What to Expect from Titans’ 2017 Draft Class
Now that we’ve had a few weeks to digest the Titans’ 2017 NFL Draft, I thought that I would give my take on what to expect from each member of the Titans’ 2017 NFL Draft class.
Wide Receiver Corey Davis
I expect the 6-3, 212 lb. wide receiver to come in and make an immediate impact for Marcus Mariota in the passing game. Davis finished the 2016 campaign with 97 receptions for 1,500 yards and a whopping 19 touchdowns, and finished his college career as the FBS all-time leader in receiving yards. The fifth overall pick out of Western Michigan gives the Titans a completely new dimension in their passing attack. I also expect that Davis will provide help in the running game as a downfield blocker as well. A lot of questions have been raised about the level of competition Davis faced in college, but time will tell if Davis will be a success at the NFL level.
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson
It may take some time for Adoree’ Jackson to develop into the defensive back the Titans envision him to be, but I do expect that Jackson will provide an immediate impact in the return game. Jackson finished his USC career with eight return touchdowns, which adds tremendous value to the Titans’ special teams unit.
Wide Receiver Taywan Taylor
I expect third-round pick Taywan Taylor to fill the shoes left by Kendall Wright, who the Titans parted ways with this offseason. Taylor would provide Marcus Mariota with an excellent security blanket over the middle of the field. Taylor improved in each of his four seasons for the Hilltoppers, finishing his junior and senior seasons with a whopping 17 touchdowns. The Titans are hoping that Taylor can be that impact player in the middle of the field, and open up some room for first-round pick Corey Davis on the outside.
Tight End Jonnu Smith
I believe that tight end Jonnu Smith is walking into an ideal situation. He gets to learn from one of the best tight ends in the game today in Delanie Walker. Perhaps the Titans are expecting Smith to take on some blocking responsibilities in OTAs and training camp. Only time will tell for us to see how the Titans look to use their third-round pick’s abilities.
Linebackers Jayon Brown and Josh Carraway
I expect Brown, who the Titans traded up to get in the draft, and Carraway to provide even more depth to the team’s linebacking corps. Brown finished his 2016 campaign with 119 tackles for the UCLA Bruins, and Carraway finished 2016 with 49 total tackles and eight sacks for the TCU Horned Frogs. Both Brown and Carraway should provide a good rotation among the linebackers, along with Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, Kevin Dodd, and Aaron Wallace.
Tackles Corey Levin and Brad Seaton
Judging by the picks of these two offensive linemen, I guess it must be true that Titans’ GM Jon Robinson is not concerned about where you played college ball… as long as you can play. Yes, the Titans traded up in last year’s draft to select rookie All-Pro Jack Conklin. And yes, they do still have Taylor Lewan on the other side. But, just like you can never have enough pass rushers, you can never have enough offensive linemen.
Running Back Khalfani Muhammad
I expect the Titans’ seventh-round draft pick to provide a little more burst in the running game. Muhammad finished the 2016 season at Cal with 827 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers tailed off a little from his first two seasons, due to a change of offensive philosophy at Cal. However, I do expect that Muhammad’s numbers will increase in the Titans’ run-heavy offensive attack.
Only time will tell how these rookies will ultimately perform at the next level. There should be some exciting battles going on in OTAs and training camp in Nashville.