Oct 21, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Bryan Scott (43) straight arms Tennessee Titans tight end Taylor Thompson (84) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans Rookie Contributing In Different Way Than Expected

The Tennessee Titans drafted TE Taylor Thompson in the fifth round of the draft earlier this year, having comparisons to the New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. They took him understanding that he was a raw player who’ll take time to be molded into the guy they hope he can be.

If this season has shown us anything so far, it’s that he’s a project.

That being said, he’s shown some promise in one area specifically; blocking.

As John Glennon of The Tennessean noted in his article earlier this week, Thompson actually had more snap counts this past week than Jared Cook, having 24 compared to Cook’s 23. Obviously the passing part of the game is a work in progress right now. Through 10 games, Thompson has only seen seven targets, three of which he has caught for for a total of 17 yards.

His blocking is good, which is obviously a good start. I think the areas that he needs the most growth in are learning his routes and being able to run them well. Not having played a TE since high school has made things a little difficult. He has hands according to all the coaches. It’s just a matter of getting settled back into the role of being a TE.

It’s impossible to guess how fast any player will grow when they transition to the NFL. All we can do is wait, watch, and see how things go for Thompson.

One thing to keep an eye on is the Titans and Jared Cook. Cook’s contract talks seem to have died off. They should pick back up after the season ends, but if they don’t, or don’t do so on a serious note, you’ve got to be thinking the Titans see something special in Thompson. That being said, I want Cook back.



You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

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  • josh gunnels

    Cook can be deadly and i think he will get a lot more looks once Locker gets settled back in under center. Craig Stevens is probably one of the most underrated players on this team though. I think it’s telling how the coaches said they were going to spend the bye week figuring out how to get Britt the ball more and said nothing about Cook’s looks or snaps!

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      I love Stevens. The guy is hugely underrated. Great blocker and soft hands. Doesn’t have breakaway speed or huge playmaking ability but he’s reliable as can be.

      It’ll be interesting to see the offense this week, considering Locker should feel a little more settled and they could balance the attack a little more. Strange never knowing what to expect from this team.

  • Myles

    I think Palmer’s new system for the run game relies heavily on the tight ends & FB, and Cook’s failure to improve his run blocking has really limited his playing time. And because Cook doesn’t run a full route tree either, we don’t end up using him as a slot receiver very often.
    If we move back to a spread system, Cook is definitely a valuable piece. But I think Palmer’s convinced (as am I) that CJ can’t succeed in that zone-read spread run system, and it’s more important to have CJ doing well than it is to involve Cook more.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      I’d agree that Cook’s inability to block has hurt his playing time dramatically. It’s a shame, because his catching has improved drastically this year and he has the potential to be a big playmaker for this offense.