Delanie Walker helps the Tennessee Titans stay flexible

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Delanie Walker
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Delanie Walker /

Why Delanie Walker is such a great player for the Tennessee Titans.

The Tennessee Titans have their clear stars. Guy like Marcus Mariota, Jurrell Casey, DeMarco Murray, Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Kevin Byard.

One guy that has gone under the radar this preseason has been Delanie Walker.

The Pro Bowler is going to be a huge impact player for the Titans like he has been for the last three years. However, he should be an even bigger target this year.

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Walker has had to line up inline before because the Titans just didn’t really have an athletic threat that they could line up who could block and catch passes.

Sure, guys like Anthony Fasano and Phil Supernaw can block well, but they aren’t going to lead the NFL in yards by a tight end.

While Walker was never going to be confused with Dennis Kelly as a blocking “tight end”, he was still capable.

Now with the addition of Jonnu Smith, the Titans can let Delanie Walker play where he thrives: the slot.

Before anyone argues that Walker does his best work on the line, check out the graphic below.

Over 1,600 yards from the slot is outstanding for a tight end. He literally set the bar for what a flexible tight end should look like in the post 100% Jimmy Graham era.

He has been a consistent threat and now that the Titans have another guy that can fill his role inside he can allow the Tennessee Titans receivers to focus on very specific things.

In the past, if the Titans had an outside receiver go down, it was up to a guy to play out of position and line up on the boundary. Now the Titans have guys to spare.

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If you need an outside receiver you can trot out Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews or Eric Decker. Inside, you can use Delanie Walker and Taywan Taylor to create mismatches.

Now Eric Decker is an exception because he can line up anywhere, but for now it allows you to gameplan for very specific things without needing to worry about contingency plans.

Delanie Walker’s effectiveness and versatility will help this team field a better roster without having to keep a 6th wide receiver.

That talent may trickle down to defense and special teams. You could argue that his impact allowed the Titans to keep a guy like Josh Carraway on the roster who could be a big help in both phases.

It is impossible to really know, but either way he does more for this team that shows up and paper. He is a combination of dominance and a utility player, and he is a big part of this team.