Coming into the 2022 NFL Draft, the Titans definitely had some needs. Among them was at tight end. For a team that usually has a steady tight end group, the 2021 group didn’t really stand out as much as usual. The result was an offense that was a little easier to defend outside of AJ Brown and Julio Jones when he was out there.
With that opening there, there was a litany of tight ends Titan fans were looking at. Jelani Woods was one tight end that could have ended up in Tennessee, but he ended up going to the Indianapolis Colts in the third round. With Woods and other tight-end selections gone, the Titans finally made their selection on a guy they felt fit them well.
With their fourth-round pick, the Titans would select Chig Okonkwo out of the University of Maryland. If people didn’t know who he was, they certainly got to see what stood out about him with his tape. His speed and ability to line up different places as a tight-end, drew comparisons to former Titans tight-end Jonnu Smith. With veteran tight end Austin Hooper signed with the Titans, there isn’t a ton of pressure for Chig to be the man at tight end. There are, however, those flashes that he has already shown that bring people into the potential he has.
As for Chig, he feels he is taking it all in and continuing to progress.
“I think I have progressed a ton especially when it comes to the non-physical part of the game. Where you gotta learn, you gotta think, you gotta see fronts and you gotta be able to know the play and the different conversions on different plays or certain coverages.”
It’s definitely evident Okonkwo is starting to feel more and more comfortable in the Titans system with each passing day. For a team like the Titans, they use multiple tight ends, and the more he learns and grows could mean him eventually gaining meaningful time.
However, we also have to remember that things are still getting added to his plate. Eventually, things will slow down, but for him right now, he isn’t to that point yet.
“Yes (things are slowing down), but every day we are adding new stuff, so it’s not really slowing down. Every day is fast. You have to go home and study your stuff.”
Chig is a versatile weapon and could really help the Titans when he is ready and able to. The question is only “when” because there is no “if” when it comes to the undeniable talent he has at tight-end. It’s going to be interesting to see how and when he begins to take off.