Tennessee Titans Draft Potential Steal at QB in Zach Mettenberger

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks with Zach Mettenberger‘s skill set aren’t typically available in the sixth round. But the Tennessee Titans just selected a passer who can make every throw the NFL requires with pick No. 178 overall.

Now, there is definitely a reason why Mettenberger was still on the board so late in the draft. He didn’t exactly live up to his potential at LSU despite throwing to NFL-caliber receivers, like Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and behind one of the nation’s top offensive lines. He never exhibited the proper instincts before or after the snap. Unlike elite passers who go through their progressions, Mettenberger stared down his intended target from time to time as well, which is something he can’t afford to do at the next level.

Most discouragingly, Mettenberger enters the league as a huge question mark from a character perspective. Mettenberger has a troubling history of alleged alcohol and drug use and was arrested in March 2010. If there’s one position where character issues don’t fly, it’s quarterback. A quarterback needs to be a leader and potentially the face of the franchise. Can Mettenberger be either? It would be difficult to believe so with any real confidence.

Players can turn their life around, though. It’s never too late for the metaphorical light bulb to turn on his peronsal life. Contrarily, there’s no acquiring an NFL arm without being born with that ability. Mettenberger has one, and could become competition for Jake Locker in Tennessee with development. Locker is entering the final year of his contract and needs to have his best year yet to keep his starting role. If he doesn’t perform, the door will open for Mettenberger to steal the show.

Mettenberger is a low-risk/high-reward acquisition by the Titans. There isn’t anything wrong with rolling the dice on him this late in the draft. He has the potential to become a true steal at the game’s most important position, but has an awful lot to prove.

Cody Strahm is an NFL author for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.

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  • Holmes

    Locker is awesome and will prove it in 2014. Otherwise, he gets cut and the Titans draft a real franchise QB (ahem…Jameis) next year. Wasted pick.

  • Julia James


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  • Jeremy Lundeen

    Mettenberger will flat beat locker out in the preseason. Jameis is the next Jamarcus Russell bust waiting to happen. Mettenberger is a franchise qb. He was an absolute steal in round 6. In 5 years he may well be the best player taken in this entire draft. The author said he wasn’t accurate? He threw those guys open all year. He also had less than brilliant protection all year. His pocket collapsed on him constantly in big games. He stood in and delivered the ball. The author is just repeating talking points from mettenberger detractors. Mettenberger scored second highest of the entire draft class on the wonderlic. He outscored bortles and outscored Bridgewater(supposedly the cerebral/pro ready qb) by a mile. Pre and post snap mettenbeger is solid. He has the arm to toy with defensive backs and move safeties. He is gonna be great checking down to Mccluster on flares and wheel routes too. He had no problem hitting Jeremy hill in stride on those at LSU. Mettenberger is by far the most accomplished QB in the 2014 class. Just give it time folks. This may well be brady next generation. Multiple superbowl appearances is mettenbergers ceiling. his floor is multiple pro bowls.

  • Marked Anthony

    Five years ago when Mettenberger was 18 he was drunk and pinched the wrong boosters daughter on the tit. He has no drug history and has been unjustly crucified by numerous media outlets. This kid has been a stand up guy since then and will be the steal of the draft. His alleged drug test failure was a diluted sample because too much water in his system, he volunteered to stay and give another sample but NFL said no.