Draftees with unknown but potential impact in year one
The Tennessee Titans selected Roger McCreary with their lone second-round pick this year, a very technically sound cornerback who stepped up big time against high-level competition when he was at Auburn. But the big question is where he will fit in this year.
Kristian Fulton will be one of the starters for sure, and Elijah Molden appears to have the slot spot locked down at the moment. There is a question of whether or not Caleb Farley will be able to rebound after tearing his ACL last year but based on the way the Titans are talking about him, it is reasonable to expect that he too will be relied on in a key role this year.
Most likely, McCreary will be used in a rotational role this year, because it is just hard to imagine him holding an actual starting position with the way the team is currently assembled. But it is hard to have too many options at cornerback, and especially with so many elite quarterbacks being in the AFC, the Titans will use him in any way they possibly can.
Theo Jackson, the team’s sixth-round safety, is in a similar position to McCreary. His attitude and nose for the football caught Mike Vrabel’s eye in rookie minicamp, and those instincts are certainly valuable tools that safeties need to succeed in the NFL.
But like McReary, Jackson has to compete with Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker, which might be an even tougher task since those players have actually established starters on the Titans. But once again, you can never have too much depth in your secondary, and in whichever way Jackson can help, he definitely will.
The Titans’ second fourth-rounder, Chig Okonkwo, immediately gave the fans Jonnu Smith vibes when he was selected. He is clearly athletically gifted, and with the playmaking ability he has with the ball in his hands, he has a chance to develop into a very dangerous weapon for them.
But like the other players on this list, Okonkwo has another starter he has to compete with and needs some work as a blocker before he can be a full-time starter. The Titans might use some two tight end sets from time to time to get him the football and give him some in-game experience and confidence, but he is unlikely to be used in any more than a sporadic role in his rookie year.
They also drafted linebacker Chance Campbell in the sixth round, and if there is one draftee whose spot on the roster is in most question, it is him. That being said, the Titans have seemed to develop late-round linebackers into at least formidable players (Jayon Brown and David Long), and they like to rotate and have a lot of depth at the position. Campbell’s ceiling this year is most likely seeing the field in a limited role, but he might not play a single snap at the same time.