It was a wild weekend for the Tennessee Titans. Not only did they bring in a haul of exciting rookies, but the front office made a huge decision to trade AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. It's a risky move, but based on the rumors of Brown's demands, it was a deal that had to be done. We take a look at the Titans and give them a grade for each player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The AJ Brown trade overshadows Tennessee's brilliant day. Fans were rather confused throughout the draft (me included), but by the time it ended, the Titans walked away with some great prospects. This franchise has an uphill battle for the 2022 season, so many of these selections had 2023 and beyond in mind.
Tennessee had nine total picks in the draft. Six of those were offensive players. The roster is still a concern for the next season, so we should see some veterans signed in the coming weeks. Regardless, the Titans set themselves up to have a massive roster build in 2023, especially if these prospects hit their peak potential.
With that said, here are our Titans grades for the 2022 NFL Draft class.
When it's all said and done, the Titans walked out of the draft with one of the best wide receiver prospects in the class. After dealing AJ Brown away, Tennessee selected Treylon Burks 18th overall. This kid is a big-bodied receiver who can take it to the house on any given play.
We'll see how his career unfolds, but the talent is there. Treylon Burks has the potential to be a star in the NFL, which bodes well for the Titans' future success. Keep an eye on Burks, as he is the only offensive rookie Tennessee selected that is likely to make an immediate impact.
Round 2 Pick 35 Overall – Roger McCreary: B+
The only reason Roger McCreary receives a B+ grade is due to the Titans' positional need and when he was selected. McCreary was taken early in the second round by Tennessee and it was a head-scratcher for most people. The roster has a solid group of young cornerbacks already and a veteran signing would have made a ton of sense.
However, the front office took McCreary anyway and the defense now has no holes on the defense. Although he is a bit small, Roger McCreary proved to be a reliable cornerback in college. It's safe to say, the Titans are well on their way to having one of the best secondaries in the league if he pans out. Based on his production, we should see him hit the field periodically throughout his rookie campaign.
Round 3 Pick 69 Overall – Nicholas Petit-Frere: B
Nicholas Petit-Frere is an excellent prospect that needs time to develop. He's not likely to win a starting role in his rookie year, as he needs to fine-tune his skillset before earning time in the starting lineup. For that reason, Petit-Frere should be looked at as the potential replacement for Taylor Lewan down the road. If the young offensive tackle can develop quickly, then the Titans will be in good hands moving forward.
Round 3 Pick 86 Overall – Malik Willis: A+
There are a lot of great aspects to Malik Willis' game that Titans fans can get excited about. He has the tools and talent necessary to be a superstar in the NFL. However, he was taken in the third round for a reason. Willis needs time to develop and learn the playbook. Even then, it's not a guarantee he becomes the starting quarterback in 2023.
Regardless, Willis has the privilege of learning with absolutely no pressure of starting soon. Third-round quarterbacks don't typically workout, but Malik Willis is in a unique situation. If he doesn't pan out, then the Titans can move on without risking anything. However, if Willis is a hit, this franchise could reach an entirely new stratosphere of success.
Round 4 Pick 131 Overall: Hassan Haskins: B
Running the ball is going to be important for the Titans. Additionally, it's going to be important for Derrick Henry to have competent backups after sustaining his first major injury. Hassan Haskins fits the bill as the perfect backup running back for Henry, as he has a similar running style that matches Tennessee's scheme.
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Round 4 Pick 143 Overall: Chigoziem Okonkwo: B+
Tight end was one of the positions the team needed to address in the 2022 NFL Draft. Although multiple tight ends were taken in the fourth round, Tennessee walked away with an ultra-athletic freak in Chigoziem Okonkwo. This kid is essentially a clone of Jonnu Smith, who is a player that excelled in the Titans' offense. Okonkwo will have time to develop his game behind Austin Hooper, which is an incredibly ideal scenario.
Round 5 Pick 163 Overall: Kyle Philips: A
Kyle Philips has the potential to be the steal of the draft. He didn't get much attention from the media throughout the draft process, but the Titans saw the potential. He makes quick cuts with his feet, runs smooth routes, and has the potential to be an electrifying returner. Keep an eye on Philips as he has a real chance to win a starting role as a slot receiver out of training camp.
Round 6 Pick 204 Overall: Theo Jackson: B-
Tennessee didn't need much help on defense entering the draft, but the Titans selected a solid prospect in Theo Jackson. He will likely play safety and has the potential to replace Dan Cruickshank as the main backup option. Additionally, Jackson can be a monster for the special teams unit, which could be where he excels throughout his career.
Round 6 Pick 129 Overall: Chance Campbell: C+
The Titans are set at linebacker, so there wasn't a real need for the front office to select one in the 2022 NFL Draft. Even so, Chance Campbell has a real shot to make the special teams unit and be a solid contributor from the jump. Look for Campbell to work hard throughout training camp, but his best bet is to be a special teams expert.