April 25, 2009

Marks fills important need for Titans

As the picks kept clicking by in the second round, all Sen'Derrick Marks could do was wait and wonder.

Would he be a first-day pick in the 2009 NFL Draft or would he fall to the third or fourth round? Did he make the right decision leaving Auburn after his junior season?

The answer came just three picks from the end of a furious first day of trades when the Tennessee Titans selected Marks with the No. 30 pick in the second round (No. 62 overall).

Marks, who spent Saturday watching the draft from his home in Mobile, could hardly contain his excitement.

"Oh man, I just went crazy, I went crazy," Marks said.

It turns out Tennessee was the only NFL facility Marks visited before the draft.

"It was a lot like Auburn's, so I felt very familiar with it," Marks said. "I really liked the d-line coaches and the way that they coach. I really liked my visit and enjoyed it."

Marks obviously made a favorable impression on the Titans' brass including head coach Jeff Fisher.

"We had Sen'Derrick in as one of our 30 visits," Fisher said. "We interviewed him at the combine and interviewed him here. He's kind of a late bloomer. He was a basketball player, dunks a basketball at 6-2 and 300 pounds, and very athletic.

"He was banged up this year, two high ankle sprains, struggled through it but stayed on the field and played. We think his future is well ahead of him. He's going to be a good football player inside. We feel like he'll be able to fit right into the rotation."

Marks will help fill a big hole in the Titans defensive line created by the free agent departure of two-time All Pro d-tackle Albert Haynesworth to Washington. Tennessee returns fourth-year pro Tony Brown as one starting d-tackle and added Jovan Haye as a free agent out of Tampa Bay.

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