The Tennessee Titans’ 2015 season is officially in the books, finishing fourth in the AFC South with a 3-13 record. While the end result was disappointing, it was certainly no shock given the fact that the rookie class had to play such a big role this year…
Especially on offense.
With that in mind, we take a look back at the Titans’ 2015 draft class, and grade their performance this season. Please keep in mind that draft slot will factor into their overall grade. The higher the pick, the higher the accountability.
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Cool? Then let’s get started.
1st round: QB Marcus Mariota – A
Marcus Mariota, the second overall pick in the 2015 draft, did everything that a rookie quarterback that’s being asked to be the day one face of a franchise is supposed to do.
He ingratiated himself with the fans and the city of Nashville immediately upon his arrival. He conducted himself in a professional manner, at all times. He was prepared for training camp and the regular season. And most of all, he was one of us, reminiscent of the “aw-shucks” good’ole country boy from Tennessee.
A total slam dunk off the field.
On the field, Mariota answered the naysayers who questioned his ability to adjust to the pro game. He set records, and competed until the final whistle in every game that he played in. At long last, the Titans have found their qb.
2nd round: WR Dorial Green-Beckham – B
If this article would have been written two months ago, then Dorial Green-Beckham would have received a D. On paper, his stats would deserve a C, being the 40th overall pick of the draft (32 rec, 549 yds, 4 tds). DGB earns a B simply because he did his damage in the second half of the season, when the already thin receiving core was ravaged with injuries…and the team needed him the most. A solid young building block for next season.
3rd round: OT Jeremiah Poutasi – F
Last May, national draft experts slammed Tennessee for taking Utah right tackle Jeremiah Poutasi in the third round. And guess what? They were absolutely right.
Poutasi got a shot early in the season at right tackle, but failed miserably. The Titans tried to hide him by moving him to guard…nope…that didn’t work either. By season’s end, he found himself where no one wants to be, on the pine with no hope of seeing the field.
Another offseason may do Poutasi some good, but it was obvious that his confidence was shot this year.
4th round: DT Angelo Blackson – B
Angelo Blackson earns a B for his rookie campaign. Prior to his arrival, the defensive tackles were the Titans’ deepest and most talented position on the team. Blackson earned playing time in Lebeau’s veteran rotation, and finished the season with 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Overall, a solid rookie performance.
4th round (second pick): FB Jalston Fowler – F
Fullback Jalston Fowler’s failing grade is not entirely his fault. Ruston Webster, the newly departed general manager, selected a fullback in the fourth round.
A fullback…in today’s game…with so many other holes to fill.
For that selection, the Titans got a whopping 13 yards rushing (1.9 yard per carry), and five receptions this season. You can get that kind of production from an unrestricted free agent.
5th round: RB David Cobb – C
David Cobb earns a C, because we just didn’t see enough of him this season. See what I did there?
Ok, I digress.
Cobb missed the first half of the season while recovering from injury, but came on strong late in the year as he got back into playing shape. In his only shot at being the feature back, Cobb handled his own last Sunday. He got the tough yards between the tackles, and scored his first touchdown as a professional. While the Titans still need to address the running back position in 2016, a healthy Cobb should still factor heavily into the mix.
6th round: LB Deiontrez Mount – I
Linebacker Deiontrez Mount gets an incomplete, after missing virtually the entire season. He did register his first career interception this year, however.
6th round: (second pick) C Andy Gallik – C
While Gallik often struggled this season like Jeremiah Poutasi, he is not graded as harshly due to being the 208th pick in the draft. Gallik was taken as a late round project, but injuries to the offensive line thrust him into action quicker than he or the Titans would have liked. He does have toughness, and comes from a college with offensive lineman pedigree (Boston College). With a full season under his belt, I expect him to add quality depth to the o-line in 2016.
7th round: WR Tre McBride – D
I know what you’re thinking…”But you said that draft slot would play a factor…why a D?”
Yes, even with a depleted receiving core for most of the season, Tre McBride did not get a real opportunity until the last two games of the season.
But he did return kicks before that, so the D stands for dreadful.
All and all, a mixed bag of results from a panoramic view. But Titans fans should be encouraged, because the highest grade went to the first round pick.