Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #19 – Tennessee Titans – S Michael Griffin

The Tennessee Titans have gone with a University of Texas player for the second year in a row, taking safety Michael Griffin. Last year, of course, they took quarterback Vince Young. The Titans are hoping this pick works out half as well.

None of the ESPN talking heads seem surprised but Griffin is a big reach according to the print guys, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

Player Evaluation: A rangy centerfielder with a complete game, Griffin offers starting potential at safety and could be a dominant special-teams player.

STRENGTHS: Change of Direction, Coverage Awareness, Toughness


Michael Griffin Photo Texas Uni Biography: Two-year starter and All-Conference selection as a senior after totaling 126/4/10. Blocked four kicks as a junior and accumulated 124 tackles.

Pos: Explosive safety who is an intimidating force in centerfield. Diagnoses the action, fires up the field in run defense and aggressively lays his shoulders into ball handlers. Displays outstanding sideline-to-sideline range and gets to the flanks to help cornerbacks. Shows a burst of speed and ability to recover. Wraps up tackling and punishes opponents. Terrific special-teams player.

Neg: Has tackles broken. Occasionally shows some hesitation to his game. At times is too quick moving up the field.


This is isn’t as bad as Miami taking Ginn, but drafting Griffin was still bad for the Titans. Most teams are looking to add one or two starters through the draft unless it’s a quarterback, and then there’s Tennessee. The Titans need a corner that can step into the starting slot opposite free-agent singing Nick Harper, a receiver that can make an immediate impact and a running back that can share the load with LenDale White. Taking a safety here rather than a receiver like Robert Meachem or Dwayne Bowe makes it a lot more difficult to fill those holes. That’s not to say Griffin isn’t going to be a player in this league. Though he gets caught out of position at times and he needs to get a little bigger, he will smack the ball carrier in the mouth and has above-average cover skills, so he should push for immediate playing time.

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