from the Titans last year.

The pre-draft meetings and the process that the teams go through are vital to stacking the board and properly categorizing players into groups. Ranking players within position groups and also in tiers. A draft board is stacked by position vertically with players in groups based on their final “team grade.” Grades are given by multiple scouts/coaches in an organization, but the final team grade is determined by the decision-maker.

The vertical stacking is important to rank players at each position, but the tier group stacking is also important to rank players at each level or round. The vertical stacking makes it easy for the GM to decide on players when it is the team's

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. The cries of disrespect are flowing from Titans’ fans as they typically do at scheduling time.

They want a bigger presence on primetime TV. They want to head to Nissan Stadium for a big game under the lights.TitansGoldLogo

And in 2019, barring a flex into Sunday Night Football, they’ll get Week 3 Thursday Night Football in Jacksonville and that’s it.

The Titans should have a home Monday or Thursday night game.

But beyond that, I don’t think there is a giant complaint and I don’t think it’s some giant sign of NFL disrespect. On four Sundays they will play in the late afternoon slot, though two of those are dictated by geography – games in Denver and Oakland are always later. [Unlocked]

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Titans need more sandpaper in the locker room

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans’ real culture change started in 2016, when Jon Robinson took over as general manager and Mike Mularkey shifted from interim head coach to head coach.

Mike Vrabel replaced Mularkey in 2018 and the push continued, and the team’s carefully built locker room and belief in the ethos – team first, accountability, know what to do – continued to grow. It was seeded with predominantly nice guys.


“I love coming to work, I love coaching these guys, I love watching them succeed individually,” Vrabel said Monday as the Titans kicked off their offseason program, which he pointed out totals 176 hours. “I love even more so watching them succeed collectively. We don’t have a whole lot of bad guys.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Since he got past the basic rookie learning phase, Marcus Mariota been asked to do everything a team could ask of an NFL quarterback, at least to hear the Titans tell it.

But even as I’ve considered his lousy protection, his poor weapons and his long list of injuries, I’ve also often wondered, does what the Titans have really asked of him tell us what they really think of him? How much do they really trust him?MariotaFumbleHouston

As the Titans gather in Nashville for the start of their offseason program Monday, he’s the biggest question for the fifth year running. They’ve made moves to address what’s around him with a replacement coordinator in Arthur Smith, a new left guard in Rodger Saffold and a true slot receiver in Adam Humphries. The upcoming draft will surely provide more.

But it’s incumbent on Mariota to show the Titans enough this season to warrant a second-contract commitment, and there isn’t really such a thing as middle ground. It’s a 2020 franchise tag that will build on this year’s number of $24.865 million or a long-term contract built starting with that number.

Who among us expects them to be a quarterback-dependent team, like most of the league is?

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Scout's take: Major details on the draft's tight ends

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans will welcome back their most reliable receiving target in former Pro Bowler Delanie Walker.

Walker will be 35 years old when the 2019 starts and is coming off a serious lower right leg injury. These type of injuries can be hard to recover from, especially for someone that is in his mid-thirties.WalkerTwelfthEagles

On the positive side, Walker has always been one of the best conditioned and hardest-workers on the Titans’ roster since he was signed as a free agent in 2013. He has averaged over 70 receptions per season for the Titans and I expect him to reach those numbers again this season.

The Titans drafted Jonnu Smith in the third round of the 2017 draft with the intention of him replacing Walker. Smith has shown flashes of speed and receiving ability, but he has not shown the consistency of being a No. 1 TE in the NFL. Year 3 will be very important for Smith and the Titans' personnel department.

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YAZOO PODCAST: Titans' specific fits from draft analyst Kyle Crabbs

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  -- We often don't spend enough time considering how to shape a conversation with a draft analyst.

For this week's edition of our podcast, I talked to Kyle Crabbs and asked if he could, ahead of time, ponder guys he thinks fit the Titans' needs and systems.

And so our chat centers on outside linebackers, defensive linemen, interior offensive linemen and receivers. He paints us pictures of a couple guys who could be there for the Titans at each of those spots at No. 19 in the first round, in the second/third rounds and in the fourth round and after.


I think you will really enjoy it as he walks us through 16 different prospects. You should follow Crabbs on Twitter at @GrindingTheTape and read him with several other top draft analysts at The Draft Network.

You can find Part 1 on iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line.

You can find the history of this site's podcasts right here.

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