(Mandatory Image Credit: Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports)
Written by: Joseph Yun
The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books after a wild three-day bonanza full of twists and turns in Kansas City, wrapped up with Mr. Irrelevant.
Tennessee held onto its three remaining picks and selected three players with very good value / need at each one. They initially held the 147th, 186th, and 228th selections entering the day and left the draft with those picks. Also, they provided us with yet another meme to endlessly laugh/cry over, as seen below.
Round 5.147 - TE Josh Whyle Cincinnati
(Mandatory Image Credit: Katie Stratman / USA Today Sports)
Whyle was a three-star signee for the Bearcats, a consistent producer, going for over 300 yards each season that he was the primary starter. He also finished his career in Cincy with 15 total touchdowns. He was a versatile athlete who converted to tight end from receiver during his time in the Queen City. He was an asset in the passing game with efficient routes, great hands, and underrated athleticism. A prospect who can line up as an in-line and slot-tight end along with HB/FB reps in certain packages. Before the season, he was named to Bruce Feldman’s Freaks list. He also participated in the Senior Bowl, where he performed pretty decently. He is a better athlete than he tested at the Combine and Pro Day. His player and athletic comparison is Dalton Schultz.
Obviously, the Titans have rising sophomore sensation Chig Okonkwo slotted as the starter of a rebuilt tight end room. Whyle will slot in as a backup hybrid TE competing with free agent signing Trevon Wesco for reps. To date, Tennessee has a theme for its draft class: highly athletic prospects.
The former Bearcats tight end can be followed on Twitter here: @JoshWhyle81
Round 6.186 - OT Jaelyn Duncan Maryland
(Mandatory Image Credit: Maryland Athletics)
Duncan was a four star recruit that signed with Maryland. He started 39 games at left tackle for the Terrapins before standing out at the Senior Bowl. He’s a big time athlete for the position and can mirror and move up the field quickly. However, he doesn’t have a lot of strength in his hands and his anchor can be inconsistent. His athleticism is a huge plus for any zone based team, such as the Titans utilize. Strength is a big issue as pass rushers can bull rush him, costing the prospect valuable real estate in gaining leverage. Speed rushers aren’t too difficult for him to handle. Physically, he compares to former San Diego State lineman Terry Poole who went in the same range of the draft that Duncan did. Duncan was the seventh best offensive tackle on my positional big board rankings and had a early Day 3 prediction.
It’s likely that Duncan be utilized as the swing tackle / guard, given that the team previously invested high draft picks (Peter Skoronski) and money (Andre Dillard) at left tackle this offseason. He will likely compete with former second round selection Dillon Radunz and Jordan Roos among others for the role. Perhaps there is a chance that he can compete with Nicholas Petit-Frere for the right tackle spot as well as no investment of any significance was made at that position.
You can follow Jaelyn on Twitter here: @king_jay70
Round 7.228 - WR Colton Dowell UT-Martin
(Mandatory Image Credit: UTM Athletics)
Colton is a little known small school prospect from the University of Tennesse-Martin who was outstanding during the offseason process, scoring very highly in RAS as seen below. He’s a bigger receiver at 6’2 212. He participated at the College All-Star Showcase. Tennessee’s wide receiver room is, to put it charitably, very inconsistent so if he performs well, it’s very likely that he’ll make the practice squad at the least. Here are some links and reps to further inform you on his draft profile.
You can follow Colton on Twitter here: @ColtonDowell2
What’s next for Tennessee?
The draft is complete with the Titans making a total of six selections. Rookie mini-camps, OTAs, and then training camps are fast approaching. GM Ran Carthon just completed his first draft as the point guard.