Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester made history last weekend after returning a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter–making him the all-time leader in punts returns for a touchdown with 11. While there’s a good chance Hester will one day be a Hall of Famer for the work he’s accomplished on special teams, it’s hard not to wonder if his career would be any different if another team had selected him in the 2006 NFL Draft–like the Tennessee Titans.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com discussed on Thursday how close Hester was to being a member of the Titans instead of the Bears. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told the team site this week how Tennessee was on the verge of selecting the former Miami standout with the 45th overall pick before changing their minds at the last second–leaving Chicago the chance to have him slip to them at No. 57.
Here’s what Angelo had to say courtesy of Sessler’s article:
“Devin was pretty prolific in college as a returner. He came out early, and he really didn’t have a defined position. If he did, he probably would have been a first-round pick. … The Titans, who were picking ahead of us (at No. 45 overall), had him on the phone and were making flight arrangements, and then they changed their mind literally at the last minute.”
Even though there’s no possible way to tell what his career would have been like if this actually happened, it’s still interesting to think about what Hester on the Titans would have been like. For starters, Hester would have been part of the 13-3 team from the 2008 season that fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional round of the playoffs–so it’s hard not to wonder what type of impact he could have made.
Still, this is nothing more than a case of “what could have been” and Hester was lucky enough to land where he did in Chicago–but Titans fans will love hearing about this story.
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