But while some who agree with Cosell might cite a bigger need than quarterback or the "best-player-available" argument, which might lead the team to choose USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, Cosell has a different explanation: The club already has a quarterback better than the best one available in the draft. Yes, as Cosell sees it, the Titans are better off with their sixth-round pick from 2014, Zach Mettenberger, than with the presumptive No. 1 overall pick this year, Florida State's Jameis Winston.
"You look for traits. When you do that with Jameis Winston ... he's a pocket quarterback for the most part. His strengths are anticipation. Zach Mettenberger, by the way, is a pocket quarterback who is very good at making anticipatory throws, arguably better than Jameis Winston at making anticipatory throws. Zach Mettenberger actually has a bigger arm than Jameis Winston," Cosell told Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone. "They're both a little bit slow-twitch in the pocket. They're both a little bit heavy-footed, which of course are negatives, but they're very similar in that regard. In many of the traits, and I'm just scratching the surface by the way, but in many of the traits that you look for, you would say that they're similar and that Mettenberger is a little bit better.
"... They're not that different. When Zach Mettenberger came out of LSU and Jameis Winston's coming out of Florida State, there's not a whole lot (of) difference when you just look at traits and attributes."
Cosell said he has spoken with an NFL scout who finds the two comparable as well, but noted that some NFL clubs hold the assumption that Winston has an "it" factor as a big-play quarterback that Mettenberger does not possess. The Titans have expressed some optimism in Mettenberger's potential, but there isn't much of a sample on which to project his career. Mettenberger made just six starts as a rookie, showing a strong arm but also a penchant for taking sacks (18), and threw seven interceptions to just eight touchdown passes.
If he turns out to be a better pro quarterback than Winston, he'll either be a steal, or Winston will be a flop.