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Jevon Kearse headlines best draft picks for Titans

The Tennessee Titans have been drafting players since 1997. Here’s a look at the best draft picks by position for the Titans.

Though the Titans were the Houston Oilers, we considered players drafted only since 1995, whose careers included playing in Tennessee.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Steve McNair, first round, 1995, Alcorn State. Shared the 2003 NFL MVP award with Peyton Manning. He threw for 27,141 yards in 11 seasons with the franchise with 156 passing TDs and 103 interceptions. The team was 76-55 in his starts.

Running back: Eddie George, first round, 1996, Ohio State. The centerpiece of the Jeff Fisher-era Oilers/Titans offense. In eight seasons with the franchise he ran for 10,009 yards and 64 touchdowns.

Wide receiver: Derrick Mason, fourth round, 1997, Michigan State. Set an NFL record for all-purpose yardage as a first-team All-Pro in 2000 with 2,690, a mark that stood until 2011. Posted four 1,000-yard receiving seasons, a rarity for the franchise from a receiver during the Tennessee era.

Tight end: Bo Scaife, sixth round, 2005, Texas. Frank Wycheck was a waiver claim and Delanie Walker a free agent signee. Scaife averaged almost 42 catches a year over six seasons.

Tackle: Michael Roos, second round, 2005, Eastern Washington. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2008. A steady, reliable left tackle who started 148 games over 10 seasons.

Guard: Benji Olson, fifth round, 1998, Washington. After starting just once as a rookie, he locked down right guard for nine seasons with a road-grading mentality that helped define the Titans' line. Missed only five games in the nine years he started.

Center: Justin Hartwig, sixth round, 2002, Kansas. Gave the Titans three pretty good years as their starting center. The Titans haven’t relied on the draft for their best centers. Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews played there some, Kevin Mawae was a free-agent addition and so was current center Ben Jones.

DEFENSE

End: Jevon Kearse, first round, 1999, Florida. Exploded onto the scene with a rookie record 14.5 sacks and paced a Super Bowl defense. He had 36 sacks in his first three seasons before a foot injury slowed him.

Tackle: Albert Haynesworth, first round, 2002, Tennessee. Was first team All-Pro in 2007 and 2008 when he was playing for a giant contract. He was dominant in that stretch for a team that watched him jump to Washington for a monster free-agent deal. He wasn’t the same there.

Linebacker: Keith Bulluck, first round, 2000, Syracuse. The Titans were in a great spot where they took the best player available with no immediate need. He played in 157 games in 10 years and had a penchant for big plays in prime time.

Cornerback: Samari Rolle, second round, 1998, Florida State. Made 23 interceptions in seven years and rates as the best cover cornerback the franchise has had in the Tennessee era. He was a first team All-Pro in 2000.

Safety: Michael Griffin, first round, 2007, Texas. Played nine seasons at free safety for the Titans, earning two Pro Bowls. Finished his Titans career with 25 interceptions.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: None.

Punter: None.