The Tennessee Titans were expected to still be rebuilding last season, but they surprised a lot of people when they finished second in the AFC South last season and made the playoffs. They also surprised a lot of folks when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wildcard game before falling to the New England Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
Thanks to last season’s success, the Tennessee Titans odds to win the Super Bowl next season is more favorable than the last couple of years..
A lot of last season’s success can be attributed to the development of players taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, which is why we have decided to take a look back at that draft to determine if the Titans will make the same choices they made that night.
Due to their poor performance during the 2015 season, the Titans had the top pick in the draft, but they traded it to get a lot of draft picks from the Los Angeles Rams, one of which was the eighth pick in the draft. The Titans used the pick to select offensive tackle, Jack Conklin.
Tennessee’s selection of Conklin paid off from the start, with the rookie tackle making the All Pro team. Conklin was just as impressive in his second season, and is considered the anchor for their offensive line. With the way Conklin has performed since his rookie season, the Titans will make that selection again today.
The Titans used their second pick on linebacker Kevin Dodd, who was taken in the second round of the draft with the 33rd pick. Dodd only played in nine games during his rookie season because of injuries, but didn’t look very impressive last season, which is why he is going in to this season without a guaranteed roster spot on the team.
Since Dodd is only 25, there is still time to turn his career around, but he will have to impress the coaches during training camp or he might no longer be a part of the team’s roster.
If the Titans had a redo on this pick, they will likely make another selection.
The Titans used their third pick of the draft on defensive tackle Austin Johnson, who has been a decent player for the team. Johnson went from playing in 10 games during his rookie season to playing in all 16 games last year, which shows the confidence the coaches have in him. They will be hoping he progresses some more this season and becomes the inside presence they were hoping he would be when they drafted him.
If the Titans had a do over, they would likely still take Johnson with their third pick.
Tennessee used its fourth pick in the draft to select Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who split time with DeMarco Murray in his first two seasons, while putting up impressive numbers. With Murray gone, Henry will be the featured back for the Titans, which will give him the opportunity to show he is one of the best running backs in the league.
The Titans will definitely take Henry again if they had the chance.
The fifth pick was used to select free safety Kevin Byard, who has quickly become one of the best safeties in the league. After coming off the bench in his rookie season, Byard became a starter last season and made it to the Pro Bowl and was named to the All Pro teams. Tennessee won’t hesitate to take him again.
Titans FS Kevin Byard was the best free safety prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft, second INT of the day— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) October 22, 2017