The Tennessee Titans drafted 11 players during the 2009 NFL Draft. Five of those picks were players for their defense. Here is my report card for the draft picks on defensive players after three seasons. You can find my report card for the offensive players here.
DL Sen'Derrick Marks (Second Round, 62nd Pick)
Sen'Derrick Marks was part of an underachieving defensive line that ranked 31st in sacks in 2011. Marks has 58 tackles and 1.5 sacks after his first three seasons. He hasn't had a full sack since 2009. Marks also has two forced fumbles and an interception.
Marks has been the biggest underachiever from this draft class. I wouldn't be surprised if he were a preseason roster casualty next season.
CB Ryan Mouton (Third Round, 94th Overall)
Ryan Mouton made two starts in his first two seasons before he tore his Achilles tendon during training camp in 2011. Mouton has appeared in 23 games. He has recorded 35 tackles, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in limited action. He hasn't recorded an interception or pass deflection.
Mouton is basically blocked out by Cortland Finnegan, Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner. He was expected to be a solid contributor on special teams before his injury. Regardless, third-round picks must contribute on offense or defense.
LB Gerald McRath (Fourth Round, 130th Pick)
Gerald McRath has played in all but eight games since he was drafted in 2009. McRath started in 12 games over his first two seasons. He was mostly used in nickel packages after the Titans drafted Akeem Ayers and signed Barrett Ruud during the 2011 offseason. McRath has 120 tackles with 1.5 sacks and an interception in 40 games.
McRath has had reasonable production from a fourth-round pick. While he's not starter material, he is effective enough as a backup linebacker and as a role player in nickel defense.
CB Jason McCourty (Sixth Round, 203rd Pick)
Jason McCourty made significant strides in his first full season as the Titans' starting cornerback. McCourty started 15 games in 2011. He finished the season with 105 tackles, 13 pass deflections, two interceptions, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one sack. Cortland Finnegan and McCourty have given the Titans one of the NFL's best cornerback tandems.
I can't argue with All Pro caliber talent in the sixth round. While Kenny Britt might be the best player from this draft, McCourty was one of the best value picks of the entire draft from any team. Since the Titans rely so heavily on building their teams through the draft, they must hit home runs on a few of these lower selections.
S Nick Schommer (Seventh Round, 242nd Pick)
Nick Schommer was primarily used as a special-teams contributor during a 13-game stint in 2010. Schommer's crowning achievement was a blocked punt that led to a safety during a regular-season game against the San Diego Chargers on Halloween of 2010. He had three career tackles.
I'm appreciative for any contributions that can be had from a seventh-round pick.
Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt had more success with his picks on offensive players in the early rounds (Kenny Britt and Jared Cook) while he had more success with his picks on defensive players in the later rounds (Gerald McRath, Jason McCourty). This was a pretty good draft that netted them three excellent starters (Britt, Cook, McCourty) and a few decent role players (Javon Ringer, McRath).
Final Grade (Defense)
Final Grade (Offense)
Final Grade (Whole Draft)
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 while completing a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs and Nashville Predators. He also follows the Tennessee Titans, his favorite AFC team.
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