The Tennessee Titans have had their struggles in recent years, but historically speaking, they are no strangers to drafting players who made an immediate impact.
From Eddie George earning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 1996, to Jevon Kearse earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1999, to Vince Young earning the award in 2006.
Chris Johnson narrowly missed out on the award in 2008, but earned a Pro Bowl bid in his rookie campaign before breaking the single season yards from scrimmage record the following season.
This year the Titans have a legitimate chance to pull off a rare feat by boasting the Rookie of the Year on both sides of the ball…in the same season.
Thanks to a draft day trade with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, the Titans had two first round picks this year. Both Corey Davis (5th overall – wide receiver) and Adoree’ Jackson (18th overall – cornerback) will be put in a position to make history.
Davis will get every opportunity to earn the starting wide receiver job opposite Rishard Matthews this season, and by all accounts, the rookie out of Western Michigan impressed when he finally took the field during offseason OTA’s.
With a stout run game and Pro Bowl tight end, Davis should find himself in plenty of one on one opportunities this season. And at 6’2, 205 pounds, he should have the physical advantage over most cornerbacks in the league.
Where Davis could separate himself from his rookie counterparts is in the red zone. It’s no secret that quarterback Marcus Mariota is lethal when he gets inside the opponent’s 20 yard line. He has 33 career touchdowns and zero turnovers.
Davis’ size and sure hands makes him a viable option for those hard-to-defend jump balls in the corner of the end zone.
Adoree’ Jackson should be a strong candidate for the coveted award as well due to the sheer fact that Tennessee plans to use him in a multitude of ways this season.
For starters, Jackson is penciled in to be the day one starter at cornerback along with Logan Ryan. And given the fact that the Titans are stout defensively against the run, you can expect to see a ton of balls thrown his way (and away from a proven veteran like Ryan).
The more action that Jackson sees, the more opportunities for him to make plays.
And speaking of making plays, Jackson was also a prolific return man and offensive weapon for USC. So don’t be surprised to see the Titans use him in all three facets of the game this season.
While the quest for the R.O.Y. sweep is daunting to say the least, both players have an edge. They will both be surrounded by talented veterans on a team that should finish with no less than another winning season.
But…if the first round duo performs to expectations and earns their respective awards, then you could be looking at a Titans team that plays deep into January this season.