The Tennessee Titans are coming off of a 7-9 season during quarterback Marcus Mariota’s sophomore campaign. They narrowly missed the playoffs in 2016 after an abysmal final game in Jacksonville that saw Mariota’s leg shattered along with their playoff dreams. Fortunately for the Titans, things were still looking up going into the draft last week. The Titans had two first round picks, including 5th overall, thanks to a fleecing of the LA Rams last April. Here is how they faired in this years draft:
Round 1, Pick 5: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan – Davis is a stud. Plain and simple. He possesses great size, speed, and route running skills. He can make some absurd catches in traffic and has outstanding athleticism. The Titans were desperate for a receiving threat going into the offseason. They only had one wide receiver with more than 600 yards receiving in 2016. The second leading receiver on the team was Delanie Walker and at age 32 it is unsure how many more years he will be a reliable receiver. Davis has had some struggles with drops, but I would be surprised if it is a major issue at the next level. Overall, I think it was a great pick for the Titans. Davis should start out as the #1 wide receiver and provide a much-needed threat in the receiving game for Mariota.
Round 1, Pick 18: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC – This pick seemed to catch most people off guard. I know I was surprised by it. However, this is another move that I really liked from GM Jon Robinson. Adoree’ is a solid defender and a huge playmaker. The Titans are thin at cornerback and Jackson will definitely help out in the secondary. He is an immediate upgrade at kick return and punt return as well. The Titans really have lacked a playmaker of Jackson’s caliber for a several years. He will provide a spark to the defense and special teams and really help improve a weak secondary. I’m sure most people were hoping that Jonathan Allen, Malik Hooker, or Marlon Humphrey would fall to the them at #18, but after all of those players were taken I loved the pick of Jackson even though it may have been a little bit of a reach.
Round 3, Pick 72: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky – This was the pick that bothered me the most from the Titans. Another Wide Receiver? Listen, I know the receiving corp is weak, but two receivers in the first three rounds?! And after watching film and studying Taylor since the pick was made I can’t say I am too high on his skillset. He has mediocre size and less than impressive speed. He does seem to have exceptional route running skills and posted the top 3-cone drill performance in the combine. So there is some reason to believe he could be a solid player in the NFL. Although, it seems to me his spectacular collegiate statistics were more attributed to the high-powered Western Kentucky offense than his skillset. Time will tell, but I was not a fan of this pick.
Round 3, Pick 100: Jonnu Smith, TE, FIU – Smith was a solid pick for the Titans at pick 100. As I mentioned earlier, Delanie Walker, while still putting up great numbers, is slowly regressing and it’s time to start looking for a tight end of the future. O.J. Howard obviously would have been the ideal choice to fill that role, but the Titans had other plans at pick 18. So therefore, they waited until round 3 to grab Smith. The tight end out of FIU had a great combine. He finished in second amongst all tight ends in three different categories. He will be yet another receiving threat taken from this draft. Overall, I think this was a great job of taking care of a need in the third round.
The Titans did not pick in the fourth round and none of their 5th-7th round picks are really worth discussing. Overall, they got better because of this draft. Davis and Jackson will be immediate upgrades and their positions and will see ample playing time in week 1 and throughout the year. To me, Robinson and the front office left something to be desired after the draft finished. I think the pick of Taylor in the 3rd round was a huge miss and could have been used to grab a pass rusher or deepen the secondary. However, I can’t say I am not excited about Mariota having three new targets to throw to. As always, these grades mean nothing until the players actually see the field, but for now speculation will have to do. Regardless, I think we are all excited to see how these rookies perform in the upcoming season.
Titans Overall Grade: