Add Bucky Brooks to the list of people impressed with Titans rookies.
As the 2019 NFL Draft class head into their second year, no team in the NFL looks like they had a better pair of draft picks than the Tennessee Titans.
Those aren’t my words (even though I do agree) just look at the ranking from Bucky Brooks at NFL.com.
In his most recent article, he went back through the 2019 film and by using All-22 footage he ranked the 10 rookies that he thought were most likely to take another step forward and join the “elite” tier at their position.
The AFC South had a strong showing with 3 of the 5 rookies from the AFC on this list, and two of those players were Tennessee Titans.
Go check out the article for the full breakdown, but here is where each ranked as well as one line from the analysis that I liked:
#4. A.J. Brown, WR
"Brown’s physicality, toughness and RAC (run after catch) ability set him apart from his peers and thrust him into the conversation as an emerging elite player."
#10. Jeffery Simmons, DL
"The rugged defensive lineman finished with a pair of sacks, four tackles for loss and two QB hits, but those numbers don’t properly showcase his impact."
We here at Titan Sized have already waxed poetic about A.J. Brown at least once a week for every week since the Titans drafted him (or at least that is what it feels like), but let me say a little bit about him here.
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It is hard to overstate how impressive it is that Brown went from being primarily a slot receiver in college to a true “X” receiver in the NFL who developed his game weekly. He did all of this with limited reps in training camp thanks to a hamstring pull and he overcame that almost instantly ith 100 yards in his first game.
Then not only did he survive a QB change, but he thrived with Ryan Tannehill at QB. Brown’s season was already historic, but if you look at what he did with Tannehill as the starter and take that average production and spread it over 16 games you are looking at a 1,250 yard, 10 TD season.
As for Simmons, it is hard to explain exactly how good he is because people love stats.
Do you know the scene in the original Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope, where the walls start collapsing in on the main characters and it immediately induces panic (5:24) as they try to find a way out before being crushed? That is what it must feel like for opposing QBs as Simmons methodically walks back offensive linemen right into his lap on the occasions where he doesn’t toss them away completely.
Sure, he is the one to personally crush them a few times and that is great. However, the real impact is the fear he creates and the opportunities he creates for others.
Jon Robinson nailed the 2019 NFL Draft class and that is without even considering the trade for Ryan Tannehill. Titans fans who mocked “In J-Rob we trust” fans are awfully quiet nowadays.