Meet the newest Titans

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 1:04am

Here's a look a each of the Titans' 2008 draft picks:

Chris Johnson * RB * East Carolina

Round: 1st (24th overall)

Ht: 5-10. Wt: 198

The lowdown: The Titans said all offseason that getting faster on offense was a priority. So they drafted the fastest player timed at the NFL Combine (4.24) in the first round. Johnson put up nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards his senior season at East Carolina and had a 300-yard rushing game against Memphis.

Where he fits: Probably not an every-down back, he will be used in a variety of ways as a third-down back, slot receiver and return man. Johnson compares himself to Brian Westbrook of Philadelphia and will likely be used similarly.

Jason Jones * DE * Eastern Michigan

Round: 2nd (54th overall)

Ht: 6-5. Wt: 272.

The lowdown: Jones began his college career as a tight end, but quickly found a home on the defensive side of the football. He can play both end and tackle, but likely will get a first look at end, splitting time with Jevon Kearse on the left side.

Where he fits: Jones gives the Titans versatility, as he can play both end and tackle. He likely will play end on run downs and can slide inside in passing situations.

Craig Stevens * TE * California

Round: 3rd (85th overall)

Ht. 6-4. Wt: 258.

The lowdown: Stevens brings additional depth to the tight end position, even after the additions of Alge Crumpler and Dwayne Blakley this offseason. Stevens comes with a “nasty streak,” according to one evaluation, something that can be effective in the running game.

Where he fits: Stevens will have a chance to take over the role Ben Hartsock vacated as the team’s primary blocking tight end. The Titans believe he can eventually develop into a pass-receiving threat as well.

William Hayes * DE * Winston-Salem

Round: 4th (103rd overall)

Ht: 6-3. Wt: 260

The lowdown: The Titans moved up 21 spots in the fourth round by packaging a fourth-rounder and their fifth-round choice to land a Division II player, who they believe can become a solid pass rusher. Hayes, a reach in the eyes of many of the so-called draft experts, might be a bit of a project, but is a hard worker and is among the fastest defensive linemen in the draft, running a 4.61 in the 40.

Where he fits: The Titans say Hayes can contribute right away, but might not have to count on that if Jones can earn early time. Hayes is eager to prove his worth at the NFL level after playing off the radar at Winston-Salem in college.

Lavelle Hawkins * WR * California

Round: 4th (126th overall)

Ht: 5-11. Wt: 186

The lowdown: After waiting through four picks, the Titans finally address the wide receiver pick, adding Hawkins to a crowded but intriguing battle for roster spots at the position. He has the ability to separate from defenders despite not having super speed and put up solid numbers with 72 receptions last season for Cal.

Where he fits: If he can adapt to Mike Heimerdinger’s system, can be a factor sooner rather than later. Few of the eight other players on the Titans’ roster can claim they have a role already locked up for 2008, so there is opportunity to be had.

Stanford Keglar * LB * Purdue

Round: 4th (134th overall)

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 247

The lowdown: Keglar is a hard worker and had some talent and speed to eventually contribute at the NFL level. He could find the playing time hard to come by early on, as he is entrenched behind two of the team’s most dependable defenders in David Thornton and Keith Bulluck.

Where he fits: With Thornton and Bulluck locked in, Keglar will be asked to be a core member of the Titans’ special teams units until an opportunity to play arises.

Cary Williams * CB * Washburn

Round: 7th (229th overall)

Ht: 6-1. Wt: 185.

The lowdown: Williams comes as the Titans’ latest project in the secondary. The Titans have had good luck in the late rounds finding gems like Cortland Finnegan and Reynaldo Hill in the final round. Williams isn’t very strong, but has some cover skills. He began his career at Fordham before heading to Washburn, located in Topeka, Kan.

Where he fits: If Williams can impress, he’ll have to do so on special teams early, as he is a gunner.

Filed under: Sports
By: frank brown on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Well there you have it, TITAN1

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

And I am excited about this draft, especially Chris Johnson. He brings speed to the offense and looks very good in the return game.

By: jwk6179 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Other than Chris Johnson, it will probably be YEARS before anyone can see if this was a good draft or not. The drafting of William Hayes from Winston-Salem even caught the NFL by surprise because when his name was announced, the NFL office didn't even know who he was. I don't see how anyone can be excited by this draft by the Titans.

By: Cowboy84 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

We'll in 2-3 years, you can't grade a draft the day after. It is curious they drafted another back, I don't care if he is fast, that's what they said about Chris Henry when they drafted him. They stuck to their usual plan, draft DLine and a WR who might work out.