Titans Preparing for 2014 NFL Draft


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Titans own the 11th overall selection and six total picks in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, which begins May 8. 

Over the course of three days, the NFL will conduct the seven-round draft from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, while Titans personnel will be headquartered at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville.

This year's draft process is the third overseen by Titans executive vice president/general manager Ruston Webster.  It is the team's first draft with Ken Whisenhuntas head coach.





Click here to download a PDF of the full media release about the Titans in the 2014 NFL Draft.
For the fifth consecutive year, the draft will attract a primetime, weeknight audience, beginning with the first round on Thursday night, May 8, at 7 p.m. CT.  The second and third rounds are set for Friday, May 9, beginning at 6 p.m. CT, and the draft concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, May 10, at 11 a.m. CT.  The current format was unveiled for the first time in 2010.

Fans can watch the draft in its entirety on NFL Network and ESPN.  Radio listeners can tune to the Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone. Titans Radio will feature special draft programming throughout the weekend, including gavel-to-gavel coverage of the first round.

TitansOnline.com, the official website of the Tennessee Titans, will provide up-to-the-minute information on the team's selections and live coverage, including press conferences with Webster, Whisenhunt and other members of the organization. 

Additionally, fans can follow the team through social media platforms, including Facebook (facebook.com/Titans) and Google(plus.google.com/ Titans).  On Twitter and Instagram, users can follow the team at @tennesseetitans and also use the hashtag #TitansDraft.

TITANS PICKS The Titans own one selection in six of the draft's seven rounds, including the 11th pick in the first round and the 10th pick in the second round (42nd overall).

They do not have their original third-round pick (77th overall), which was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers during the 2013 draft along the Titans' 2013 second- and seventh-round picks.  With the 2013 second-round pick the Titans received in the trade, they chose University of Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter.

The team's other 2014 selections include overall picks 112 (fourth round), 151 (fifth round), 186 (sixth round) and 228 (seventh round).

This year the Titans did not receive any compensatory draft choices, which are awarded annually by the NFL based on net unrestricted free agency losses in the previous offseason.  The Titans still could use trades to deal or acquire additional picks.

WEBSTER ENTERS THIRD DRAFT AS GM Webster, who was named general manager on Jan. 18, 2012, ran the Titans' draft in each of the last two years.  Those two drafts yielded 15 total players, and 13 of those finished the 2013 season on the 53-man roster or injured reserve.

Webster's first-ever pick as general manager was Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright, chosen in 2012 with the 20th selection in the first round. In two seasons, Wright has totaled 158 receptions for 1,705 yards and six touchdowns.  His 158 catches are the most by anyone in the 2012 draft class and are the most in franchise history in a player's first two campaigns.

Among Webster's other 2012 picks, second-round linebacker Zach Brown appeared in all 32 games with 26 starts in his first two seasons.  He already has 9.5 career sacks and four interceptions.  Fourth-round cornerback Coty Sensabaugh emerged in 2013 as the defense's nickel back and has six career starts.  Additionally, defensive lineman Mike Martin (third round) and tight end Taylor Thompson (fifth round) have been regulars in their positional rotations early in their careers.

In 2013, Webster used the 10th overall pick on Alabama offensive lineman Chance Warmack, who as a rookie played in 100 percent of the team's offensive snaps at right guard.  Warmack became the first offensive lineman for the team to start every game as a rookie since tackle Michael Roos in 2005.

In the second round in 2013, Webster seized the opportunity to jump up from the 40th overall pick to the 34th spot to select Hunter.  In his rookie year, Hunter led the team with a 19.7 yards-per-catch average, hauling in 18 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns.  He was only the fourth Titans/Oilers rookie with four or more touchdown receptions since 1995.

Another major contributor from the class in 2013 was center Brian Schwenke.  A fourth-round pick, he suffered a setback early in training camp when he injured a hamstring.  However, he was in the lineup by midseason and totaled nine starts.  

 Four others — cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson (third round), linebacker Zaviar Gooden (third round), defensive end Lavar Edwards (fifth round), and safety Daimion Stafford (seventh round) — played as rookies in 2013.  Cornerback Khalid Wooten (sixth round) finished the season on the active roster but did not play.

In total, the 2013 draft class accounted for 84 games played and 27 starts. 

WHISENHUNT'S TENURE BEGINS Webster and his personnel staff, which includes vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, vice president of football administration Vin Marino, director of college scouting Blake Beddingfieldand other members of the scouting department, are joined in the selection process by Whisenhunt and the team's coaching staff. 

Whisenhunt was hired on Jan. 13 as the 17th head coach in franchise history.  He arrived in Tennessee with 26 years of NFL experience—nine seasons as a player and 17 seasons as a coach.  The 51-year-old native of Augusta, Ga., owns a résumé that includes six years as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.  He got his start in coaching as an assistant at Vanderbilt University from 1995 to 1996.

In 2013, Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers.  Under his direction, the Chargers had the NFL's fifth-ranked offense (393.3 yards per game) and the league's top offense on third down (49.0 percent).  Quarterback Philip Rivers'105.5 passer rating matched the highest rating of his career and placed fourth among NFL signal callers.  For his efforts, Whisenhunt was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America.

As Cardinals head coach from 2007 through 2012, Whisenhunt won a franchise-record 49 games and led the organization to its first NFC Championship.  After a 12-win season in 2008 — the first of two consecutive NFC West titles — the Cardinals made it to Super Bowl XLIII, only to suffer a narrow defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Whisenhunt was on the Steelers coaching staff from 2001 through 2006, spending the first three seasons as tight ends coach and the final three campaigns as offensive coordinator.  With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in only his second NFL season, the 2005 club won Super Bowl XL with Whisenhunt calling the plays.

From 1985 through 1993, the former Georgia Tech walk-on played tight end in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and New York Jets.  He caught 62 passes for 601 yards and six touchdowns in 74 career games.

Whisenhunt's finalized Titans coaching staff is comprised of 19 assistants. Twelve are new to the team, while seven remain from 2013.  Two of his earliest hires were Ray Hortonas defensive coordinator and Jason Michael as offensive coordinator. 

An ex-NFL safety, Horton spent most of the last 20 seasons as a defensive backs coach or defensive coordinator.  He was with Whisenhunt in 2011 and 2012 as defensive coordinator for the Cardinals, and prior to that, the two were on the same Pittsburgh Steelers staff.  Michael spent the last three seasons as the tight ends coach for the Chargers.  After quarterbacking Western Kentucky University to an NCAA I-AA National Championship in 2002, he launched his coaching career with the University of Tennessee.

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