If the Buccaneers take Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the first overall pick in the NFL draft, does that mean the Titans will take the other quarterback at No. 2?
Not according to Titans General Manager Ruston Webster, who is talking up Zach Mettenberger as a potential quarterback of the future in Tennessee — and talking down the possibility that the Titans will take a quarterback with their first-round pick.
“Zach has done a great job of everything we’ve asked,” Webster told the Tennessean. “He’s working hard, and it is important to him. He just needs to keep doing that. … I know with all the questions it’s difficult, but he just needs to keep doing what he is doing, and he understands that. There’s also some other players involved, too. There’s going to be good defensive players, good receivers, and where do those other guys fit in? Really, the [second overall pick] is not all about the quarterbacks. A lot of other positions are involved, too.”
Mettenberger started six games last year after the Titans chose him in the sixth round of the draft, and he showed some promise, completing 59.8 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Mettenberger’s stats were better than those of Jake Locker, the former first-round quarterback whom the Titans will allow to walk in free agency this offseason, and Webster is liking what he’s seeing of Mettenberger.
“We like Zach, and I think Zach has the tools to play and start in the league,” Webster said. “We’ve said all along that this is a part of this process, and we have to do our due diligence all the way through. Zach knows we are going to do that, and this is just kind of part of it. These guys are part of the evaluation process along with other positions. And we’ll take a good look at them.”
It’s no sure thing that Mettenberger will develop into a quality starting quarterback. But Mettenberger may have shown enough to make the Titans think they can pass on Winston or Mariota.