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NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Recap

Trading receiver A.J. Brown was a risky move for a team in contention for a Super Bowl run. The money saved by dealing Brown will help keep the nucleus together. The first-round pick that the Titans got in return for Brown was used on former Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.

While Burks and cornerback Roger McCreary were the first two picks, the selection of quarterback Malik Willis is one that garnered more attention. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a forgettable performance in the 2021 playoff loss so Willis could be viewed as the quarterback of the future.

NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans Recap
Titan Sized

The Titans added four offensive linemen and three defensive tackles as undrafted rookie free agents.

The NFL betting lines,  list Tennessee (-115) with the second-best odds to win the AFC South Division title behind Indianapolis. The Titans (+3300) are tied for the ninth-best odds among AFC teams to win the Super Bowl.

Let’s check the latest, news, stats, injury reports, and NFL expert picks for Tennessee Titans Recap. We’ve plenty of NFL predictions for you to consider.

Here’s a look at how the Titans fared in the draft.

Titans Draft Summary

  • Pick 18 Treylon Burks | WR, Arkansas Razorbacks

There’s not much pressure on Burks, he was only acquired in the trade that sent leading receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Burks led Arkansas in receiving yards in each of the last three seasons including a career-best 1104 yards during the 2021 season when he averaged 16.7 yards per catch and had 11 touchdowns despite not playing in the bowl game for Arkansas. He had 179 yards on eight catches and two touchdowns in a near-upset of Alabama and another of his 100-yard receiving games came against nationally-ranked Ole Miss so it wasn’t as if he feasted on inferior competition.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Burks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He played faster than that on tape. It would do him a disservice to expect him to bring to the offense what Brown did but there’s no reason he can’t be an impact player as a rookie.

“Everybody is going to have setbacks, it’s just how you come back and attack it and keep going.”

— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) June 1, 2022

 For those interested in NFL picks, Burks (+750) has the third-best odds to be named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

The Titans stayed in the SEC to improve their secondary. McCreary had six interceptions and 31 pass breakups over his last three seasons.

The 5-foot-11 McCreary likely would have snuck into the first round if he had a little more length. Playing in the SEC has given him a chance to go up against future NFL receivers and he has more than held his own.

He is an aggressive defender and that occasionally hurt at the college level. There will be some adjusting for Roger McCreary. However, he has the physical traits to be a solid cornerback.

The Titans traded down nine spots to pick up extra third and fifth-round picks.

A highly touted recruit coming out of high school, Nicholas Petit-Frere started seven games at right tackle during the 2020 season. He moved over to the left side in 2021 and started 11 games as he earned All-Big Ten and All-American honors.

The 40-yard dash times aren’t quite as important as they are at other positions but he did clock a time of 5.16 at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He had a chance to see plenty of reps as a pass blocker and a run blocker as Ohio State put up gaudy numbers in both categories. The Tennessee offense doesn’t figure to be as pass-happy as the one he played for in college.

The quarterback competition got much more interesting with the selection of the former Liberty quarterback.

Willis started off at Auburn before transferring to Liberty in 2019. Willis threw for 47 touchdowns and 18 interceptions during his two seasons as the starter for the Flames. He also ran for 1822 yards and 27 TDs.

Willis is considered to be more of a project than some of the other quarterbacks taken during the first two days of the 2022 NFL Draft. He has the physical skills to make an impact at the NFL level. It remains to be seen how quickly he adapts to the step up in competition and challenges Ryan Tannehill for the starting job.

The sportsbook lists Willis (+2000) as having the second-best odds among the quarterbacks to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Malik Willis | Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP

With Derrick Henry under contract with the Titans, the starting running back spot is not up for grabs. Perhaps Haskins can earn the backup spot.

Haskins first gained national notice when he ran for 149 yards in a 2019 win over Notre Dame. He was Michigan’s leading rusher in both 2020 and 2021. He ran for more than 1,300 yards last season. He wasn’t utilized that much in the passing game but did have five catches in a 2021 win over Penn State.

Chigoziem Okonkwo added 15 pounds to his frame during his time at Maryland. After having 25 catches during his first two seasons at Maryland, he had 52 receptions in 2021.

Okonkwo showed up at the NFL Scouting Combine at 238 pounds, 12 less than he played at in 2021. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds to go with a 35½-inch vertical jump which attracted the NFL scouts.

A medical condition forced him to sit out the 2020 season. He was given the clearance to return to the field in 2021 and made good use of his second chance.

Kyle Phillips could see immediate time as a slot receiver for the Titans. He drew rave reviews during rookie camp and without Brown, it will be up to multiple players to try to replace his production.

Phillips had 157 catches and 17 touchdowns receptions during his final three seasons at UCLA. He also returned two punts for touchdowns for the Bruins.

His consistency as a senior at UCLA was something to behold. Phillips had between 5-8 catches in eight of the last nine games he played in.

It is hard to believe that Theo Jackson is the first player out of the University of Tennessee drafted by the Titans since receiver Justin Hunter in 2013.

Jackson was Tennessee’s fourth-leading tackler in 2021 and he also returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. At 6-foot-2 and 203 pounds, Jackson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and had a 37-inch vertical leap.

It would be quite the story if Jackson, a Nashville native, can make the team and work his way into the rotation in the secondary.

Campbell led Ole Miss with 109 tackles, 12½ tackles for loss, and six sacks, and over his last three seasons, he had more than 200 tackles.

He finished his college career with 22 tackles in his final two games. His physicality will impress Titans coach Mike Vrabel, a former NFL linebacker.

Campbell had a 39½-inch vertical jump, a 10-7 broad jump, and a time of 4.57 in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine so he has the athleticism required to play at the next level.

Grading the Draft

There were some big names selected by the Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft. There was some chatter that Willis could go in the first round but Tennessee landed him in the third round. Former Michigan running back Hassan Haskins was another mid-round selection.

There will be plenty of eyes on receiver Burks who was selected with the first-round pick Tennessee picked up for dealing leading receiver A.J. Brown to Philadelphia.

The trade of a playmaker like Brown is going to downgrade the draft grade just a little bit. The picks they made were all pretty solid selections.

Grade: B

Take a Look Also at the Draft Recaps for the Cardinals & the Bills

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