Titans’ No. 1 draft goal: Get more playmakers

Monday, April 21, 2008 at 2:16am

Tennessee Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt indicated that the team can fill most, if not all, of its needs this weekend in the NFL Draft.

Arguably, the Titans’ three top needs remain wide receiver, running back and depth on the defensive line.

According to Reinfeldt, there should be help there for the need areas the club has.

“I think there’s pretty good depth at all three of those positions — wide receiver, running back and defensive line,” Reinfeldt said. “There’s a chance not only the first day, but the second day to get some quality players. There’s good depth throughout the draft.”

It is clear that the draft is the current emphasis to filling any holes on the roster, as free agency has run its course in Reinfeldt’s mind.

“I think at this point in time, free agency has kind of walked out,” Reinfeldt said. “The draft is the big thing and as we go forward, any potential trade that you could make. Free agency itself, as far as the talent pool, has drained out quite a bit.”

Clearly, an area where the Titans want to improve is finding more explosive playmakers on offense, who can help quarterback Vince Young improve his anemic nine touchdown passes from a year ago.

It was a statement Titans coach Jeff Fisher made early in the offseason and one Reinfeldt drove home as draft weekend approaches.

“I think he said to get playmakers, whether its wide receivers, tight ends, punt returners, guys that can put points on the boards — to get playmakers, that’s a big part of his emphasis,” Reinfeldt said.

In terms of what types of players to draft, the switch from Norm Chow back to Mike Heimerdinger at offensive coordinator and the resulting system change could have some influence on what types of players to pick.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than receiver, where Heimerdinger may want players who can execute his downfield style, as opposed to the big, possession receivers Chow wanted to stockpile.

“Jeff and the two coordinators [Heimerdinger and Jim Schwartz] are a big part of our meetings. They have input. They watch the players,” Reinfeldt said. “[They have] real input on the players that do fit their system, not only the athletic ability of the players, but also the fit. I think we look toward Jeff and Jim and Mike to give us input as to what players fit their system and what players fit what they like to do.”

Finding those correct fits is what the offseason has been about for Tennessee, and the emphasis continues this week as final scouting meetings and a last stacking of the draft board will be done.

To improve a team that made a first-round playoff appearance, the draft is a key element, along with continued improvement from players already on the roster.

“I feel like if we can do what we need to do in the draft and get some people that can help us make plays, I think that, plus where we finished up last year [can help],” Reinfeldt said. “I think the other key to the whole thing is you need continued improvement by the young players on your team, that’s a big part of it. The young guys taking a step forward. We’ve got a young team and they need to continue to get better.”

Filed under: Sports
By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Playmakers as number one goal? Wow, and I thought the number one goal was drafting benchwarmers. ::sarcasm: Dear NCP sports writers, is the newsday so slow that you constantly refer to these rotating needs articles? Get ready for Wednesday's article "Titans Need Help on Defense". And for Friday's NFL Draft Special article "Titans Need Help on Offense".

By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

As long as the Titans don't DRAFT WR Limas Sweed and RB Jamal Charles, I think the Titans will be all right. I've heard the arguements for drafting both is that they both played with Vince Young (Notice I didn't try to sound hip and call him VY like so many others try to when they aren't HIP)and Vince is familar and comfortable with them. What you are really saying is that Vince Young is TOO dumb to learn how to play QB in the NFL without relying on players he is familar with.