2011 Draft Class - My Thoughts - 4th Round

4th Round - Pick #109

LB Colin McCarthy - Miami

McCarthy was our first of two picks in the 4th round, and at 6' 1" 238 lbs he fits the stereotypical mold. He has played both strong outside linebacker and middle linebacker at Miami (switching to MLB during his senior season). During his stay at Miami, he had 308 tackles (34 for losses). He was also known as a hard hitter.

McCarthy seems like a carbon copy of another middle linebacker we had, Ryan Fowler. Although Fowler was 2 inches taller and about 10 pounds heavier, in my eyes his playing style is very similar. This might lead to a faster starting role, but might also mean that he doesn't have real lasting potential at the position.

Positives

Quickness - Has the quickness and foot speed to cover the TE over long middle routes. 

Smart - He is rarely out of position and knows where he is required to be. He is not easily fooled on misdirection and counters.

Run Stuffer - He sheds the block and fills the hole well. He is a sure tackler, especially in the open field.

Negatives

Over pursuit - One of his strengths (aggressive nature) can lead to shooting the gap and being kept out of the play by over playing it.

Durability - He missed most of the 2008 season due to a shoulder injury. This might be the biggest concern for the Titans, especially on an already weak linebacking corp.

No "WOW" factor - He has a good core of fundamentals, but has a low ceiling of potential. We may have already seen the best out of McCarthy.

Overall

McCarthy will most likely be a special teams player with the potential to play one or two seasons as a starting LB. He seems more of a stop-gap at the position until we find a long-term solution. If he stays healthy we might see a flash or two of the positives.

4th Round - Pick #130

RB Jamie Harper - Clemson

Harper is a legitimate home run hitter. During his college career he had 1,311 yards on 311 carries and 12 touchdowns. He also had 50 catches for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns. He elected to forego his senior season for the draft.

At 5' 11" 233 lbs, he has decent speed for his size. In a backfield in true need for a real compliment to CJ, he has the chance to jump in and make a difference.

 

Positives

Great Feet - He has quick feet and can make the cuts in open field to earn precious extra yards. He keeps his feet moving in the pile.

Great Hands - Has the hands to be a true option out of the backfield, and with his ability to make the cuts can turn a simple screen pass into a long play.

High Potential - Rated very high coming out of high school, and keeps improving. Has the ability to be a star back in the right system.

Negatives

Vision - Misses open holes and runs into his line on occasion. This causes him to dance too much and not just explode through the hold.

Underachiever - He has a tendency to fall short of his potential. Plays big against bad teams, but struggles during crunch time.

Never "The Man" - He never carried the full load, and is a true unknown if asked to do so.

Overall

He could fit right in as a 3rd down back, as long as CJ stays healthy. However, even though he hasn't been asked to carry the load before, that doesn't mean he can't. At the same time, is this something we want to find out at this level? Let's see what he can do, but hold on to other options just in case.