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What's Next? Examining Titans 2017 Rookie Class

Posted Jan 18, 2018

TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt examines the Titans' 2017 rookie class.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The search for the newest Titans will get into full swing soon. 

The Senior Bowl is next week in Mobile, followed by the NFL Combine, pro days, pre-draft visits and the NFL Draft.

Today, let’s take a look back at the 2017 draft picks, from how they performed as rookies, to what’s ahead:

Player: Corey Davis, receiver.

Pick: 1st round, 5th overall.

Rookie year: Davis was slowed during the offseason with a lingering injury, and a hamstring injury kept him out of the preseason and forced him to miss five games early. Davis finished his rookie year with 34 catches for 375 yards, and he had at least three catches in seven of the team’s last nine games. Davis had a two-touchdown game in the playoffs against the Patriots.

What’s next: Davis should benefit from the offseason, and from the confidence he gained at the end of the season. He’s going to be counted on even more in 2018. But what will the receiving corps look like around him?

Player: Adoree’ Jackson, cornerback.

Pick: 1st round, 18th overall.

Rookie year: Jackson was a workhorse in 2017, playing a total of 1,260 plays. Jackson played on defense (1,017 snaps), on special teams (231) and even on offense (12) while playing all 16 games. Jackson recorded 67 tackles and 23 passes defensed, and averaged 8.5 yards per return on punts and 23.1 yards per return on kicks. Jackson didn’t record an interception or return a punt or kick for a score, but he showed plenty of promise and tenacity.

What’s next: Jackson will be a key player in the secondary and on special teams again in 2018, and the experience he gained as a rookie should benefit him greatly. Expect him to make a big leap next fall.

Player: Taywan Taylor, receiver.

Pick: 3rd round, 72nd overall.

Rookie year: Taylor played in all 16 games, and he caught 16 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown. He was also used carrying the football, getting eight carries for 43 yards on the season.

What’s next: Taylor was a standout during the offseason, but he sometimes didn’t factor into the offense as much because of more experienced players ahead of him. The Titans have some decisions to make at this position, but I expect Taylor to be more involved in Year 2. 

Player: Jonnu Smith, tight end.

Pick: 3rd round, 100th overall.

Rookie year: Smith also played in all 16 games, with 13 starts. He caught 18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns while proving to be a nice option alongside veteran Delanie Walker. Smith suffered a torn MCL in the playoff game at New England.

What’s next: Smith first has to get healthy, but he should be ready for offseason work. As a rookie, he proved to be sturdy as a blocker, and he caught the ball well when it was thrown his way. Expect him to be more involved in 2018 as well.

Player: Jayon Brown, linebacker.

Pick: 5th round, 155th overall.

Rookie year: Played in all 16 games, at linebacker and on special teams. Brown played a lot of snaps, and he finished the season with 67 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six quarterback pressures and two tackles for a loss. He added value with his speed in coverage, and roaming the field.

What’s next: Brown lived up to expectations as a speedy linebacker. He’ll once again compete for playing time, perhaps in an even bigger role in Year 2. 

Player: Corey Levin, offensive lineman.

Pick: 6th round, 217th overall.

Rookie year: Spent the entire season on the team’s roster, where he gained valuable insight and experience in practices. While he was inactive all 16 games, he practiced and traveled to all the games.

What’s next: Levin will once again compete in the middle of the offensive line. I’m expecting some new faces battling for spots inside, so he’ll face more competition.

Player: Josh Carraway, linebacker.

Pick: 7th round, 227th overall.
Rookie year: Carraway spent time on the active roster and on the practice squad during his rookie season. He played in just one game – on special teams at Arizona.

What’s next: Carraway will once again be in the mix at outside linebacker, but he should expect some new faces – and competition – at the position as well.

Player: Brad Seaton, offensive lineman.

Pick: 7th round, 236th overall.

Rookie year: Seaton spent time on the team’s practice squad during the season, but was released in November.

Player: Khalfani Muhammad, running back.

Pick: 7th round, 241st overall.

Rookie year: Muhammad spent most of the season on the team’s practice squad, and he gave the defense a good look because of his speed. He was promoted to the active roster late in the season, but did not play.

What’s next: Muhammad remains under contract, and he’ll once again compete for a spot on the roster this offseason.