NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans traded for DeMarco Murray at the start of free agency and pointed to the NFL rushing king from 2014 as their new workhorse. But they are not worried about clogging up the backfield with second-round pick Derrick Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner who will have to fight for carries.
My take: There is no cause for any level of faith in the Titans' running backs beyond Murray. Bishop Sankey is a bust of a 2014 second-rounder, David Cobb did little in 2015 as a rookie, Antonio Andrews is super slow and Dexter McCluster has been miscast. Still, the 45th pick in the draft should produce a clear-cut starter for a team coming off a 3-13 season, and Henry will be second on a depth chart that still has plenty of needs still unfilled on the first team. The Titans emphasized they will be a balanced offense and that Henry will be a factor in the passing game. But the sort of factors Marcus Mariota needs in the pass game have to line up wide and make plays down the field. Henry became the fourth back drafted by the Titans since 2014, the most of any team in the league. And that doesn't include Murray, who arrived in a trade. In a passing league, are the Titans spending too much capital on retro concepts?
Chip on shoulder: Henry said he expected to go in the first round and was disappointed that he didn't. But he has been underestimated before and said with his dream of being drafted fulfilled, he will use his second-round status as fuel, working hard to prove he belongs. I don't doubt he will fit the Titans' push to fill the roster with guys who love football, know what it takes to win and represent their core feelings well.
Who carries when? Having two good players at one position is fine, but if they are both healthy it can lead to a constant storyline about who's getting the ball when, and why. Jon Robinson said the team now has two workhorse backs. The Titans may have created a constant controversy. Henry is automatically the second-best back on the team. That the Titans felt they needed another back is a further indictment of the acquisitions at the position that came before Robinson and Mike Mularkey came to power. Hopefully we've seen the end of any significant work for Sankey and Andrews. And while McCluster now has more to change up from, it'll be hard to justify many touches for him.
What's next: The Titans have the 64th overall pick, in the third round.