Some praise for Tennessee Titans right guard Nate Davis.
Coming out of college, I wasn’t a big fan of Tennessee Titans’ third round pick, Nate Davis but maybe I didn’t dislike him or anything.
Tennessee had a clear need at right guard and at a certain point they were either going to have to address it with a top-100 pick or they were going to have to let Corey Levin take over at center and let Ben Jones get some snaps at right guard.
Well, then there was all that discussion about moving Jack Conklin inside and letting Dennis Kelly start at right tackle, which looks crazy looking back on it.
But the point is, the Titans seemed to wait until the last possible moment to bring in their future starter. They waited out free agency and their first two selections in the 2019 NFL Draft were best player available picks in Jeffery Simmons and A.J. Brown.
When Nate Davis was finally drafted, I said this in my instant analysis:
"The Titans thoroughly vetted Davis, spending time with him at the Senior Bowl and bringing him in for an official visit. So Robinson got to see him practice against high caliber competition for a week, test well at the combine and then had him in for a private visit. If you feel comfortable with drafting a player after all of that, you are making a well informed decision.The draft is a cumulative process and the Titans may have found a star in Simmons and have almost certainly found a starter in A.J. Brown. With that in mind, Davis feels like the safest “risky bet” that you could make at this point. The upside is that you get a starting guard in the third round and fill a major need, the downside is that you get a big offensive lineman with experience who gives you solid depth."
Fast forward to now and I think he has been exactly what I thought which is a starting-caliber guard, but someone whose jump from Charlotte to the NFL was clear. He needed some time to refine his technique and that is why he had some big issues at times this season that still stick out in my mind.
PFF says that I may be remembering things incorrectly and that most of the bad plays I remember happened early in his career when everyone knew he was going to have growing pains.
Why fans should be optimistic.
This is what caught my attention scrolling through Twitter:
Now to contextualize that, a 71.5 grade for the season would have made Davis the 12th highest graded guard in the NFL (among players who actually played most the games) and it would be one spot ahead of Rodger Saffold.
If that can continue and the Tennessee Titans enter the season with Taylor Lewan, two of the best guards in the NFL and Ben Jones who is always incredibly consistent, it almost won’t matter who plays right tackle for them.
Now the question is, can Tennessee start a season strong for the first time in a decade? Or will this be another year where fans have to watch them attempt to get into form for an entire year only to have a chance to claw their way into the postseason in Week 17?