The Tennessee Titans headed into the 2022 NFL Draft with plenty of questions. Would they get their quarterback of the future? Would they take an offensive lineman in the first round like many mock drafts had predicted them to? Well, they did get their quarterback of the future, but their draft didn’t exactly pan out the way many thought it would.
The biggest surprise: the trade of AJ Brown. Unable to come to an agreement, the Titans traded the talented young wide receiver to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 1st round pick (18th overall) and a 3rd round pick. The trade stung, as many Titans fans were shocked that he was headed out of town and along with him heading out, Brown got a four-year, $100 million deal with $57 million in guaranteed money.
The Titans, however, feel they drafted a very capable replacement though when they selected former Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burk 18th overall to fill the void.
The talented young receiver had a ton of ability, but he has big shoes to fill on the Titans and CBS color analyst and NFL Network Draft analyst Charles Davis acknowledged both: “The loss of AJ Brown was mitigated on paper by the immediate drafting of Treylon Burks, a clone of AJ Brown in the body type, style, ability, and speed and his potential is vast. But he has to prove it as AJ Brown did during his time in Nashville.”
Definitely, big shoes to feel but Davis feels good about the selection. “I thought it was a great pick by GM Jon Robinson,” he said.
The pick of Burks will be scrutinized for sure over the next couple of years given the way he ended up in Nashville, but another pick that will surely be paid attention to over the years will be the third-round selection of quarterback Malik Willis. The Titans traded their additional third-round pick they got in the Brown trade along with a fifth-round pick this year for the right to the pick that got them Willis.
The value of that pick was great for the Titans, as Willis was projected to be a first-round pick in this draft, but he had an unexpected freefall in the draft. But he could not have landed in a better spot, where he can sit behind a veteran quarterback and actually learn for at least a season and Davis agrees. “The landing spot of Malik Willis in Tennessee is perfect for him. He will not have the pressure to start right away, and the Titans style of offense helps all quarterbacks acclimate.”
Many fans of the Titans and maybe even the Titans themselves were wondering who would be next in line for them at the quarterback position. Incumbent Ryan Tannehill had a down season last year and with him coming towards the end of his deal, the Titans needed a plan. Willis has a strong arm, can improvise with his legs, and certainly doesn’t lack the confidence in himself to be a starting quarterback in this league. And most of all, he has leadership qualities that lend him to being a leader on this team in time.
While the Titans may have opened up a question and didn’t answer others in the draft, they surely did a solid job of setting themselves up for the future with a quarterback and wide receiver pairing that has a ton of potential.
Now the question is will one, none, or both of this future quarterback/wide receiver combo reach that potential?