2014 Draft, Round 2, Pick 54 — Original Pick, Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
Redraft Pick: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State (Taken by the Falcons with the 103rd overall pick)
Unlike the 2013 redraft, there weren’t many “hands-down superstar” players left available for the Titans at positions of need at the 54th pick, but drafting Devonta Freeman here over Bishop Sankey would love Tennessee’s current and past problems.
Despite being one of the most productive running backs in the 2014 draft class, Sankey never really came close to replicating his success from his days playing for the Washington Huskies. But the Titans still need a running back, and with the power of hindsight, it’s clear to see Freeman would have been a perfect choice here.
Freeman didn’t make much noise in his first year in the league but didn’t get much of a chance to shine either. That changed the following year and the year after when the Florida State product cleared 1,000 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on the ground in his next two Falcons seasons.
While Freeman’s production dropped off in the following years, his value as a talented pass-catching running back still shined through in 2019, making him a great fit for the Titans’ current backfield needs.
If Freeman were a Titans draft choice and went on to have a similar level of success with Tennessee, would that keep the team from drafting Derrick Henry in 2016? It actually might not have. Henry became a Titan in the same year Jon Robinson signed Demarco Murray in free agency, meaning the GM has a willingness to draft the most talented player and let them sit until they are ready to start.
The same could have happened in 2016, despite Freeman’s production. If it had, Tennessee might have one of the best backfields in football heading into 2020.