Rookies look to be showcased in 2022 like they were in 2019
During the lows of the 2019 season, little did we know that the Titans had just had a historically great draft that would set them up for success at the end of the year. Five of the six players drafted in that class would become starters, and three of them were absolutely critical to the team and did not get a chance to do much earlier in the year.
A.J. Brown was getting the usual rookie treatment and not playing many snaps earlier in the year, and Jeffery Simmons did not see the field at all until Week 7 since he was recovering from an ACL tear. Nate Davis did not see much action either until he was brought in on the struggling offensive line and putting him in turned out to be a great move.
This year, the Titans look to be in a very similar spot. Look at the players who were drafted:
-Treylon Burks, WR
-Roger McCreary, CB
-Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT
-Malik Willis, QB
-Hassan Haskins, RB
-Chig Okonkwo, TE
-Kyle Philips, WR
-Theo Jackson, DB
-Chance Campbell, LB
Burks too has been limited in the snap count as he is in the very beginning of his rookie year, but he has been very encouraging and looked exactly like a first-round receiver should look. Philips has been impressive and looks like a major steal for a fifth-round pick.
McCreary is playing well beyond his years, as he has been playing the vast majority of defensive snaps, and allowed only one catch for five yards in his NFL debut. I mean, you cannot ask for anything more for his first-ever game as a pro.
Petit-Frere has been a huge surprise, as he was declared the starting right tackle two full weeks before the start of the regular season. He will go through his struggles as he is a rookie playing a tough position, but he is lightyears ahead of where most third-round tackles would be, and his positives have far outweighed his negatives.
Willis and Okonkwo are the others who have particularly stood out from the class, and even if they might not make much of an impact this year, they are projects and look to be very important for the team’s future. When you look at it, there is a very good chance that the Titans just had a draft rivaling the one in 2019, and that will for sure prove to be a plus as the season progresses.