Grading the Tennessee Titans rookies: Preseason week 1

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Adoree' Jackson
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Adoree' Jackson /

How does the future of the Tennessee Titans look?

The Tennessee Titans had their first preseason game yesterday and it was…a game?

Really that is all you can say. It wasn’t entertaining, it wasn’t enjoyable, it wasn’t fun, and if you weren’t watching for specific things it wasn’t even really interesting.

However, I think a lot of that will get ironed out as the preseason continues and head coach Mike Mularkey will look to get the team finely tuned by the time the regular season roles around.

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Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to see the offense sputter around for quarters at a time or for the defense to fail to wreak any sort of havoc.

As hard as it was, I went back and watched the game again looking at all the plays a few times and trying to glean something of note. What I learned was that it was the rookies that told me the most.

Now, not the UDFAs or even the 7th round picks necessarily but the other drafted rookies did a good job showing what they may be. Let’s look at the grades.

Corey Davis: N/A

-Davis didn’t play, but I’m just going to assume he would have had 200 yards and 3 TDs.

Adoree Jackson: B

Jackson didn’t get a chance to really do anything in the return game because by the time he caught the punts he had someone in his lap. In fact, the Titans were doing so poorly there that they took him out after two punt returns to keep him healthy.

As a CB he was good, he was always in tight coverage when he was in man.

Something people may not have noticed was that he timed his hits really well coming down and making a tackle in the running game and preventing a wide receiver from securing a catch down the sideline.

Overall I thought he showed speed and physicality. It wasn’t his fault he wasn’t tested more in the passing game. I would have liked to see him do something dynamic though.

Taywan Taylor: A-

Taylor made the toughest catch of the day for either team going up and attacking a ball at its highest point for the Titans biggest gain of the game.

He also took a reverse around the edge for a nice gain on the ground and had a few more catches.

Did he drop some passes? Yes, but he had heavy contact to deal with and Alex Tanney was staring down receivers all night so it was easy for the defense.

Overall it was a nice day from the rookie who was a fingertip away from ending up with a 60+ yard TD catch.

Jonnu Smith: B

I will not fault Smith for Tanney not hitting him in stride on his one pass target. If he had caught that ball on time he probably could have had a nice gain and gotten that offense moving a little more.

Smith was a pretty good blocker when he was in and he lined up different places. I wonder if we don’t see him more with the first team offense than the second team as the preseason goes on.

Jayon Brown: A+

I went over this pretty thoroughly here. Great start for the rookie LB.

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  • Corey Levin: B-

    Levin did well enough including helping wall off the backside (I believe) A-gap on three plays in a row including the long Judd run.

    I wish Levin played with a little more pop in the run game instead of mostly leverage blocking, but if it gets the job done I have no complaints.

    Josh Carraway: B-

    Carraway was disruptive when I watched him, though he never had that “wow” moment like Jayon Brown or Taywan Taylor did where he just outclassed the competition.

    Still, he looked good and like he could hold up against the run better than I thought. I can see why Jon Robinson liked Carraway.

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    Brad Seaton: N/A

    He was in, but I never really noticed him. So I will safe judgement instead of making up a grade.

    Khalfani Muhammad: C

    I don’t know what to make. He did some good things but never popped. If you are going to be a speed back you have to be able to blaze past 3rd string defenders.

    Maybe the lack of outside running hurt him, but he didn’t look explosive to me. One other thing is that he didn’t get a chance to return kicks which I think hurt his night too.