Ranking Every Tennessee Titans 2023 Draft Pick: Who was the Best Value?

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

With the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, fans, analysts, and coaches alike are evaluating their new and improved rosters for the upcoming season and very few fans have been as interested as Tennessee Titans fans.

In the end, the Tennessee Titans had a pretty up-and-down draft with some home run picks and a couple of head-scratchers. To summarize the draft, I’m going to somewhat of an unorthodox approach to ranking each Titans’ pick. I'll be ranking each player not based solely on potential or talent, but more so on value and positional need. 

1. Peter Skoronski, OG, Northwestern

Regardless of the fact that the Tennessee Titans didn’t go after a top-three quarterback, day one of the draft was an absolute success. In all of the mock drafts I analyzed throughout the pre-draft process, Peter Skoronski was hardly ever projected outside the top 8, much less 11. It was a small miracle that he made it down to the Titans with the Chicago Bears selecting right tackle Darnell Wright with the 10th overall pick and Paris Johnson already off the board.

Obviously, there are concerns about Skoronski’s arm length (which I personally think are overblown), but either way, he should make a huge impact on day one for the Tennessee Titans who desperately needed to shore up the offensive line.  

2. Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

Jaelyn Duncan
Minnesota v Maryland / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

The selection of Duncan was a continuation of Tennessee’s reconstruction of the offensive line after an offseason where 3 linemen were lost to free agency, including both starters on the left side of the line. Duncan was a top 100 prospect according to Daniel Jeremiah’s top 150 2023 draft prospects list.

Landing Duncan in the 6th round with pick 186 was an outright glass-breaking slam dunk of a pick, not to mention the fact that the Tennessee Titans management likely viewed him even more highly than his projected ranking since they had met with him multiple times prior to his selection. In terms of Jaelyn’s potential to make it as a starter in the NFL, he has all the physical tools and is more than capable if he is surrounded by solid coaching to help his technique develop.

3. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Will Levis
Georgia v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

If you read my previous article, “Disaster Strikes as Titans Take Will Levis in Round 2,” you might have guessed that I am not the biggest fan of Will Levis. However, personal preference aside, Will Levis was a projected first-rounder with high upside.

Let’s face it, quarterback is a position of need for the Tennessee Titans. I am so unbelievably far from a Ryan Tannehill hater, but you have to ask yourself, “Is Ryan Tannehill going to lead this Tennessee Titans team to a Superbowl?” The answer is simply no. Entering his age-34 season and on the last year of his contract, Ryan Tannehill is far from the permanent solution for the Titans' seemingly endless quest to obtain a franchise QB.

Enter Will Levis: a quarterback with comparable physicality to Josh Allen with equally as large of a cannon for a right arm, yet lacking the schematic experience and overall understanding of the game to be a complete prospect. A year under the wing of Ryan Tannehill could work wonders for the development of Levis and the future of the franchise.

Part of me is optimistic that Levis could be the guy, while the other part of me remembers watching some up-and-down tape from his 5th-year senior season at Kentucky. Nevertheless, Levis was a great value at the spot where the Titans drafted him and certainly addresses a future roster hole for the Tennessee Titans.

4. Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati

Josh Whyle
Cincinnati v Temple / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Despite being number 4 in my draft pick value rankings, I believe Josh Whyle is actually a great value pick for the Tennessee Titans. With the loss of both Austin Hooper and the dreadful Geoff Swaim, Tennessee appeared to have a hole at the TE2/inline tight end spot.

Although Whyle is a former wideout who actually converted to play tight end and fullback, his 6’7, 250 lb. frame should prove to effectively box out defenders with the help of coaching to develop his technique. Whyle may also be an extremely effective weapon to pair with rising star Chig Okonkwo, as he should be a matchup nightmare for smaller defenders.

With an apparent lack of weapons on the offense, the Cincinnati native may serve as a safety blanket for Ryan Tannehill, playing bully ball and allowing the veteran QB to just put the pigskin up on the top shelf. Overall, in an absurdly deep tight end class, Whyle was a great pickup in the 5th round, and has a real chance to make an impact in year one for the Tennessee Titans.

5. Colton Dowell, WR, Tennessee-Martin

I honestly wish I could say more about Colton Dowell, but let’s keep it real, was anyone else just excited to see the Titans take a receiver? After sitting through multiple days of being let down time and time again, I honestly thought the day would never come. While it may have been too little too late, it was at least good to see the organization attempt to address arguably the most glaring roster issue entering this draft.

As for Dowell, he seems to have had a very successful career with the Skyhawks, and it's possible that he just didn’t receive any national attention because he played in the Ohio Valley Conference. That being said, it may have been a bit of a reach for a player who likely would’ve been an available UDFA had Tennessee not selected him with their final pick. I would give this pick average to slightly below average value in regards to draft position, but it could prove to be beneficial to the Titans' depth chart.

6. Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane

Tyjae Spears
Cincinnati v Tulane / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

And finally, as the lowest-ranked pick of the Titans’ entire draft, we have Tyjae Spears.

Spears was an electric player in college; his talent is not the reason why he is at the bottom of this list. Rather, injuries are the main concern regarding his selection with the 81st pick in the NFL Draft.

Tyjae Spears has already his ACL twice and he actually has a knee that is missing the ACL (I’m not actually sure how that works). Additionally, Spears has dealt with cartilage issues and arthritis in his knee. Now, I’m not a doctor, but that certainly does not sound good coming from a running back with a considerable amount of carries already under his belt.

The whole move just feels strange considering Head Coach Mike Vrabel's comment earlier this offseason about potentially avoiding players with injury histories, specifically with soft tissue and hamstring injuries. It also pains me to think about the fact that the Titans could’ve potentially traded up (or they could have not traded up for Will Levis) and selected Tank Dell, Jaylin Hyatt, or Josh Downs, all three of which were within 12 picks of Spears’ selection and would have addressed a much more notable void in the Titans roster. 


Ultimately, despite some strong improvements brought on by this year’s draft, Tennessee still has too many roster holes to be a true title contender going into the 2023 season. However, this is just the draft, and although one can sit and fantasize about how their UDFA wideout will be the next Randy Moss, what really matters is what a player looks like when they finally set foot on a game field in September.