Tennessee Titans Rookie Forecast 2024

T'Vondre Sweat Rookie Forecast

Solid Starter

Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina – Round 4

Gray was an absolute steal for the Titans in the fourth round and I am surprised he slid that far as Gray was a much better player in college than some of the linebackers that went ahead of him. In college Gray was a tackling machine that was all over the field for the Tar Heels. While Gray had some missed tackles, he was constantly around the ball and 364 tackles over the past three seasons. He made plays in pass coverage, and also was a dangerous blitzer.

The trait that stands out the most about Gray is good instincts. That is the most important necessity for any good NFL linebacker and Gray has it. Gray’s instincts are very good as a run defender showing the ability to read his keys and anticipate how plays are designed. There is no doubt that in the ground game Gray is a tough defender that makes a ton of tackles for his defense. He plays downhill and physical showing the ability to crash down quickly with straight line speed to make tackles near the line of scrimmage. Gray has the size, strength, and toughness to take on blocks while also being able to get to the perimeter. While Gray is a good run defender, he did have some issues with missed tackles that he needs to clean up for the NFL.

In pass coverage Gray is a mixed bag. On the plus side, his instincts put him in position to make some plays. He also showed serious blitzing ability and is adept at putting pressure on the quarterback. However on the down side he is not super athletic and has some stiffness in coverage. That limits to what he can do outside of zone coverage in the middle of the field. Gray could struggle if he is isolated in one-on-ones against running backs or tight ends. Hence, Gray has some limitations for how his NFL team will utilize him in pass coverage.

Tennessee has some veteran inside linebackers in Kenneth Murray and Jack Gibbens, but before long I think Gray could win a starting spot. Gray is a natural football player that could become a good starter for Tennessee and end up being a fourth-round steal.

2021: Roger McCreary, CB
2021: Monty Rice, LB
2020: Kristian Fulton, CB
2019: A.J. Brown, WR
2018: Dane Cruikshank, S
2017: Corey Davis, WR
2016: Jack Conklin, OT
2015: Jalston Fowler, FB
2014: Bishop Sankey, RB
2013: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB

Most Likely To Bust

T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas – Round 2

There is no doubt that Sweat is talented and has the ability to become a good NFL player. In the ground game Sweat is a tough defender. He is very stout at the point of attack. When runs come downhill at him, he is able to anchor and hold his ground. He also shows the strength to shed and tackle. Routinely Sweat pushes his way into the backfield to disrupt runs and resets the line of scrimmage. His lateral anchor is advanced as he is tough to move at the point of attack. Sweat is very strong to take on double team bump blocks and hold his ground when getting hit from the side. Sweat is a very good run defender entering the NFL and as a pro he will be an asset to defend short-yardage and goal line situations.

As a pass rusher Sweat has some ability to get a push into the backfield with his power, but after gaining some ground upfield Sweat struggles to finish the play by getting to the quarterback. He is limited from a speed and athleticism perspective to be a dangerous pass rusher in the NFL. However, Sweat shows nice awareness to get his hands up and block passes. As a pro, he probably will be rotated out of the game in many sub packages, but he can help contribute to a rush by clogging the middle to limit space for a quarterback to step up.

The real reason that I think Sweat has bust potential is the make up. For years sources have said that Sweat is a big time partier, and not a good worker. Those issues are reflected in his weight. He was 364 pounds at the combine, but there was talk from team sources that just months earlier he was pushing 400 pounds. Then weeks before the draft Sweat had a driving arrest late at night. Considering Sweat could be limited in the number of snaps he plays, and has major issues with his weight, Sweat was riskiest selection for the Titans in the early rounds of the 2024 draft.

2022: Malik Willis, QB
2021: Elijah Molden, CB
2020: Darrynton Evans, RB
2019: Nate Davis, G
2018: Harold Landry, DE
2017: Taywan Taylor, WR
2016: Kevin Dodd, DE
2015: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR
2014: Marqueston Huff, S
2013: Zavier Gooden, LB

Potential Boom Pick

J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama – Round 1

It was the first draft for Tennessee general manager Ran Carthon addressed the offensive line in the first round with Peter Skoronski and Carthon followed it up with more offensive line help in the form of Latham. While some criticized the Latham pick, there were a lot of teams that were high on Latham and felt he was an excellent pro prospect.

There is no doubt that Latham will be an immediate upgrade to the pass protection for Titans quarterback Will Levis. As a pass blocker, Latham has a natural build with good size, strength, and length to play on the edge. He does a nice job of sinking his weight to stop bull rushes with a good anchor and the upper body strength to tie up defenders. With quickness off the ball, Latham gets some depth in his drop and he is quick out of his stance. When Latham keeps his feet moving he can cut off the corner and give his quarterback the necessary time to get the ball out. Latham works well in tandem blocks with his guard and is adept at handling games up front with his guard. As a junior Latham was rock solid in pass protection and only gave up a pressure once in a while. Speed rushers coming around the corner can give Latham some issues every so often.

In the ground game the 6-foot-6, 360-pound Latham uses his strong upper body to tie up defenders and push them around. He can knock defenders back on occasion and other plays will twist, turn, and manipulate his defender to keep them away from his back. He also can create a push and straight blast defensive ends out of their gap with shear power. Latham has some real nastiness to him. He blocks through the whistle and is very physical at the point of attack. With a mean streak, Latham gets violent with defenders and will finish them off. Latham has the quickness to fire to the second level and is athletic enough to hit blocks in space.

The Titans are planing on moving Latham to left tackle and there some team sources that thought Latham was a right tackle only at the pro level. Even if Latham doesn’t work out at left tackle, I think he has the potential to be a pro bowl right tackle for Tennessee. Latham has a great skill set and upside, he could be a real boom pick for the Titans.

2023: Peter Skoronski, OT
2022: Treylon Burks, WR
2021: Caleb Farley, CB
2020: Isaiah Wilson, OT
2019: Jeff Simmons, DT
2018: Rashaan Evans, LB
2017: Adoree’ Jackson, CB
2016: Derrick Henry, RB
2015: Marcus Mariota, QB
2014: Taylor Lewan, OT
2013: Chance Warmack, G

Future Depth Player

Jarvis Brownlee Jr., CB, Louisville – Round 5

The Titans landed a steal with Brownlee in the fifth round. There were other teams that had Brownlee in consideration to go a round or two higher as Brownlee is a gritty and violent football player. Brownlee plays like his hair is on fire and he is out to settle a score every time he makes a tackle. While Brownlee may have some limitations in terms of some stiffness, he makes up for it with instincts and grittiness. Even if Brownlee doesn’t become a starter, he could be a superb backup and special teams contributor. Brownlee could surpass that and become a starter, but at least he looks like a good depth player for Tennessee.

2023: Josh Whyle, TE
2022: Hassan Haskins, RB
2021: Rashad Weaver, DE
2020: Larrell Murchison, DT
2019: D’Andre Walker, LB
2018: Luke Falk, QB
2017: Jonnu Smith, TE
2016: Tajae Sharpe, WR
2015: David Cobb, RB
2014: Zach Mettenberger, QB
2013: Justin Hunter, WR