NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans kick off a three-day rookie minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Friday.
It's when first-round picks Corey Davis and Adoree' Jackson will take the field for the first time, surrounded by other draft picks, undrafted free agents and players invited on a tryout basis.
Here's a look at five questions heading in:
How much of an impact will Corey Davis make as a rookie?**
We won't find out this answer over the weekend, of course. Davis, selected fifth overall out of Western Michigan, is going to need some time to get comfortable with the offense. And keep in mind he won't be working with starting quarterback Marcus Mariota right off the bat. But make no mistake, the Titans expect Davis to make a significant contribution while adjusting to the NFL. He's big and physical, and should be able to win matchups with his size and speed. He'll be able to get his feet wet over the weekend before facing the veterans on the field later this month.
Will Adoree' Jackson help more than just on defense?
Priority No.1 is to have the former USC cornerback ready to play on defense. There's an open spot for him to claim if he can win the job during the offseason. Jackson is also a talented return man, so I expect him to be thrown into the mix there as well. While the Titans have others capable, Jackson's playmaking ability might be too difficult to ignore. Already coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson have been quizzed about the possibility of Jackson lining up on offense. Both have stressed they want to see him excel on defense first. So stay tuned.
What other rookies could make a big impact year 1?**
Well, based on what I've seen and heard about Western Kentucky receiver Taywan Taylor, he's a guy to keep an eye on. He's regarded as precise route-runner who could adapt quickly. Tight end Jonnu Smith won't supplant veteran Delanie Walker in the starting lineup, but he's physically talented. Is he capable of being an all-around player who could be used as a blocker early? If so, it would help him get on the field faster. Inside linebacker Jayon Brown is a fast cover guy who could step into the Sean Spence role.
What about running back Khalfani Muhammad?
Muhammad was the team's last selection in the draft – pick No. 241, in the seventh round. But he also has a chance to find his way onto the field because of his unique skill set. Muhammad is small – 5-7, 174. But that could work to his advantage on a team with heavy running backs like DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Muhammad's ability to contribute on special
Less than 24 hours after being selected in the first round, top draft picks Corey Davis and Adoree' Jackson arrive at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Jim Wyatt)
teams could go a long way in determining if he sticks. With a good showing this offseason, he could end up being a valuable matchup piece.
Could an undrafted free agent make it?
This time last year, not many folks probably gave defensive linemen Antwaun Woods or Mehdi Abdesmad a great chance. But both undrafted free agents impressed during the offseason, and earned a chance to stick around. They're both on the roster today after spending last year on the practice squad, and briefly spending time on the 53-man. The Titans signed 12 undrafted free agents, including Louisville NT DeAngelo Brown, Ole Miss RB Akeem Judd, Western Kentucky QB Tyler Ferguson and speedy Connecticut CB John Green. That's not counting players who will be on tryouts. Could some of them earn a spot?