NASHVILLE -- For the first time since 1979, the Titans bypassed both the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten in the draft. For 37 drafts, the Titans had taken at least one player from one of those conferences - generally regarded as the best two conferences in college football. But not in 2017, as five of the nine players Titans general manager Jon Robinson took on draft weekend were from non-power five conferences. When Robinson did delve into the power conferences, he went to the Pac-12 three times and once to the Big 12.
By comparison, the Titans took players from the MAC, Conference USA and even dipping into the FCS ranks.
"I tell all these guys when I talk to them, whether they played at some big school or some small school, we don't care where you came from," Robinson said. "If you can play football and if you'll buy into our philosophy and our style of football, you can play for the Tennessee Titans. You can be a productive player in this locker room and on the field. It doesn't matter where you came from."
Round 1/5 - Corey Davis, WR, 6-3, 209, Western Michigan
The Titans needed help at receiver, not only in terms of production, but also just in terms of sheer numbers. Some thought taking Davis this high was a reach, but Jon Robinson's choice of the MAC star at that juncture of the draft was justified when two other first-round receivers went off the board in the next four picks. There was some question as to whether Davis' numbers at Western Michigan will translate, but the Titans like his precision and play-making ability and believe he can make the transition.
Round 1/18 - Adoree' Jackson, CB, 5-10, 186, Southern Cal
Some people have compared the speedy playmaker Jackson to another former Titans first-round draft pick - Pacman Jones. At least on the field. Jackson thankfully does not share Jones' penchant for off-field trouble. The do-everything speedster was dynamic as a cornerback, which will fill a big need for the Titans, and also should take over as their primary punt returner. The Titans might even be tempted to put in a package of offensive plays for Jackson. The only question mark appears to be how the slightly built corner will hold up against NFL receivers.
Round 3/72 - Taywan Taylor, WR, 5-11, 203, Western Kentucky
Another smaller Division I school receiver, Taylor's production at WKU was off the charts, as he caught 184 passes and had 34 touchdowns in his final two years with the Hilltoppers. He has a quick, shifty style and can get deep and turn small gains into big ones with his run-after-catch ability. Again, like Davis, it will have to translate at the NFL level But Taylor will get a chance as the Titans' slot receiver out of the gate and give Marcus Mariota another weapon to work with.
Round 3/100 - Jonnu Smith, TE, 6-3, 248, Florida International
Smith has been compared in style to the Titans' own Delanie Walker, having a similar build and decent speed, having run in the 4.5s. For his first task, he will also get to be a little like Walker when he started his career as a second tight end with a major blocking role, with an eye on eventually taking over as the primary receiving once Walker is finished up.
Round 5/155 - Jayon Brown, ILB, 6-0, 226, UCLA
The Titans traded up in the fifth round, moving nine spots to pick Brown, who projects to be an inside linebacker in the nickel package, most likely coming onto the field to replace veteran Wesley Woodyard. Brown should take the role vacated by Sean Spence, who left for Indianapolis as a free agent.
Round 6/217 - Corey Levin, G, 6-4, 307, Chattanooga
Levin played mostly tackle for the Mocs in college, but also logged some time at guard, where he most likely figures to be at the NFL level. His versatility - he even worked in practice at center - makes him valuable as a backup on the offensive line. How advanced he is will determine if he can unseat a veteran for a spot on the 53-man roster initially or whether he will be a project who needs time to develop.
Round 7/227 - Josh Carraway, OLB, 6-3, 242, Texas Christian
Carraway should help on special teams and provide some depth on the outside to help spell starters Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo. How much he contributes might be dependent on how well last year's second-round pick Kevin Dodd does in his return from foot surgery. Dodd was still experiencing pain in his right foot, and Carraway, a quick pass rusher for TCU, is a decent insurance policy in case Dodd continues to struggle.
Round 7/236 - Brad Seaton, T, 6-8, 330, Villanova
Yes, you read that height and weight correctly. Stevens is a massive body, whose selection was a bit of a surprise, given that the tackle situation is among the most stable spots on the Tennessee roster with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin starting and excelling and Dennis Kelly providing decent depth. Stevens may be a bit of a project, and the Titans can afford to be patient with him, given their strength at tackle.
Round 7/241 - Khalfani Muhammad, RB, 5-7, 174, California
Another position where the Titans might have a hard time finding him snaps, what with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry ahead of him. But Muhammad is different than those two, a smallish runner with good speed and quickness and experience as a kick returner. He essentially will try to earn a spot as the team's third running back and hope to have some role on special teams to be active on game day.