With needs at defensive back and wide receiver, the Tennessee Titans drafted to their needs in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night in Philadelphia. Here is a first round recap from TitansOnline’s Jim Wyatt
Titans select Western Michigan WR Corey Davis in first round (5th overall) of 2017 NFL Draft.
Corey Davis hoped the Titans would pick him in the NFL Draft.
Even before Thursday, the Western Michigan receiver declared Marcus Mariota his favorite quarterback in the league. He said his pre-draft visit to the Titans earlier this month felt like home.
Davis got his wish. The Titans used the fifth overall pick of the draft to select him.
“It just feels right, and it is such a blessing,’’ Davis said just moments after walking across the stage, and shaking hands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “I didn’t really expect to be picked at 5, and for it to be the Titans, I am just so happy. It all feels so surreal.
“Now, I am ready to go. I am ready to help the team out. I am going to do everything in my power to help this team. I am hoping to make a big impact, but I know I have to take it one day at a time.”
Davis is an imposing figure, standing nearly 6-3, at 209 pounds, with good speed. Davis caught 97 balls for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, and his 5,285 career receiving yards is an FBS record. Davis caught 331 footballs and scored 52 touchdowns in his collegiate career.
Davis said he’s thrilled to join the Titans, and play with Mariota.
“That is my favorite quarterback,’’ Davis said of Mariota. “He is smart, he is very accurate and I told you before I like the swagger he has going on. He is very poised, and he is a great leader. Catching passes from him, it is going to be right. He is on his way to being one of the greatest, that’s for sure. Anything I can do to help the team out, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Davis, who also visited the Ravens, Eagles, Browns and Cardinals, was the first receiver taken in the NFL Draft, ahead of Clemson’s Mike Williams (7th to Chargers) and Washington’s John Ross (9th to Bengals).
“Me and the GM, we hit it off,” Davis said of Jon Robinson. “His faith is really strong, my faith is really strong and we were talking about a lot of things, talking about life. When I was there I met with the OC (Terry Robiskie), and he is real cool, real laid-back. The head coach (Mike Mularkey), the GM, they seemed to like me. We kind of hit it off. Overall, it went really well, really smooth.
I am looking forward to going to Tennessee and working.”
Davis said he broke down after hearing his name called. It was the end of a long journey, and also the beginning of a new one.
“I am trying to hold it back right now,” Davis said. “I keep saying it, but it really is a blessing to be here, a blessing from God. I was nervous, anxious, didn’t know what was going to happen coming into the day.
“I am just so happy they called my name. They saw something in me, and they believed in me, and I am thankful for that. I love it, man. I love everything about it.”
Titans Select USC Defensive Back Adoree’ Jackson 18th Overall
Adoree’ Jackson has a winning personality.
As he stood on the “Rocky Steps” here at the NFL Draft, the USC cornerback was grinning ear to ear after being selected with the 18th overall pick in the first round Thursday night. Conversations come easy for the versatile playmaker, he admits.
It’s why he felt so good about all of his pre-draft visits, and his prospects of getting picked early.
“I feel like every time I get a visit a team, (the team) will pick me,” Jackson said with a smile. “I just felt like I’d just be myself and at the end of the day, people would just like me for being me.
“But at the end of the day you don’t pick players for personality, I know that. It’s about needs and wants, and being able to help a team. (The Titans) picked me because they thought I could help the team.”
The Titans snagged Jackson to bring some action.
At USC, he was the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top cornerback. He finished the season with 55 tackles, five interceptions and 11 passes defensed while totaling 1,230 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.
In addition to playing cornerback, the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Jackson also saw time at receiver, kick returner, punt returner and running back.
“I can do more than one thing on the defense — I can play outside, I can play inside. I can also return,” Jackson said of his versatility. “And if I am needed on offense you can throw me out there whenever. I am just thankful the coaches at Tennessee believed in me and picked me up.
“I am fired to go put a helmet on, put a jersey on, strap up the cleats and to go out to practice right now.”
Jackson, who made a pre-draft visit to the Titans earlier this month, should make an immediate impact in the secondary, and beyond.
He was the 2016 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and he ranked first in Pac-12 history in career kickoff-return touchdowns (four), and fourth all-time in career punt-return scores (four). He was a two-time finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in major college football.
“When they were up on the board I was hoping they would pick me, and when they did it just felt right,” Jackson said of the Titans. “The coaches liked me and I liked the coaches, so it is just a blessing to hear my name.”
Jackson, who grew up in Illinois but moved to California before his sophomore year in high school, said the Titans made him feel comfortable during his visit. And it continued with the phone call he received from Titans GM Jon Robinson on Thursday night.
“He was like, Are you ready to be a Titan?,” Jackson said with a smile. “I talked to him, the head coach, and I went to the lady at the front desk. It was cool, and they all had that southern hospitality that I love and like. I felt welcome right away from the phone call.
“And it was just a great feeling when I came to visit. It felt like the coaches were warm-hearted, it felt like a family, the organization. I get that southern hospitality vibe. So I’m happy how things worked out. Now, I’m ready to get to work.”