The 2022 NFL draft will forever be an unforgettable one for Tennessee Titans fans everywhere.
The entire fanbase had their hearts instantly ripped out following the trade of superstar wide receiver A.J. Brown, which was a shocking start to the draft.
However, it was also bittersweet, as at least the Titans were able to bring in even more young talent because of the trade.
Losing Brown hurts, and anyone who says otherwise is either hurting or in complete denial. This will be something that the franchise will have to live with if Brown goes on to have a Hall-of-Fame career, in which the Titans will now merely be a footnote in rather than the primary memory of his career.
Tennessee received pick Nos. 18 and 101 for Brown, and then they ended up using that 101st pick in a separate trade with the New York Jets to acquire pick Nos. 35, 69 and 163.
Those trades had a drastic impact on the first two days that saw the Titans draft their franchise wide receiver in Treylon Burks, a cornerback in Roger McCreary, a left tackle in Nicholas Petit-Frere, and then a quarterback of the future in Malik Willis, who the Titans selected after moving up to No. 86.
My favorite part about those first four picks is they are all considered premium positions in this modern era of football.
Burks is a fantastic wide receiver who has star potential at the next level due to his elite body control for his size.
The Arkansas product is big, smooth and natural in everything he does, while also possessing the versatility to operate from wherever you want.
Burks’ ability to run after the catch is also something to behold due to his rare blend of size, speed, power, and physicality with the ball in his hands.
Drafting a cornerback in Round 2 may have been the only pick that wasn’t considered a position of need, especially with a premium pick. Tennessee must have felt that the value of McCreary at a booming position like cornerback was too good to pass up, and it’s easy to see why.
Their third-round picks, Petit-Frere and Willis, are more upside picks than NFL-ready ones, but the endless possibilities of what both could become with their physical traits is truly an exciting thought.
With Willis in particular, this is the definition of low-risk, potentially high-reward selection, except calling it a “high reward” would be tremendously underselling it.
At worst, Willis remains a backup for the duration of his contract and Tennessee finds its franchise quarterback elsewhere with minimal financial repercussions for missing on the Liberty quarterback.
Ideally, Willis hones in all that undeniable talent in a year or two and becomes the modern-day franchise quarterback for the Titans who can go toe-to-toe with the league’s elite.
I was also a big fan of the Titans’ Day 3 picks.
Hassan Haskins and Chigoziem Okonkwo in Round 4 are two players I really liked — especially the Maryland product because tight ends were flying off the board and he was the last available of all my personal favorites at that position.
Kyle Phillips in Round 5 is a sneaky acquisition that I loved at that point in the draft. I had Phillips as one of the better slot receivers in this draft and thought he was bound for the fourth round at worst.
Alas, he was there in Round 5 and the Titans smartly pounced on someone who will be adding crafty and refined route-running to the receiver room.
Lastly, the Titans concluded by selecting Nashville native and Tennessee safety, Theo Jackson, along with Ole Miss linebacker Chance Campbell.
Both will have the chance to immediately contribute on special teams while also adding valuable depth to an already stout defense.
In conclusion, I really love the draft class as a whole. This really could be a group that provides several building blocks and eventual franchise pillars.
Having said all that, I can’t give any draft that involved trading a franchise wide receiver an “A”, so I will go slightly below that.
Final grade: B+
In case you missed the analysis and grades we gave for each individual pick, you can check those out below.
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting LB Chance Campbell
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting DB Theo Jackson
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting WR Kyle Philips
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting TE Chigoziem Okonkwo
Instant analysis and grade for Titans drafting RB Hassan Haskins
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting QB Malik Willis
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
Instant analysis and grade for Titans selecting Roger McCreary
Instant analysis and grade for Titans’ selection of Treylon Burks
First look at Titans’ 2022 NFL draft picks in ‘Madden NFL 23’