Analysts tend to rush to assign grades to a draft class even though it will probably take a few years to truly assess good (or bad it is). After all, players' readiness is always variable and some might need a couple of seasons or maybe a bit more to hit their stride. Having said that, the Tennessee Titans should be thrilled about this year's haul.
The Titans came out of the draft with six picks and used all of them on offense. While it's always a good idea to temper expectations, it wouldn't be shocking if, by the end of the 2023 season, four of five of them have gotten featured roles. As a matter of fact, these five veterans should be looking over their shoulders if they don't want to lose their jobs to a rookie.
No. 5 Titans veteran who could lose his job to a rookie: Chigoziem Okonkwo
Tennessee hasn't gotten much production from the tight end position since Delanie Walker left in 2020. In fact, you might need to go back a bit further since 2017, his last prolific season in the NFL. That year, he caught 74 passes for 807 yards with three touchdowns and no Titans tight end has hauled in 50 seasons or more over the last four years.
Last season, the team's brass brought in Austin Hooper, a two-time Pro Bowl selection. However, he wasn't much of a factor, hauling in 444 yards on 41 receptions with two touchdowns. Not surprisingly, Tennessee parted ways with Hopper in the offseason, and sophomore Chigoziem Okonkwo is currently in the front seat to be TE1 in the opener.
Having tallied 32 receptions for 450 yards with two touchdowns, you could make the case that the former Maryland standout overachieved as a rookie. However, he may need to fend off rookie Josh Whyle, who might make a legitimate push to start in 2023.
A fifth-round pick, Whyle doesn't have elite athleticism and will probably need to gain strength to excel in the NFL. However, he can come down with catches in traffic. Moreover, he's a good blocker and runs clean routes, so he could challenge Okonkwo for the starting job as soon as this year.