Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/27/12
By Kerry J. Byrne
Cold, Hard Football Facts Dull Hood Ornament

It didn’t take long for the biggest loser to emerge from the first round of the 2012 draft.
 
The Tennessee Titans painted a big, huge aquamarine “L” on their foreheads when they used the No. 19 overall pick to grab Kendall Wright, a Shiny Hood Ornament wide receiver out of Baylor. The great football philosopher Tom Petty said that even the losers get lucky sometime. Must be the strategy Tennessee management employed when it made the pick: hoping for a little luck.

After all, the track record when it comes to this team harvesting notable wide receivers is truly one of the great horror stories of recent draft history.
 
Now, Wright was a mighty fine receiver in college. He caught an incredible 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 TD last season as the top batterymate of Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. He could prove to be the second coming of Jerry Rice.
 
But even then, even if he’s a home run, he will do little to improve Tennessee’s fortunes. The sad truth that even NFL teams are slow to accept is that even the greatest wide receivers rarely make better quarterbacks in particular or teams in general. Quite the contrary: great quarterbacks and great teams make receivers better. It’s one of the foundations of the Cold, Hard Football Facts Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law.
 
The evidence to support the Shiny Hood Ornament Man Law is now so overwhelming that it’s the equivalent of gridiron gravity. You can doubt it all you want. But you’ll become a believer the second you jump out a third-story window and pretend you can fly – or pretend you can build a winner around wide receivers.
 
No team in recent football history has crashed to the ground in a crumpled heap of broken limbs and bad draft picks more often than the Titans – which makes their Thursday night decision all the more disturbing. The Titans have been burned by Shiny Hood Ornaments more often than any team in football over the past decade. They still have not learned their lesson. It’s embarrassing, actually.
 
Here are the Cold, Hard Football Facts from our “Stats up the Wazoo” pre-draft look at each NFL team’s 10-year draft history.
 
The Titans drafted 15 wide receivers over the previous 10 years, more than any team in football. In fact, no team has drafted more players at any position (the Cowboys are tied, drafting 15 CBs over the same period).
 
The Titans also devoted 56 Value Points to those picks, the most of any team at any position (tied with the Bengals, who devoted 56 Value Points to linebackers).
 
Wright is the 16th wide receiver the Titans have drafted since 2002 (among 97 picks). And they have now devoted 63 Value Points to the position – more draft resources than any team has devoted to any position since the 2002 draft.
 
Yet the Titans have got almost NOTHING out of the previous 15 receivers. Here are the total career numbers for each receiver drafted by Tennessee since 2002.
 
Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Draft Picks (2002-2011)   Round Year Catches Yards TDs Damian Williams 3rd 2010 61 811 5 Marc  Mariani 7th 2010 5 24 0 Kenny Britt 1st 2009 101 1765 15 Dominique Edison 6th 2009 0 0 0 Lavelle Hawkins 4th 2008 66 709 1 Paul Williams 3rd 2007 1 7 0 Chris Davis 4th 2007 7 69 0 Joel Filani 6th 2007 0 0 0 Jonathan Orr 6th 2006 0 0 0 Courtney Roby 3rd 2005 24 323 1 Brandon Jones 3rd 2005 113 1398 9 Roydell Williams 4th 2005 92 1248 6 Tyrone Calico 2nd 2003 42 501 4 Jake Schifino 5th 2002 0 0 0 Darrell Hill 7th 2002 0 0 0 TOTAL     512 6855 41 Avg. career     34 457 2.7  
 
Did the Titans even look at their own history before they wasted a valuable No. 1 pick on Wright? It's truly a forgettable list. Five of the 15 previous wide receiver draft picks failed to make even a single catch in the NFL. Britt, a No. 1 picks in 2009, is the only one closer to producing a competent NFL career – and even then the team must have expected something better than an average of 34 catches, 588 yards and 5 TDs per season when they devoted a No. 1 pick to him.
 
The average CAREER numbers for these 15 players are stunning: 34 catches, 457 yards, 2.7 TDs. That’s not even a notable season for a receiver these days. But, remember, those aren’t season numbers. That’s the average career of the players to whom the Titans have devoted nearly 20 percent of their draft-pick assets over the past 11 drafts now.
 
The lack of impact has been noted on the scoreboard and in the win-loss colum.
 
Tennessee has enjoyed just two playoff victories over this period and they’ve enjoyed just one season ranked in the top 10 in scoring: 5th in 2003 (27.2 PPG).  
 
Wide receivers in the best of times have a high bust rate. Shiny Hood Ornaments simply cannot be counted on to deliver in the NFL, no matter how brightly they sparkled in college. Titans history itself is proof. Yet team management – over two different regimes now – simply cannot resist the allure, even if the evidence that these are wasted picks are overwhelming.
 
It gets worse for the Biggest Losers of the 2012 Draft (Round 1 division). The Cold, Hard Football Facts tell us it is critical to draft for NEED. You need to utilize the power of the draft to fill the statistical holes that haunted you the previous season.
 
The passing game was not Tennessee’s biggest statistical hole in 2011. In fact, the team was a respectable No. 14 in Real Passing YPA, No. 12 in Real Quarterback Rating and No. 14 in Offensive Passer Rating.
 
The Titans instead had a critical hole on the other side of the ball: they were No. 30 on our Defensive Hog Index, year after year one of the most important indicators of postseason success. Teams better in the DHI are 40-15 in the playoff since we introduced the indicator in 2007.
 
No team in football last year was worse at get after the passer. The Titans forced a Negative Pass Play on just 6.3 percent of opponent dropbacks in 2011. The Super Bowl champ Giants were third best in the NFL last year, forcing a Negative Pass Play on 10.7 percent of opponent drop backs.
 
The Titans defense, in other words, is a long way from Super Bowl caliber. And last we checked, Shiny Hood Ornaments make really bad pass rushers.
 
Wasted pick. Wasted day for the Tennessee Losers.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker