The Tennessee Titans could be the rare playoff team to enter the postseason with half a dozen rookie starters.
Before the Week 10 games, The Athletic announced their votes for their All-Rookie team at the midway point of the season. Four of the Titans’ rookies have been either selected or honorably mentioned on the list, and more could climb the rankings as the year goes on.
Injuries have (once again) ravaged the Tennessee Titans roster, which has created opportunities for rookies to see significant playing time.
In fact, this class has now tied the Tennessee Titans’ 2005 draft class for most starts by rookies through eight games:
Which Tennessee Titans rookies made the list
3rd round pick Malik Willis, honorable mention QB
There haven’t been many rookie quarterbacks make a start this season, but that is exactly what the Titans planned with Willis. This is a development year for the rookie and while he hasn’t done anything spectacular, he didn’t give either game away in his two starts.
Improvement is the goal and last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, there was a legitimate improvement in the first half.
2nd round pick Roger McCreary, honorable mention CB
It is going to be incredibly hard for McCreary to rise in these rankings and it has nothing to do with him. Sauce Gardner and Tariq Woolen are both on track to be Pro Bowlers (if not better) which means there is only one more spot up for grabs on the list.
Among rookies, McCreary is top-3 in yards per target and he has had to play all over the field. When Elijah Molden comes back, it should allow McCreary to really focus purely on getting better on the boundary.
4th round pick Hassan Haskins, honorable mention ST
If this ranking was done next month, Haskins would be viewed as the top special teams rookie in the NFL. He is going to surge up these rankings and overtake anyone in front of him because he is covering punts very well and he is 4th in the NFL in return average among qualifiers.
UDFA Ryan Stonehouse, All-Rookie Punter
He is leading the NFL in yards per punt and that is after back-to-back “down” weeks from him. Once the pendulum swings back the other way he should gain a comfortable lead on anyone else in the race.
It is surprising that Nicholas Petit-Frere didn’t get a mention on this list because he has been one of the best run-blocking rookies in the NFL and he is improving weekly as a pass protector. Also, Kyle Philips and Treylon Burks could make a late push once they come back from injury (especially Burks who was coming on strong before the turf toe injury).