The Tennessee Titans made the pick that many all along thought they would, grabbing Chance Warmack of Alabama with the 10th overall pick in the draft.
Warmack was the player that general manager Ruston Webster said the Titans wanted all along, and head coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews heartily endorsed after a private work out with the Crimson Tide guard.
“He's a player we really liked, had a good grade on, had a consensus and put a lot of work into this off-season. So we're very happy to have him as a new Titan,” Webster said. “We pretty much got the guy we were looking to get.”
Munchak said the Titans were sold, especially after the private work out Warmack did for he, Matthews and assistant offensive line coach Arthur Smith a couple of days after Alabama's pro day.
“Bruce and I met him at the Combine, and we went down to Alabama to work him and we got a chance to spend a lot of time with him,” Munchak said. “We watched a lot of tape with him, which made us feel very comfortable with him. Even in the NFL, you don't see the kind of power he has, the ability to move the line of scrimmage. To me, he's the complete package. He loves the game and he has a passion for it.”
Warmack revealed the Titans were the only team he worked out for that way, though two other teams requested to meet with him as well.
For Matthews, he said he tried to be skeptical about Warmack, who had had plenty of hype playing on three national championship teams while at Alabama.
“I go in very skeptical on linemen that I've heard about. Usually they're a product of the team they played on – Alabama having such a great tradition and on such a hot streak that you kind of think, 'Well, they've got a bunch of other guys on the team pumping him up.' I went in very skeptical wanting to shoot him down at every turn and really I think what sold me on him was every time I was with him, I got excited about the opportunity to watch him play. … He has the demeanor and the mindset that we're looking for and what we want to accomplish up front.”
Not only were the Titans coaches and front office thrilled with the pick, running back Chris Johnson was pleased as well, tweeting "THANK GOD" just after the selection was made.
Warmack was a part of three national championship teams with the Crimson Tide and is regarded as ready to start in the NFL from day one, as the Titans will plug him in at right guard.
“This is a dream come true. I was definitely thinking what would it be like if I played for Tennessee,” Warmack said. “The o-line coaches, the fact that their running backs are great. You have a quarterback that can get the job done, run or pass and their style of play is physical – run first,” Warmack said. “And it's three hours from my home.”
Offensive line was a problem for the Titans last season, but the signing of Andy Levitre as a free agent from Buffalo to play left guard and the addition of Warmack at right guard solidifies the line.
The other guard high on draft boards, Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina, went three picks before at No. 7 to the Arizona Cardinals.
Warmack was the fifth offensive lineman to be taken in the top 10 of this year's draft and the second of three players in a row taken from Alabama. The New York Jets took Tide cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 9, and the San Diego Chargers followed with tackle D.J. Fluker at No. 11.