Titans need more from rookie class than Chris Jackson’s early season success story

By John Glennon

Three days and more than 240 picks into the NFL Draft last April, the Titans chose a defensive back from Marshall University, one with such little fanfare he wasn't even listed in some of the monstrous, prospect-scouting analyses.

On Monday night in Denver, that same player – Chris Jackson – started in his first NFL game and even went head-to-head with the Broncos' first-round pick, stud wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, on a handful of occasions.

The good news for the Titans is that Jackson didn't look out of place in Tennessee's 16-14 win. He took his share of lumps as expected, surrendering some open routes and completions. But Jackson didn't commit any glaring errors, ones that might have resulted in a big-play touchdown for the Broncos.

So all in all, not a bad night for the youngster, who wound up playing 35 defensive snaps, including a team-high 28 in the slot. That position is no easy task for a rookie to learn, since it demands knowledge of what the other defensive backs are doing – and a willingness to get one's nose dirty in the run game from time to time.

“There's different calls, there's different coverages, there's different routes that you get in there, and you have to sometimes get in there and fit the run also,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “So . . .

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