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Greg Cosell on the Titans’ rookies

I’ll be back to substantive blogging later this week, but wanted to highlight something on the Titans’ rookie class. The great Greg Cosell of NFL Films, best known as the executive producer of ESPN’s NFL Matchup show, does a regular podcast with Doug Farrar, formerly a compadre of mine at Football Outsiders and now the man in charge of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog. They’ve been covering the rookie draft classes around the NFL, and the latest episode covers the Titans and the rest of the AFC South.

There’s a lot of good stuff in there, and the discussion on Kendall Wright and what he means to the offense, in context of slot receivers (see point four in my morning after post on Wright), is worth a post of its own. There’s an excerpt in the SC post from Greg and Doug’s discussion, so I’ll leave you with that for now and highlight Greg observations on the other Titans picks, some of which are familar, and some of which were novel to me:

Zach Brown: Cosell described him as a significant work in progress. The speed is clearly there, and they likely see him as adding some pass rush ability. His big problem is he’s a contact avoider. Doug speculated he could be the Titans’ version of Bruce Irvin. That’s an intriguing idea, as a stand-up defensive end, but I don’t think it fits what the Titans have said about Brown or the skillset he demonstrated in college, and Cosell didn’t seem to follow it either.

Mike Martin: Cosell described him as a better athlete than you might think. He was a player whose ability grew on him-on his first viewings, he looked like a grinder who’s not that quick. The more he watched him though, the more the quickness showed up. Even if it’s not at elite levels, he’s a little quicker and therefore more versatile than you think. My impression from watching Michigan play matched Cosell’s initial reaction to Martin, so I’m hoping he’s right.

Coty Sensabaugh: “Incredibly intriguing” were words I weren’t expecting to hear. Cosell believes he has the skillset to play press man corner and the ability to be a very good man corner in the NFL. Cosell is anxious to track his career; we will indeed see how he progresses.

Markelle Martin: A nice college player who doesn’t stand out in any one area. Just good-not a great athlete, doesn’t react really quickly.

Cosell did not see enough of either Taylor Thompson (whom Russ Lande still loves) or Scott Solomon to provide an opinion. While I’ve summarized Cosell’s comments on the players other than Wright he did talk about, there’s more in the podcast on them and the rest of the AFC South’s rookie class, so give it a listen.