Notable free agent signees:
Burks didn’t see enough targets to make a difference in an offense that struggled mightily to throw the football all year. He had his moments, but getting a return on the investment with that pick will require more than Burks simply improving over time. McCreary made a number of quality plays, using his length to his advantage against more seasoned receivers, but he also committed his fair share of rookie mistakes. He figures to be an important part of Tennessee’s secondary going forward. It’s difficult for a non-elite offensive lineman — especially a tackle — to make a significant difference as a rookie, and Petit-Frere, while consistently available, took his lumps. Tennessee was forced to play Willis while Ryan Tannehill was out, and Willis’ lack of experience showed, so much that the Titans relied on a run-heavy approach in all but one of his appearances. Willis flashed glimpses of his athletic ability, but he has a ways to go before he becomes a viable NFL starter. Haskins saw a handful of carries, but he primarily played special teams until the end of the season. Okonkwo was a surprise contributor, catching 32 passes for 450 yards and three touchdowns as Tennessee’s second option at tight end. Philips carried promise entering his first NFL season, but a couple of early special teams blunders cost him playing time, and a hamstring injury ended his season after just four games played. Campbell spent his rookie year on injured reserve. Stonehouse proved to be an excellent addition, breaking Sammy Baugh’s single-season gross yards per punt average record, set way back in 1940. Stonehouse routinely flipped field position for a Titans team whose struggling offense often needed its inexperienced punter to dig it out of holes. Avery was a quality undrafted pickup who played more on defense down the stretch while serving as a special teamer all season, possibly playing his way into Tennessee’s future plans. Gibbens was a cut-down day casualty who made his way back to Tennessee late in the season, starting the final two games and recording 14 tackles in that stretch.
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