The NFL draft has concluded, and I’m not really sure what to make of it for the Titans. I like many of the picks they made, but I’m not sure that they are a better team than they were in 2021. That’s what happens when you lose the most important non-QB player on offense. Right now, the Titans are relying on five new players to likely be their top pass catchers in 2022. 2 rookie WRs, a WR coming off of an ACL injury, a rookie TE, and a FA TE. “Better around Ryan Tannehill” was the mantra coming into the offseason, and it’s going to take a lot of things hitting best case scenario in order to obtain that.
Malik Willis was one of my favorite picks in what he represents. Uber cost-controlled QB play with unlimited upside. Is he mostly potential? Absolutely, but the tools he possesses are insane. If he reaches his potential, he’s Josh Allen/Patrick Mahomes. If he doesn’t? A bust, but in the third round, a guy with that talent? Roll the dice. (Link is ESPN+)
Chad Reuter gives the Titans an “A” draft. I would probably give it a “B” given that I think there are major concerns at WR3 and OL still, but Burks is a stud, McCreary can play (even though I think it’s irresponsible they didn’t go offense here), Malik is the best value in the draft, Okonkwo and Phillips can contribute in year one, and Campbell gives them an uber athletic LB for depth and special teams.
This article by Gregg Rosenthal is a little outdated with some of the “new” information that came out this weekend on the A.J. Brown trade, but I agree with the premise. For the record, there are three sides to every story, just like this one. A.J.’s story, which was written by Turron Davenport, the Titans’ story, written by Dianna Russini and of course the truth, which will be written by no one. Point blank, I would have paid A.J.. I would have given him the deal that he got with Philadelphia, no questions asked.
Now, the Titans are without a game-breaker at the WR position, and they are left hoping that the guy they drafted to replace him, can do just that. Extremely unlikely that Burks will be as good as Brown, but I sure hope he is.
Jon Robinson breaks down each pick in the draft. He says a ton about Malik, in part I think to temper expectations immediately. Ryan Tannehill is a good QB and the starter. The hope is that he can play well this year, and Malik can get a full year to sit, learn, and then take over full-time in 2023. With all the upside Malik has, there’s a lot of areas to clean up. There’s a reason he wasn’t selected until the 3rd round of the draft and it’ll be up to an equal combination of the Titans and Malik to unlock his full potential.