How great can Tennessee Titans rookie TE Jonnu Smith be?
Before you get crazy or too excited, you need to know that Delanie Walker is the greatest tight end in Tennessee Titans history.
No disrespect to Frank Wycheck, but in Delanie Walker’s last three seasons he has totaled 890, 1,088 and 800 yards respectively. Those three years alone are better than any single season that Wycheck produced.
Likewise, in Wycheck’s most productive years as a Titans player he had 4 TDs (1997, 2000, 2001). In four years with the Titans, Delanie Walker has never had LESS than 4 TDs.
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So, we can argue about it all we want but that is the guy I am picking as the Titans greatest TE.
Now that we have that out of the way, Jonnu Smith may be even better. Don’t take my word for it, Delanie Walker is the one that said it. The NFL.com article says:
“‘One day he will be better than me,’ Walker said recently, via Jason Wolf of USA Today. ‘And that’s his ultimate goal. And if he didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t want him here.’
‘He’s made less mistakes. He’s playing faster,’ coach Mike Mularkey said during organized team activities. ‘This young man wants to do [well]. It’s really fun to coach him because everything’s important. He looks you dead in the eye; he takes every word in; and he wants to please you. He wants to do right for his teammates. So he’s a fun guy to coach.'”
Now, we are a month away from seeing him with pads on. In fact, we are probably a year away from seeing him play significant snaps. However, these aren’t two people who lightly hand out praise.
You could argue that both know more than their fair share about tight end development too. Mularkey cut his teeth as a tight ends coach and played it in the NFL himself. Walker took the long road towards becoming an NFL starting TE, spending the first seven years of his career as a backup and fullback H-back in San Francisco.
Jonnu Smith has been an underrated addition to this team. Honestly, can you blame people for letting him slip under the radar. Look at the people who will probably catch passes from Marcus Mariota before him:
1. Rishard Matthews
2. Corey Davis
3. Eric Decker
4. Delanie Walker
5. DeMarco Murray
6. Derrick Henry
7. Taywan Taylor
8. Tajae Sharpe
That is a lot of people who are in line for catches this year. So you can understand why people aren’t talking about him.
However, slowly people are talking more and more about the young pass catchers on this team. With a great year from the veterans, this unit should have the potential for an amazing season.