2014 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Should Draft South Carolina’s Connor Shaw

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans finished the 2013 NFL Season with a disappointing 7-9 record, and, in all honesty, should have gone to the playoffs. Horrible special teams play and horrible play by a back-up quarterback led to five of those losses. With the season now over, many are calling for a change at the quarterback position for the Titans.

I disagree with drafting a quarterback in the first round and starting again from scratch. With the playoff ready defense that Tennessee already possesses and Chris Johnson’s decent running capabilities, there’s no need to make a rash decision like that. Jake Locker is extremely talented and showed signs of major improvement before being injured at the beginning of the season.

I don’t agree with all of these people spouting that the Titans should get rid of Locker. Yes, he’s prone to injuries, but when he does get playing time he’s played really well. The only really poor game he had this season was against the San Francisco 49ers right after coming back from injury, which brings us to the main issue with Tennessee’s quarterback situation. When Locker was injured, the Titans had to turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick is an okay NFL quarterback, but has a tendency to turn the ball over.  Before he came to the Titans he threw 92 touchdowns to 81 interceptions; this season he threw 14 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. Not only does this tendency for interceptions make you question management’s ability to make good decisions, it highlights the need for, not a starting quarterback, but a back-up quarterback.

The 2014 NFL Draft is going to be full of quarterbacks. Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Fresno State’s Derek Carr are all going to be top targets for NFL teams. However, the best fit for the Titans will be a quarterback that’s not been on the national radar that often, the South Carolina Gamecocks Connor Shaw.

Shaw has played in the SEC for a long time without making a splash, because South Carolina is known for its defense and run game more than its passing. Shaw doesn’t throw for ridiculous numbers; this season he only threw for just over 2,000 yards. However, Shaw is efficient, extremely accurate and isn’t afraid to run for a first down. He reminds me of a bigger, tougher Alex Smith. This season, he threw just one interception to 21 touchdowns. Let me repeat that; that’s one interception in the SEC.

If you look at the Titans’ roster, they have enough youth and talent to be in the playoffs for the next four or five years. Where Tennessee is lacking most is its depth at numerous positions. The Titans can use their early draft picks on top players that they need and use a later pick on Shaw to fill their quarterback needs. Shaw is going to have success in the NFL, whether Tennessee drafts him or not. The Titans need to take a look at this ignored talent from South Carolina, because, as they found out this season, a talented back-up is just as important as a talented starter.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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  • Gary

    The Titans have already addressed this issue by signing Tyler Wilson to a 3yr contract. He was a 4th round pick by the Raiders in last year’s draft. In college, he played at Ark (SEC) and was a good QB. He has some nice stats in college. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Wilson_(American_football)

    • Taylor Sturm

      Tyler Wilson is a good pick up, but I still think that this year’s quarterback class is far too talented to pass up on an opportunity like Shaw, Mettenberger, etc.

      • Gary

        I agree but my point was that Wilson or Shaw are pretty much the same thing. Good college QB’s who haven’t proven themselves in the NFL that could become really good backups. By them giving him a 3 yr contract, tells me he figures into their plans.

        • Taylor Sturm

          Agreed completely.

        • Rich

          Only problem is that Wilson doesn’t have Shaw’s heart beating in his chest, nor has he been as proven a winner.

          • Kenneth Boyd

            COMPLETELY AGREE RICH!

  • Taylor Sturm

    Also, ignore the “bigger” part of the comparison to Alex Smith. Smith is taller and heavier. It was a mistype, thanks.

  • Rich

    The Titans would be extremely fortunate to get Connor Shaw. He WILL prove the skeptics wrong. He’s done it his whole college career. When healthy, NO ONE in the SEC has been better or won more, not even Johnny.

    • Gary

      Nothing will make me happier than for the Titans to find a QB that can win consistently and take them to the playoffs. I don’t know if Shaw could be that guy or not and I don’t know who’s the better player between Shaw and Wilson and only looked up Wilson’s stats when he signed with the Titans. I’m just tired of watching the Titans lose and going 6-10/7-9 every year!

    • Gary

      I’ve been watching youtube highlights of Conner Shaw…WOW…I really like what I see!

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  • Kenneth Boyd

    This is the best article yet. I hope they get Conner Shaw. This guy has a big heart. A great leader.

  • Ralph James Williams

    We need to trade up and draft Johnny Football!!!! We need his energy excitement and winning!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • david

    the vikings need this kid perfect fit