By Karen Christensen // @ksc47
Hooray, the Draft is over! No more mock drafts and speculation. Tennessee Titans’ general manager Jon Robinson got two tons of kudos for his draft wheelin’ and dealin’ for 2016, so there was a lot of anticipation with this season’s draft. Would JR trade down to get more drafts in the first round or would he stay with picks 5 and 18?
Well, turns out the boss man stayed with the designated picks and didn’t do any trading until day 2. Mr. Robinson did help turn this team around from a 3 wins 13 losses 2015 season to a 9 wins -7 losses 2016 season; so Titan Nation should have known that they were in good hands for the draft.
The team’s main needs were wide receiver and cornerback, and the number 1 pick was WR Corey Davis from Western Michigan. I did go to the Titans draft party at Nissan Stadium on Thursday, and the crowd was cheering when Davis’ name was called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Head Coach Mike Mularkey later said that the main goal was to draft guys that were competitive and put the team first, and for the positions that they needed. The team wasn’t looking for the best player available on the board this year, but for the best player that was needed. Corey Davis will be another target for Marcus Mariota, he’s fast, determined and he has said that Mariota is his favorite quarterback in the league.
The player at the number 18 spot was CB Adoree Jackson from USC, who is described as “an explosive player” and the great Deion Sanders is a fan. He also was a track runner during college and if you look at his college highlight reel, you can see the track background is an added plus; he can out run most of the players on the field. This man has personality plus! I believe Jackson is going to have great success in Tennessee.
The third round of the draft saw the Titans picking another WR Taywan Taylor from Western Kentucky (pick number 72) and then TE Jonnu Smith (pick number 100) from Florida International University. Jon Robinson states that he looks for players that can produce, he doesn’t look at bigger name schools. Pro Football Focus has Taylor as a senior catching “98 passes for 1,730 yards and 17 scores”. Smith fills a spot left open after TE Anthony Fasano left to return to Miami. Coach Mularkey likes Smith as a blocker and as “a complete player”.
Onward to round five, the Titans next selected OLB Jayon Brown from UCLA, his bio lists him as being UCLA’s top tackler last season. With Round 6, the Titans picked up guard Corey Levin from Chattanooga, he has a lot of competition for a starting position as veteran Tim Lelito from the Saints was added this year. Levin played guard and center for Chattanooga Athletics and was a “three time All-American selection” per ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky.
And for round 7 of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Titans picked LB Josh Carraway from TCU. OT Brad Seaton from Villanova and RB Khalfani Muhammad from California.
Former Titans that have left the team: CB Jason McCourty, LB Sean Spence, TE Anthony Fasano, CB Valentino Blake, and RB Antonio Andrews. The GM has filled the empty spots, and now it is up to these young athletes to work even harder to get their spots on the final team. I have seen that the ‘’grades” for the Titans draft from sports channels rate an A- to B, but in reality it is a waiting game. Preseason games are the testing ground for these new players that are trying to reach their NFL dreams.
This list is from Jason Wolf with the Tennessean newspaper. The following players have agreed to sign with the Titans as undrafted free agents. All signings listed have been by players who announced the decision themselves or through an agent, or have been reported by a credible news outlet:
- DT DeAngelo Brown, Louisville (per agent)
- WR Bra’Lon Cherry, N.C. State (per Cherry)
- QB Tyler Ferguson, Western Kentucky (per ESPN)
- CB John Green, Connecticut (per National Football Post)
- NT Roderick Henderson, Alabama State (per agent)
- SS Denzel Johnson, Texas Christian (per agent)
- RB Akeem Judd, Mississippi (per agent)
- TE Kody Kohl, Arizona State (per coach)
- WR Kevonn Mabon, Ball State (per Mabon)
- OT Ryan Melton, Texas State (minicamp tryout, per Houston Chronicle)
- OT Steven Moore, California (per league source)
- WR Giovanni Pascascio, Louisville (per agent)
- OT Jonah Pirsig, Minnesota (per agent)
- DE Steven Rhodes, MTSU (per DNJ)
- SS Aaron Taylor, Ball State (minicamp tryout, per The Star Press)
- LB Ja’Karri Thomas, Vanderbilt (per WCTV)
- P Ethan Wood, Wyoming (minicamp tryout, per Casper Star-Tribune)
So good luck to all of the new fellas, work hard and don’t give up.
Currently the Titans are out on the annual Titans caravan, signing autographs. It’s a fun way to meet the players and fellow fans. I went to the first stop and met Avery Williamson, Tre McBride, and Aaron Wallace. The caravan schedule is listed at Titansonline.com and is tweeted every morning also.
It’s getting closer to football season. Here in Tennessee we have the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup playoffs which is great…but nothing is greater than the run for the Super Bowl. First up in the regular season for the Tennessee Titans is the Oakland Raiders on September 10th, four months away.
I think we will have another fabulous year, I predict a 2 loss 14 win season. (I give the Pittsburgh Steelers the home field advantage for one game and also the Indianapolis Colts during the away game because we just can’t seem to beat the Colts and Andrew Luck). Almost time to Titan Up!
Follow and chat Titans with me // @ksc47