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Observations From Titans Rookie Minicamp on Saturday


NASHVILLE – Members of the Titans rookie class took the field on Saturday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park for the second day of the team's rookie minicamp.

Today's session was open to media after Friday's session was closed.

Here's a look at what stood out from Saturday:

-All eyes were on second-round pick Will Levis at the start, and one thing that stood out to me was how effortless the quarterback's arm motion is while throwing the football. With a flick of the wrist, Levis delivered passes to his fellow rookie teammates on Saturday. His most eye-opening completion went to tight end Josh Whyle on the last play of practice. Levis, sporting a blue headband under his helmet and a red No.8 jersey, wasn't perfect. In fact, the first snap in a team period was mishandled, and the football ended up on the ground, as coach Mike Vrabel discussed afterward. But I thought Levis settled in and looked smooth running the ball and throwing it, whether he was in the pocket or on the move.

-First-round pick Peter Skoronski, decked out in No. 77, lined up in multiple spots on Saturday, and moved well. Skoronski is a big boy, listed at 6-4, 313. The Northwestern product talked to reporters afterward about adjusting to the NFL. Skoronski looked smooth in individual drills, and he showed good footwork vs defenders. As for his arms, heck, they looked pretty long to me.

-Running back Tajae Spears probably made the most eye-opening impression on me right out of the gate. Part of that is because he moves so well in space, and he found plenty of it on Saturday. Call it a wiggle, call it a juke, or call it anything you what you want it, but the third-round pick took short passes and quickly got into the open field on Saturday. Spears had a few hiccups himself, but Spears also showed some glimpses of what made him such a playmaker in college. At his media session after practice, Spears faced numerous questions about his surgically repaired knee, and at one point shut the conversation down by simply saying he's healthy. He sure looked it today.

-I mentioned the throw to Whyle in the Levis section, and I'm hitting on it again here since Vrabel was asked about it after practice. Whyle, a 6-foot-7, 248-pounder, ended Saturday's practice by going up high to catch a Levis pass, with a defender on his hip. Vrabel liked the looks of the play, but noted himself it might not be so easy when the veterans are on the field. With a smile, Whyle said he's been sweating like a pig, but he appeared to handle his first weekend well.

-Receiver Colton Dowell, a Lebanon, Tenn., native who played at Wilson Central and Tennessee-Martin, sure looks the part. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder had great humor about him when asked about an embarrassing moment right out of the gate when he tripped and fell during the ladder footwork drill. Titans coach Mike Vrabel got on Dowell for thinking too much, but he complimented him later, and took his stumble in stride. Dowell had a ball over the weekend as he put on the jersey and helmet for his hometown team for the first time.

-Fifth-round pick Jaelyn Duncan is a 6-foot-6, 309-pounder who has a bounce in his step, kind of like Brad Hopkins did during his playing days with the team. Duncan has some work to do, but I can see why so many folks had him graded pretty high. He's an athletic big man that I'm looking forward to seeing more of this offseason.

-I spent most of my time eyeing the draft picks on the first open practice, but I did scan the field and see a few more things. I'll list a few below.

-Undrafted free agent Caleb Murphy, a 6-3, 254-pound pass-rushing demon from Ferris State, is a good-looking prospect. I passed him on the hallway on the way to practice. Seems like a nice young man, too.

-Kicker Trey Wolff from Texas Tech hit some nice kicks on field goal attempts, but he also had a few shaky ones as he started the process of adjusting to a new snapper and holder. Vrabel discussed this in his media session.

-Undrafted receivers Jacob Copeland and Tre'Shaun Harrison each made a few nice grabs over the weekend.

-Vrabel spent some time with safety Matt Jackson, an undrafted free agent from Eastern Kentucky who played at Nashville's Hillsboro High School.

-A pair of players in town for tryouts – Baylor receiver Gavin Holmes and Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Eric Garror – took turns catching punts.

-In addition to the team's six draft picks and 14 undrafted players, 21 players are taking part in the team's rookie minicamp this weekend on a tryout basis, including Holmes and Garror.

Two former Vols and two former Commodores are in the group, along with at least one local product.

Here's the group of tryout players: QB Mo Hasan, Southern California (Vanderbilt); P Paxton Brooks, Tennessee; WR Mataio Talalemotu, Portland State; CB Chandler Jones, Louisville; CB Armani Marsh, Washington State; CB Bentlee Sanders, Nevada; S John Torchio, Wisconsin; S Maxwell Worship, Vanderbilt; CB LJ Davis, Northern Arizona; RB Allen Smith, Brown; CB Olaijah Griffin, Southern California; FB Mitch Rossi, Ohio State (Franklin High); LS/TE Sam Wheeler, Kansas State; LB Shea Pitts, UCLA; OL Tyran Hunt, Old Dominion; OL James Empey, Brigham Young; TE Jahleel Billingsley, Texas (Alabama); DL LaTrell Bumphus, Tennessee; DL Keenan Agnew, Southern Illinois, along with Holmes and Garror.

-Former Georgia receiver Kearis Jackson was present for Saturday's minicamp, but did not take part. Vrabel said Jackson is working through some things and didn't rule out the possibility of him joining the squad as an undrafted free agent at some points.

-A number of Titans returners/those with limited experience are taking part in the rookie minicamp: LB Zach McCloud, OL Andrew Rupcich, WR Reggie Roberson Jr., TE Justin Rigg, TE Thomas Odukoya, DL Jayden Peevy, DT Curtis Brooks.

-The Titans rookies will join the veterans in the offseason program on Monday.

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