The time has come to play the hindsight game and re-grade the Tennessee Titans’ class of rookies from the 2019 NFL Draft.
This is a tradition I began when I first started writing about the Titans nearly five years ago, and it remains an offseason favorite of mine.
So, without further adieu, here are grades for the Titans’ 2019 draft class a year after the fact.
DL Jeffery Simmons – Mississippi State
- Round: 1
- Pick: 19
- Grade: B+
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) October 17, 2019
Simmons was a steal for the Titans at pick No. 19, especially considering that his knee injury only kept him on the sideline for less than half of the season.
In his debut performance against the Chargers, he was a major disruptor. As the season went on, Simmons impact lessened, but his physicality and impressive athleticism were always present.
He will need to be more consistently disruptive and increase his production to get to the next level, and there’s a good chance of that happening now that he’ll get more time at 3-technique with Jurrell Casey having been traded.
WR A.J. Brown – Ole Miss
- Round: 2
- Pick: 51
- Grade: A
Tannehill on A.J. Brown’s development. pic.twitter.com/MSAQNv17zL
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) December 4, 2019
After just one season, Brown is arguably the second-best receiver (Derrick Mason) the Titans have ever had. He was electrifying as a rookie, racking up yards after the catch like a machine.
Brown has already proven to be a rare commodity at wide receiver who can do just about anything. He can beat defensive backs with his speed downfield. He can win at the catch point with physicality. He can play in the slot and outside.
He does a little bit of everything, and he’ll be even better in year two with a volume increase.
G Nate Davis – Charlotte
- Round: 3
- Pick: 82
- Grade: C+
Davis was a mostly solid pick for the Titans in the third round. He took over as the team’s starting right guard early in the season after missing all of Training Camp with an injury and retained that role all the way through the AFC Championship.
The biggest knock on Davis is his inconsistency. He put a lot of good things on film last year, but he also delivered many head-scratchers.
It will be interesting to see how Davis gels with Isaiah Wilson, the Titans’ 2020 first-round pick, whenever he takes over as the right tackle.
S Amani Hooker – Iowa
- Round: 4
- Pick: 116
- Grade: B
Hooker was an early star in 2019 Training Camp, quickly proving that he can play all over the field on defense. The Titans’ defensive coaches have frequently raved about his intelligence.
As a rookie, Hooker was a rotational piece for the Titans and he did well in that role.
He won’t be a preferred starter anytime soon due to the Titans’ crowded and talented defensive backfield, but he will continue to be an important piece in the team’s gameplans.
OLB D’Andre Walker – Georgia
- Round: 5
- Pick: 168
- Grade: N/A
Walker missed the entirety of his rookie season due to injury, so it’s unfair to give him a grade.
LB David Long – West Virginia
- Round: 6
- Pick: 188
- Grade: B+
It’s rare for a team to find a quality contributor in the sixth round, but the Titans got just that in Long.
At the beginning of the season, Long’s biggest contributions came on special teams. As the season progressed, though, he carved out a rotational role on defense and frequently showcased his impressive speed.
Long figures to replace Wesley Woodyard in 2020 as the Titans’ third inside linebacker. He’s not a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a solid roster piece.
Cover image: Mark J. Rebilas & Geoff Burke / USA Today