Even with red flags, Mettenberger a value

May, 10, 2014
May 10
4:17
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A new quarterback to go with Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and Tyler Wilson for the Tennessee Titans didn’t arrive until the 178th pick in the draft.

LSU signal-caller Zach Mettenberger looks to be a value in the sixth round. Tennessee dealt picks 186 and 228 in the seventh round to Washington for the pick with which they grabbed Mettenberger, the draft’s 10th quarterback.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt quickly said Locker still rates as the Titans' guy and only unexpected circumstances would change the team's starting quarterback.

Mettenberger
Mettenberger fits what is regarded as the Whisenhunt mold: He's a big, strong-armed pocket guy. But he’s not super accurate and he’s not mobile.

He also has an off-field history, pleading guilty in 2010 to two counts of sexual battery for grabbing a woman's private parts at a bar. Per ESPN's scouting report, “He agreed to, and completed, a strict and detailed 24-month probation as part of his punishment.”

That ended his career at Georgia and he moved on to LSU.

Now he’s coming off a torn ACL and provided a diluted urine sample for a scouting combine drug test, which is typically regarded as a failed test.

Former NFL head coach and coordinator Cam Cameron was his offensive coordinator at LSU last season, and Mettenberger made solid strides in his game.

While late-round quarterbacks very rarely pan out, at this point in the draft, Mettenberger is definitely worth a shot.

Locker is no sure thing, and Charlie Whitehurst is very much a backup. If Locker holds him off, Mettenberger can still position himself to have a chance to start in 2015.

And even if Locker is clearly the starter at the start of the season -- as I expect he will be -- he has a big injury history and odds are the Titans will need to play a second quarterback at some point.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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