Tennessee Titans: End of the Year Awards for the 2017 Season
By Max Dambach
Offensive Rookie of the Year: WR Corey Davis
Despite spending three picks in the first three rounds on pass catchers, the Tennessee Titans never really experienced a dominant season by any of their offensive rookies. TE Jonnu Smith experienced limited success in the passing game, but spent most of the season learning behind veteran tight end Delanie Walker. WR Taywan Taylor looked like he could be a standout vertical threat and gadget player for the Titans, but his usage declined significantly as the season went on. The offense as a whole struggled in an archaic scheme, Marcus Mariota took a step back in his third season, and the running game did not dominate like in 2016, which also hurt these young offensive players.
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WR Corey Davis, the Titans’ 2017 offensive rookie of the year, overcame these obstacles as well as several of his own to put up decent stats on the season and finish the year with a glimpse at what’s to come. Davis, the fifth overall pick out of Western Michigan, dealt with an injury for the entire offseason and about half of the regular season. As a result, he lost valuable preseason experience and offseason training and was forced to quickly develop a rapport with Mariota and make the jump to the NFL from the MAC midseason. Despite this, Davis put up a respectable total of 473 yards and two touchdowns, with both touchdowns coming in the last game of the season against New England.
The future is bright for Davis, with an offseason in which he can focus on honing his craft rather than rehab and with a new offensive staff that promises to maximize the impact of all the young talent, like Davis, on the roster. Look for Davis to take the league by storm as he and the offense around him takes a large leap forward under new OC Matt LaFleur.