While assessing potential draft picks is on center stage this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, there’s also an opportunity for Titans general manager Ruston Webster to work on deals to extend players who are scheduled for free agency.
The GM, who is in his third year in the role, said it is important for the Titans to identify the strongest areas in the field of draft-eligible prospects, think about who may or may not be returning and keep in mind players from other teams who may become available through free agency next month.
He said the assessments that team personnel make this week will help guide the Titans through that process, and the results of free agency will likely influence decisions in May’s NFL Draft.
Last offseason the Titans added offensive weapons through free agency (TE Delanie Walker, RB Shonn Greene) and the draft (WR Justin Hunter).
Webster was asked Thursday during a media session about Walker and Hunter and how they will fit in new coach Ken Whisenhunt’s plans.
“I think Delanie (infographic) will be in a similar role this year, and he was really good for us on third down, he’s a good matchup in those situations. Delanie is a very competitive guy and he really stepped up for us,” Webster said. “I would say Justin (infographic), for somebody that came in, is an improving player. He flashed. He made some big plays, had some big games for us. And he’ll just continue to develop and get better. He has a boatload of talent.”
Tennessee has six draft picks (one in the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds) after trading its 2014 third-round spot and its 2013 second-round selection to San Francisco to move up from the 40th to the 34th overall spot to take Hunter. Webster was also asked if he wished the Titans still had a third-round pick this year.
“Well, I’ll always wish that, but it has nothing to do with Justin Hunter,” Webster said. “I think Justin really flashed and came on. What I was really impressed with Justin was he got a little banged up during the late part of the season and played through it. He blocked and did all those things that we kind of demanded of him, more than just being a big threat as a receiver, and then he stepped up and had some big games for us and helped us win a couple, so I think the future is bright for Justin.”
Tags: Delanie Walker, Justin Hunter, Ruston Webster, Tennessee Titans
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