Tennessee Titans 2022 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

The Tennessee Titans are the reigning regular-season AFC champions, snagging the #1 seed last season en route to becoming one of the AFC teams the Bengals rolled over on their way to the Super Bowl. They responded by trading their young stud wide receiver, A.J. Brown, drafting his replacement, and drafting their quarterback’s eventual replacement. And hey, Derrick Henry won’t be around forever, so maybe that’s why they drafted Haskins, too? They doubled down on their #1 AFC seed by planning for 2025.

FULL TENNESSEE TITANS DRAFT RESULTS
Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 18 Treylon Burks WR Arkansas
2 35 Roger McCreary CB Auburn
3 69 Nicholas Petit-Frere OT Ohio St.
3 86 Malik Willis QB Liberty
4 131 Hassan Haskins RB Michigan
4 143 Chigoziem Okonkwo TE Maryland
5 163 Kyle Philips WR UCLA
6 204 Theo Jackson DB Tennessee
6 219 Chance Campbell LB Mississippi
Round 1, Pick 18 Overall: Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Arkansas (6’2” 225 lbs)
Depth Chart:
WR1:     Treylon Burks
WR2:     Robert Woods
WR3:     Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
WR4:     Racey McMath
WR5:     Dez Fitzpatrick
WR6:     Kyle Philips
TALENT

I wrote this about Treylon Burks in the predraft process:

“A lot of lazy analysts, desperately roaming the countryside crying out for the next Deebo Samuel will see that in Treylon Burks. Personally, I don’t really see a lot of that. I do see, however, another stud wide receiver in Burks: AJ Brown. Burks has great hands, very nice catch & run skills, and a limited route tree. None of that particularly matters because he can take any slant to the house. He’s also exceptionally fast, absolutely destroying one-on-one defenders on nine routes. If you want a player to take over the game via getting first down after first down, then Burks isn’t that man. If you want one player in this class to get the football with the game on the line for a 60-yard touchdown, then that’s exactly where Burks excels. He will feast with a dominant WR1 across from him, but I can also see him evolving into a WR1 of his own.”

So, he’s basically baby A.J. Brown in his skillset, body composition, and play style. Seems like a good guy to replace A.J. Brown, to me.

2022 OPPORTUNITY

If you trade A.J. Brown, then use that pick to draft Baby A.J. Brown, then you better use Baby A.J. Brown the same way you used A.J. Brown. That means lots of targets and manufactured touches. The Titans have only one other difference making pass catcher on their roster (Robert Woods, who is currently injured), meaning there’s every opportunity in the world for Treylon Burks to lead the rookies in targets and catches.

2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

I recently took Treylon Burks in the sixth round of a mock draft, and it honestly felt like stealing. A.J. Brown was a second-round talent last year, and we are able to get 80% of him in the sixth round? It feels like a free space, to me. Burks has all the upside in the world, probably because his upside is Literally A.J. Brown, who flirted with being a top-five fantasy wide receiver before his knees started to betray him.

TALENT
2022 OPPORTUNITY
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Round 3, Pick 86 Overall: Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty (6’1” 219 lbs)
Depth Chart:
QB1:      Ryan Tannehill
QB2:      Malik Willis
QB3:      Logan Woodside
TALENT

In the predraft process, Malik Willis was one of a couple of guys I had faith in in the 2022 quarterback class. But even then, my “faith” in Willis is shaky, at best. He’s a big-armed Jalen Hurts on a good day, but Taysom Hill on a bad one. Willis is extremely athletic, but he uses this in lieu of quarterbacking skills at times, tucking and running at the first sign of trouble. As for his quarterback skills, his accuracy and ball placement is erratic, his decision-making is seemingly done with a d20, and his release is very slow. But other than that, not bad! He throws a pretty deep ball when he decides to do it, and his willingness to move in the pocket or roll out will help play-callers at the next level. He’s insanely fast and shifty, but he’s mostly an instincts runner and doesn’t do a great job of following blockers.

Willis is very toolsy but hasn’t put it all together yet. All-in-all, having Willis in the top three in this class is more an indictment of the class than an endorsement of Willis.

2022 OPPORTUNITY

There’s an NFL adage, “the most popular guy on every football team is the backup quarterback.” That’s because the quarterback is the face of the team, and if the team is struggling, they want to see what the other face can do. It’s also because a lineman can miss an assignment or a linebacker can miss a tackle, but there are others in their position group to help pick up the slack. If a QB messes up, everyone can see it.

That’s all to say this: Ryan Tannehill isn’t the most secure quarterback in the league, and the Titans have big expectations for 2022. After all, they finished the regular season as the #1 seed in the AFC and had ambitions of playing in the Super Bowl. While I don’t think that we see Malik Willis in 2022, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility, especially if Tannehill struggles.

2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

In a 1QB league, there isn’t a real reason to draft Malik Willis. But, if it’s week five, the Titans are 1-3, you aren’t necessarily happy with your QB situation, and you have a free lineup spot to play with, then throw Willis onto your bench. His skillset alone makes him worth a roster spot if he’s playing, but in anything smaller than ten-team leagues, you’re probably wasting your time stashing him. Willis, as I said, is a big-armed Jalen Hurts, or Taysom Hill. Never forget that Taysom Hill, through sheer force of will and being a dual-threat QB, finished QB3 in a week where his passing totals were 19/41 for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. Probably because he ran for 101 yards.

TALENT
2022 OPPORTUNITY
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Round 4, Pick 131 Overall: Hassan Haskins, Running Back, Michigan (6’2” 228 lbs)
Depth Chart:
RB1:       Derrick Henry
RB2:       Hassan Haskins
RB3:       Dontrell Hilliard
TALENT

Haskins is a big bruiser who has decent speed but no next gear. He also cannot evade defenders to save his life. He dances a bit in the backfield but once he chooses a direction, he’s going to go in that direction until someone stops him. He is just a one-cut-and-go runner with zero wiggle or elusiveness. Despite this, he has a decent burst. In the end, he seems to be best suited as a backup somewhere to come in and do some power runs in short-yardage situations. For real NFL purposes, I like this draft pick for the Titans, since they moved on from D’Onta Foreman and got themselves 70% of Derrick Henry in Hassan Haskins, but he is nowhere near the same player as Henry. Luckily for Haskins, the Titans’ scheme is conducive to decent talents that fit the Derrick Henry playstyle. In the end, that’s the only word that can encapsulate Haskins’ talent level: decent.

2022 OPPORTUNITY

Well, that all depends on what you think Derrick Henry will do the year after his broken foot. There are some, like Football Absurdity’s own Mike Valverde, who are shying away from Derrick Henry and are snatching up Hassan Haskins in the later rounds of the draft. Foot injuries have a tendency to linger, and Henry wasn’t inspiring in his playoff return last season.

2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

You could possibly snag Haskins as a hedge against a Derrick Henry injury (and don’t call it a handcuff)! D’Onta Foreman got ahold of the backfield in week 12 last season, and averaged 18 carries for 80 yards without Henry. That’s a decent upside play for Haskins. But, I doubt he gets enough touches to matter without a Derrick Henry injury, so that’s what you’re waiting for, here.

TALENT
2022 OPPORTUNITY
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Round 4, Pick 143 Overall: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tight End, Maryland (6’3” 238 lbs)
Depth Chart
TE1:        Austin Hooper
TE2:        Geoff Swaim
TE3:        Chigoziem Okonkwo
TE4:        Tommy Hudson
TALENT

Chig Okonkwo is a bit of an undersized player for the position from a height perspective, but he also shows great athleticism, is full of bulk, and has a decent ability to catch the football, even if he’s a bit short for a prototypical tight end. If all of that sounds familiar, and in a Titans uniform to boot, that’s because it is. That pretty much describes Delanie Walker, as well. Okonkwo is a developmental tight end, who I doubt will contribute right away, because he needs a bit more polish to his routes and needs a bit more time with a Jugs machine before he will be an NFL contributor on a consistent basis. But, the guy is talented and is a beast on the football field. I like his future, just not a fan of him yet.

2022 OPPORTUNITY

The major reason for this is that the Titans got designated Just Okay Tight End, Austin Hooper, to fill the roster slot ahead of Okonkwo for this season, meaning we aren’t going to see much (if any!) of Okonkwo this season.

2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

Snag him deep in your rookie drafts and startup drafts, but your redraft leagues should not have Chig Okonkwo on your roster.

TALENT
2022 OPPORTUNITY
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Round 5, Pick 163 Overall: Kyle Philips, Wide Receiver, UCLA (5’11” 189 lbs)
Depth Chart:
WR1:     Treylon Burks
WR2:     Robert Woods
WR3:     Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
WR4:     Racey McMath
WR5:     Dez Fitzpatrick
WR6:     Kyle Philips
TALENT

Philips is primarily a slot receiver and special teams return man, but he isn’t too great at being a slot receiver (though he is very good at being a special teams returner). In the slot, he lacks the suddenness, agility, and ball skills to make it at the next level (he fell down on a whip route by himself and runs curved slants, somehow). So, I don’t see a lot about him as a receiver that makes me excited for fantasy football. But, I know why the Titans took him in the fifth round… dude loves to block. I literally had to double-check his height and weight on NFL.com because he played a lot bigger than 5’11” and 189 pounds when the Bruins tasked him with run blocking. That’s ultimately his best trait in the NFL, so don’t expect him to do much for fantasy football.

2022 OPPORTUNITY

He can and should make it onto the gameday roster for his special teams’ acumen, and from there, he’s likely a rotational wide receiver, getting in with and around guys like Racey McMath and Dez Fitzpatrick. There won’t be much there for him to soak up, what with all the targets going to Treylon Burks, Robert Woods, and Austin Hooper.

2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK

I’m excited to watch him knock guys over, but I doubt his name crosses my lips anytime soon in any sort of fantasy football context.

TALENT
2022 OPPORTUNITY
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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