Biggest draft steals in Titans history

NFL Draft
NFL Draft / Frederick Breedon/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans have had their fair share of draft steals over the years. For this list, we'll only be looking at the drafts since the franchise moved to Tennessee so anything before 1997 won't be included here.

Before we dive in, what exactly is a draft steal? A draft steal is any player who slips to the third day of the draft so if they were a fourth-round pick or later, they qualify as a draft steal. Let's look at the best draft steals in Titans history.

8. William Hayes

With a fourth-round draft choice in 2008, the Titans selected William Hayes out of Winston-Salem State. Hayes played for the Titans for four years and appeared in 48 games for them. After he moved on from Tennessee, Hayes played for the Rams for half a decade and then closed out his career with a two-year stint in Miami.

A fourth-round pick playing in the NFL for a decade is impressive so that's what landed Hayes on this list even if the majority of his career wasn't spent in Tennessee.

7. DaQuan Jones

A fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Penn State, DaQuan Jones spent seven seven years in Nashville and played in 99 games for the franchise. He had 235 tackles and 9.5 sacks during that time before spending time in Carolina and Buffalo.

While Jones isn't a huge name in the NFL, a fourth-round pick spending a decade in the league is no easy feat so he's absolutely a draft steal.

6. Avery Williamson

In the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Titans added Avery Williamson to their roster and he went on to record 376 tackles and 11.5 sacks in a five-year span. Williamson was a tackling machine throughout his Titans tenure, tallying triple-digit tackles in two of his five seasons and coming close in a third season.

Williamson spent eight years in the league with over half of those coming in Tennessee. The other three years were split between the Jets and the Steelers before Williamson returned to Tennessee for the final year of his career. A fifth-round pick playing in the league for nearly a decade is monumental so that's why Williamson is included on this list of draft steals.

5. Jacob Bell

The Titans drafted Jacob Bell in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft and the Miami (OH) product went on to appear in 55 games over the course of four years in Tennessee and made 46 starts at left guard, which is remarkable for a fifth-round draft pick.

The reason Bell isn't higher on the list is that he didn't spend the entirety of his career in Nashville. Bell played for the Rams for the final four years of his career where he made 54 starts at left guard.

4. David Stewart

In the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, the Titans snagged David Stewart out of Mississippi State. What followed was an eight-year NFL career, all spent in Tennessee. Stewart started double-digit games at right tackle in each of his eight NFL seasons, which is impressive for a fourth-round pick.

3. Derrick Mason

In the first NFL Draft after the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee, the Tennessee Oilers drafted Derrick Mason out of Michigan State in the fourth round. Mason was named an All-Pro return specialist in 2000, his fourth year in the league, after tallying over 1,100 punt return yards and over 600 kick return yards. During that season, Mason had over 2,600 all-purpose yards, which includes rushing, receiving, kick return, and punt return yards.

Mason played in the NFL for 16 seasons and not only was a star return specialist for the first chunk of his career but he blossomed into a star receiver as well. He finished his Tennessee career with 6,114 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns. For a fourth-round pick, that's pretty darn impressive.

2. Cortland Finnegan

It's hard to find impactful talent in the seventh round of the draft but the Titans managed to do that in 2006 when they selected Cortland Finnegan out of Samford. Finnegan appeared in 16 games and had a fumble recovery for a touchdown as a rookie.

By Year 3, Finnegan was named All-Pro and made his first Pro Bowl as well. He had five interceptions that year while returning one for a touchdown. Finnegan played in Tennessee for six seasons before finishing his career with three different teams. He played for the Rams for two years, the Dolphins for a year, and finished with the Panthers.

Considering that Finnegan was a seventh-round pick and went on to spend a decade in the league while earning an All-Pro honor once, he definitely counts as a draft steal and he's one of the Titans' best in franchise history.

1. Jason McCourty

The biggest draft steal of all-time for the Titans is Jason McCourty, who Tennessee snagged in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. No one knew at the time that the Rutgers product would go on to become a well-known name not just in Tennessee but around the NFL.

McCourty played in the league for 13 years and spent eight of those years in Nashville with the Titans. During that time, he racked up over 500 tackles and 13 interceptions. McCourty is probably most remembered for the run he had with the Patriots where he helped them win a Super Bowl in the 2018 season.

A sixth-round pick sticking around the league for 13 years is hard to do but McCourty not only did that but managed to earn a Super Bowl ring during his lengthy career. He's a lock for this list.