Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 4/26/12
With pass rushers galore on the board and one of the best offensive guards in recent memory still available, the Tennessee Titans instead took wide receiver Kendall Wright on Thursday out of Baylor with the 20th overall pick in the NFL Draft. In the event that Titans' top wide receiver Kenny Britt is not back to 100 percent after having blown out his ACL last season, the 5-foot-10, 196-pound Wright provides them with a threat at that position. He ran a 4.61 40 time at the NFL Combine, but was said to have run much faster in individual workouts. In his career at Baylor, Wright caught 302 passes for 4,004 yards and 30 touchdowns. As a senior alone, he caught 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns, as Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, picked second overall on Thursday, won the Heisman Trophy. With Britt, Nate Washington, Wright and up-and-coming tight end Jared Cook, whoever wins the Titans' quarterback battle between veteran Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, last year's first-rounder, will have plenty more targets. Perhaps the pick was a nod to the fact that the NFL is becoming increasingly more offensive and by offensive that means the passing game. Running back Chris Johnson struggled last season after a holdout and when the running attack could not get on track, the Titans were dead in the water. With a more potent passing attack, they can use the pass to open up the run now, as well as vice-versa. As the picks unfolded, it seemed the Titans might land one of the most coveted pass rushers, as South Carolina's Melvin Ingram predicted by some to go in the top 10 kept falling. With Ingram looming just two picks away, San Diego took him at 18th. The Titans then passed on Stanford guard David DeCastro, who went 24th overall to Pittsburgh. DeCastro is a player who also was projected as a top-10 pick. In a press conference streamed live on the Titans' Web site, general manager Ruston Webster said the team would have selected Wright even if Ingram were available. "We just feel like to get a playmaker of Kendall's ability was best for us at that time," Webster said. Head coach Mike Munchak also praised Wright's play-making abilities. "He's very competitive, he makes plays, he's fun to watch on tape," Munchak said. "He's a player that's going to help us this year." Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was adamant that Wright would help the team in the coming season. He said in previous coaching stints, his rookies had been productive. He cited numerous examples, including Terry Glenn's catching 90 passes when he was in New England. "I think this system allows a rookie to come in and play early and there's enough history of that," Palmer said. "We're counting on this guy to come in play. Where we plug him in, that's the beauty of our offense." Palmer said watching on Wright on tape that he believes Wright can play outside or on the inside in the slot. Webster said the Titans also took a hard look at Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, who is a different type of receiver at 6-5. The pick came amid defensive ends like Illinois' Whitney Mercilus, Southern California's Nick Perry and Syracuse's Chandler Jones all being available. The Titans ranked 31st in the NFL last season in sacks. Webster said the Titans would likely concentrate on defense on Friday when the second round commences. He said trading up is a possibility but seemed reluctant to surrender the middle-round pick necessary to do so.
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