Titans G.M. talks up Mettenberger, talks down a QB at No. 2

Getty Images

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.

59 responses to “Titans G.M. talks up Mettenberger, talks down a QB at No. 2

  1. Way to go TN!
    For every Luck or Manning out there, there have been 20 high 1st rd QB busts!
    And look at the most prolific QBs of all time –
    Brady – 6th Rd
    Brees – 2nd Rd
    Favre – 3rd Rd
    Montana – 3rd Rd
    Marino – late 1st Rd

    Get a great player in the 1st and develop Met and you are good to go!

  2. Well Tom Brady was once a late round Draft pick too. Yeah, let’s bet the house on Zach Mettenberger as the Titans franchise QB with Jake Locker moving on. Maybe Tennessee is angling to move up a spot for next year’s Draft or maybe Webster is set to swoop on Jimmy Clausen in Free Agency.

  3. Even if the lowly Titans don’t plan to draft a QB… You have to at least act like it, right???

    You want QB-needy teams to overpay for your draft spot. Poker face, bro.

  4. If this isn’t the Titans advertising that they’re shopping the #2 pick to the highest bidder, I’d be surprised.

  5. Whisenhunt feels as confident about Mettenberger as he did about Derek Anderson, Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Max Hall, and Ryan Lindley in AZ. My sympathies to the people of Tennessee.

  6. Good Lord, I’ll be both shocked and happy (not a Titans fan btw), if they don’t pick a QB. Both those QBs are busts. If they are smart, they will do what every team should do….build your O-line and D-line…..that’s how you win games. I have NEVER understood how teams don’t get this concept.

  7. Hopefully one of them slide down to the Redskins but I think the Tennessee team is going to take the other one contrary to what they are saying publicly.

  8. The only reason I would take the second QB at #2 overall would be if all the other top 10 players were somehow no longer eligible in the draft process.

    Tennessee is a bad team right now, and need a lot of help. Extra picks would be valuable at this point. Someone may think the 2nd QB is worth taking high, or someone will want Leonard Williams, the hands-down best player in the draft, and they may come calling for the pick.
    That’s best case scenario, and worst case is they draft Leonard Williams, not a bad consolation prize.

  9. I disagree that this means they’re trading the pick. If anything, it makes the Jets feel better about their chances of landing Mariota without trading up. Now the Eagles? Yeah there’s no way Mariota falls that far.

  10. I’d trade out of that pick, too.
    Build your line so that Zach can develop with a better running game around him and less time getting hit. Get a WR who can stretch the field a little to maximize the decent possession guys they already have.

    They’re a couple years away but they can make some strides this year if they play it right.

  11. Teams need to do a cost/benefit analysis for quarterbacks like they do with any other position. So many teams reach for quarterbacks and it just ends up being a waste of a valuable resource. You don’t have to draft a QB high to find a good one, and drafting a QB high doesn’t mean he’s going to play better.

    Personally I don’t think either QB projected at the top is a sure enough thing that I would take them over an elite talent on the D Line. So to me getting a guy like Williams or Gregory makes more sense if you feel like they project to be a safe pick.

    Case in point: The Jags would have been better off taking Mack last year than Bortles. Now I think Winston and Mariotta are both better prospects than Bortles but I’m not sure they are worth taking over Williams and Gregory.

    As an aside, if the Raiders get one of those guys at four their d line is going to be scary.

  12. At first I was on board with Mariota. I still like him, but more & more I’m hoping they trade that pick. I did like what Mettenberger did as a rookie last year. He was maybe the 2nd best rookie of the class behind Carr last year. He just needs better pieces around him, meaning they should trade that pick. If they stay there, I’ll be a bit disappointed. But if so, take Williams. Our d-line hasn’t been great in a while. Casey & Williams would terrorize opposing QBs for years.

  13. If anyone believes anything any team says about the draft at this time of year, I have a bridge for sale,

  14. This is a very weak QB class and the top two guys both have major question marks. Winston lacks maturity and Mariotta played in a college system built for him. For those reasons neither is a top 15 pick and both are high risk high reward type players. When you are a bad team do you want take that risk picking that high?

  15. Sometimes, I swear, our Titans execs don’t have the sense God gave a Jacksonville Jaguar fan. Why in the world would you say this–regardless of whether it’s true or not? It’s GM101 that you want every team drafting below you to think you might take the player they want most–whether it’s a QB or the DE out of SoCal. … It’s called working the trade value of your spot.

  16. Maybe they are just throwing it out there to see if they can get all of the Eagles picks? If not they will draft the QB the.

  17. It’s probably a 50/50 call whether Mett can develop into a sound starting NFL QB.

    What this says more is they don’t think Mariotta is really that much more of an upgrade for the organization. Titans will likely not be very good again, look at next years crop, give Mett another year to judge his progress and future.

  18. Sometimes it works to a GM’s advantage for the rest of the league to think he’s dumb. Maybe this is the card Webster is playing.

  19. I don’t know if Mettenberger will go all the way to being a top-notch pro QB, but he is better than Mariota or Winston that’s for sure.

  20. Some people don’t like the Titans making this known because of trade down possibilities but the thing is, the quarterbacks aren’t the best players in this years draft and may not be worth that much to potential trade partners. If the Titans can get people to believe that they want a guy like Leonard Williams, that may actually give them more trade value then pretending to liking one of the quarterbacks.

  21. If people are convinced the Titans won’t take a QB all the trade value slides down the board to the Raiders who pick right before Washington and the Jets. Either of those teams are highly likely to give up on their current QB projects and start anew with Marcus Mariotta who is the anti-RGIII/Geno Smith in all the best ways.

  22. People give Zach Mettenberger such a hard time.

    His production from his 1st to 5th starts was good.

    In his first 5 starts he had a 60.7% completion rate, 8 TD-5INT, averaged 254 pass yards/game and when his two of his best weapons, Justin hunter and Kendall wright, are absent vs. the Giants he stinks. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck lose weapons and we keep talking about how great they are.

    Breaking news: QBs become worse after their weapons go.

    Some guys are worth not giving up on and Zach is one of them. What about all that 1st round pick talk before he tore his ACL, which he was also recovering from in his rookie year?

    Did he just lack talent overnight even though he was also recovering?

  23. I’d rather have Mettenberger as my quarterback than Winston and that’s considering they both had red flags with women in college

  24. From what I saw, Mettenberger looked alright. He’s got the arm and made relatively good decisions with the ball. You don’t have to be an “athlete” to play the Quarterback decision. Ask Tom Brady.

    Plus they have a coach who’s known for developing QB’s. Just give the kid a rock solid running game and upgrade the defense and they’ll be alright. Especially in that weak division.

  25. Not buying it. This is a smokescreen to either get a QB needy team to trade up or to prevent a QB needy team from trading up with the Bucs.

    If the Titans don’t trade down and Mariota is there, it’s hard to imagine the Titans passing on him so they can roll with a 6th round pick at QB.

  26. Also, how else can Mettenberger do well if “bishop stinkey” is his tailback.

    Get two RBs in this draft to slide him to 3rd on the depth chart.

  27. Wouldn’t it be better to say you love both QB’s in the draft, they are both elite, and drive up interest in acquiring the #2 pick? The Jets would start to panic and then they could possibly pay a King’s ransom for that pick and the Titans would get the 6th pick as part of their bounty of picks from the Jets.

  28. Anything GMs say from here on forward to draft day should be treated as smokescreens. All these self-proclaimed draft “experts” on blogs and news sites are so desperate to break a story or get so-called scoops on stories that they’re more than willing to be used by teams and opposing agents.

    Cliff notes: Don’t believe everything you read until draft day.

  29. @Tv246

    Farve was drafted at the top of the 2nd round, Pick 33.

    Also, Mettenberger was rated as a possible late 1st round-early 2nd round QB prospect before he tore his ACL. Guy has a rocket arm, played in a pro-style offense under Cam Cameron, and dominated college football’s best conference.

  30. Meanwhile, Jake Locker will finally get a shot at being mentored by a true NFL-caliber coaching staff for the first time.

    – Titans Fan

  31. LOL at the ignorance of the posters on this site. The only person with red flags is Mettenberger who to this day would have problems playing in Atlanta because of the sexual assault plead he copped while at UGA.

    It is hilarious people throwing out off the field concerns about any of this year’s QB while Mettenberger is LITERALLY considered a sex offender in the state of GA.

  32. Mettenberger is going to be another VG QB much like Flacco…I’m still pissed that Keim took the “project” Logan Thomas that will never amount to anything more that a wasted pick… TITANS get a new leadership team in place before Whisenhunt destroys this kid

  33. DEFENSE! Leonard Williams, Danny Shelton or Randy Gregory. Titans switched to a 3-4 in 2014 and they need players to fit the 3-4. The Titans have not drafted defense in the first round since 2010 when they took Derrick Morgan. If the Titans draft Williams or shelton to play next to Jurrell Casey it would be a big step towards getting back to being a top defense.

  34. jjb0811 says:
    Feb 16, 2015 7:30 AM
    “Sticking w/ a 6th round pick as your starting QB? He’s not Brady.”

    Everybody in the Brady Bunch seems to forget that during his first three pro seasons, Brady wasn’t Brady either.

  35. Mett is a better player with a decent offensive line. At LSU, his stats were great when he was protected. Stick with Mett…he’ll get you there!

  36. sorry but Z Met isn’t all that great. I’ve watched this guy play w/ one of the best WR cores in the game and he just couldn’t get it to any of them.

    Justin Hunter is an elite talent that would easily catch 80+ passes from Mariota or Winston.

  37. They’re taking Mariota or Winston with their pick…not sure why they’re blowing smoke.

  38. He got a chance, unlike so many other college QBs, to get drafted from a big school and he did well. He’s plays better in the pros and he has a chance to grow into a top QB now.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.