Jon Robinson, the Titans general manager went into the draft last year with some needs to address on both sides of the line of scrimmage. It was an offense heavy draft for Tennessee. While only spending three picks on the defense two of those players that had an immediate impact on the team. None more than Adoree’ Jackson who became a Titan with the 18th pick in the draft.
Round 1 / Pick 18 / 18th overall
Adoree’ Jackson CB/KR University of Southern California
Jackson made an immediate splash with the Titans special teams. Kick and punt returners are key components for your offense. They get you shorter fields to start drives after your opponent has scored and make all that defensive effort worthwhile by flipping the field in your favor on punt returns. Jackson did both things very well for Tennessee. He checked in at 9th in the league in kick return yards with 578 and 5th in punt return yards at 290. Combined Jackson was the best rookie returner in the league.
Jackson, however, is not just a kick returner. The secondary was an area of need for Titans going into the draft last year and it was addressed. He started all 16 games at cornerback and although he didn’t have an interception this campaign he was fourth in the NFL among defensive backs with 3 forced fumbles. His 17 passes defended for the Titans were also a top 10 effort in the league among defensive backs. With legitimate 4.4 speed (4.42 at the combine last year), the future definitely looks bright for Jackson both as a top return man and defender.
Round 5 / Pick 11 / 155th overall
Jayon Brown ILB University of California Los Angeles
Brown provided depth this year at the inside linebacker position. Learning the pro game behind Wesley Woodyard and Brian Orakpo. Showing good speed sideline to sideline he recorded a tackle or assist in every single game this season. His best game of the year was at San Francisco where he had 5 tackles a sack and a hit on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Brown was on the field for the Titans defense 45% of the time per football outsiders and should see an increased role next year.
Round 7 / Pick 9 / 227th overall
Josh Carraway OLB Texas Christian University
Carraway is an outstanding athlete drafted as depth at the outside linebacker position. He was inactive all but off the season.
Dean Williams is the Managing Editor of the Titans for Full Press Coverage. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Dean on Twitter @badappleffb or email firstname.lastname@example.org