Getting to Know Your 2008 Titans Draft Picks

My favorite post-draft activity is reading the Titans' draftee questionnaires.

Some of the responses are funny, insightful and just interesting. It's also fun to compare the draftees' answers from year to year.

Some things, however, don't change. For example…

The Titans' 2008 draftees love Denzel Washington and Michael Jordan. Six of the draftees named Washington as their favorite actor, while five named Jordan as their favorite sports hero.

Tight end Craig Stevens did not name a favorite actor or sports hero, but he is a Golden State Warriors fan. I don't know that I've ever met one. Underhanded free throws anyone?

Stevens also allowed that he did not play football until he was a sophomore in high school "because parents wouldn't allow it." His most memorable college football moment was "the friends and people that I met at Cal."

Golden Bear teammate Lavelle Hawkins was a little more traditional in his response to that question, saying that last year's win over Tennessee was his college football topper, claiming that it was "such a joy for me and my teammates."

Hawkins played high school football with current Titan Chris Henry at Stockton (CA) Edison. Hawkins claimed that he played "everything except O-line and D-line" at Edison High, much like Henry did.

William Hayes' high school nickname was "Sea Breeze." He didn't know the specific origin of the nickname, so he surmised that "I guess because I was so smooth."

I like him already.

I also like Cary Williams' rationale about why he wore #12 at Washburn University: "Because it looked good on me. I'm slim, so 35 or something like that would have been bad."

As a seventh round pick from a Division II school, Williams will quickly realize that #67 will look good on him if a paycheck comes with it.

Stanford Keglar doesn't care about any of this. No nickname. No jersey number significance. When you read that Keglar studied classical piano and string bass, you quickly understand that he doesn't waste time on anything insignificant.

Keglar's overall questionnaire is incredibly impressive. 

So is Jason Jones' questionnaire. When asked about significant hurdles overcome in career and/or life, Jones answers: "Moving from tight end to defensive tackle; staying positive despite losing -- won 13 games in four years."

Honest and thoughtful answers from a young man who is physically and personally impressive. You meet Jason Jones and just get the idea that he's going to help the Titans for several years to come.

Chris Johnson is certainly going to help the Titans and as the team's first-round pick. I couldn't wait to read his questionnaire. My favorite Johnson answer was his respond to his favorite car: a 1973 Chevy Caprice.

According to my brother (the family car guy), we had a Caprice from that era---it was my dad's company car. I don't remember that, but I do remember that none of my dad's cars in the 1970's were sporty or luxurious. My brother predicts that, with his upcoming first-rounder contact, Johnson will quickly pick a new favorite car. 

The 2008 NFL Draft ratings were off 15% and many are wondering why.
Pretty simple really…

1. No drama with the top pick.
2. Only two skill players being taken in the Top 10.
3. No huge controversy (rumors, someone dropping wildly, etc.).

As true sports fans, we like to think that we are above Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie-type drama, headlines or silliness.

But football fans do like it. We like stars, we like stories, we like intrigue. There wasn't much of that in this NFL Draft. They can keep digging for reasons all that they want, but that's why the ratings dropped.

As we talk about the draft winners from 2008, let's talk about the early winners for NFL Draft 2009. There were 46 trades in or around the draft and three teams were left with early wins for next year.

• Philadelphia has Carolina's #1 pick for 2009.

• New England will have San Diego's second round selection next April.

• Dallas made two trades that left them with an extra '09 third round and fourth round pick. On Sunday, the Cowboys sent the #92 overall pick to Detroit for pick #111 AND the Lions' fourth round pick in 2009. Dallas then turned around and traded #111 for Cleveland's 2009 third round selection.