Scaife fought back from his second knee injury and posted solid seasons in 2003 and 2004, including several key catches in a comeback win against Oklahoma State as a senior. The tape backs up that grade too. Akers said that both of the Cash twins had Texas high on the list the entire time. At 6’-6” and 257 pounds Wick is in the Luke Stocker mold, but he has very little NFL game experience. Kerry never had that huge season, but he always was solid every time he stepped on the field. One of two very talented tight ends in the state that year, along with Martellus Bennett. Pruitt’s primary function was as a run blocker and he performed very well in that role, grading out as the 16th best run blocker out of 81 qualifying tight ends per PFF. While the sample size is very small, the returns on his run blocking opportunities weren’t great. He is under contract for 2019 and 2020 thanks to the two-year extension he signed at the end of training camp, but it’s pretty hard to see a scenario where he is still playing in 2021 and beyond. Their dad was in the service. Losing Walker in the very first game of the season was crippling to this Titans offense. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Offensive Scheme: Erhardt-Perkins. He finished with 80 receptions for 1,089 yards and 12 touchdowns. Why he’s in this spot? He carved out a role as a third down tight end, taking advantage of his ability to beat coverage and make tough catches. Eifert has one of the worst injury histories of any current NFL player, appearing in just 28 of the last 80 games. We saw how quickly the drop off came for Brian Orakpo this season and he is actually two years younger than Walker. However, he suffered a shoulder injury during his first practice as a Titan that sidelined him for the season. He took over as tight ends coach in 2015. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 1992 and was a premium tight end during his time. He was a two-time all-SWC player who helped lead the Longhorns to a win over No. Over the course of the season, the Patriots have been sound against any and all personnel groupings, but the two that've given the Patriots the most trouble relative to all the others have been tight-end heavy "12" and "13" looks. Tennessee ran a ton of multiple tight end sets last season with needs for third and fourth tight ends for blocking purposes. However, after the Titans Week 8 bye, Smith took some noticeable steps forward as a pass catcher even though the run blocking was still inconsistent. Pruitt wound up getting 192 snaps on offense over the course of the season, generally playing as an inline tight end when the Titans went to 13 personnel sets. Related Content Defensive … Other Notable Asst. How he ended up at Texas? He was as versatile as they come at the position. His profile coming out of Southern Illinois in 2015 suggests that he might be able to do more as a pass catcher if needed. But he played two years and started 17 games, catching 76 passes for 947 yards. : Sylvester Croom (Running Backs), Jason Michael (Quarterbacks) and Arthur Smith (Tight Ends) Stadium: Nissan Stadium. The Titans released tight end Delanie Walker on Friday, ending the 35-year-old's seven-year tenure in Tennessee. How can a guy who scored one receiving touchdown be one of the best Longhorns of all time? Pruitt was a midseason addition for the Titans in 2018 as they plucked him off the Texans practice squad after Delanie Walker went down for the season. While he wasn’t flashy or freakishly athletic, he was a solid route runner who understood how to find holes in the defense. How he ended up at Texas? It also helps when your biggest game is also the best game in your career. In reality, Firkser functioned as something of a jumbo slot receiver for Tennessee. Since his departure, the tight end position has basically been forgotten in terms of being an offensive weapon. He finished his career with 75 receptions for 997 yards and five touchdowns and ended up playing for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL. How he ended up at Texas? Judy Battista, a member of … There are some decent options available in free agency, but I think the draft is the more likely spot for the Titans to target help at the tight end position. Eifert and Cook represent the best pass catching options, but they both have drawbacks as well. Fitzgerald ended a drought at the position that began when the Cash twins left Texas. He was really known more for his defensive play at Texas, but he ended up on the Jets Super Bowl team as a tight end. Visit ESPN to view the Tennessee Titans team stats for the 2020 season. At 6’-5” and 250 pounds, the former Hawkeye has prototypical size. Owner: Amy Adams Strunk. Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. would be the top prospect in a lot of drafts, but he is expected to be somewhere around the third spot this year. Still, he was instrumental in Texas beating Alabama in Bear Bryant’s last bowl game. He finished his career with 40 receptions for 645 yards and a touchdown. And that’s the way it worked out. Fred Akers was recruiting him before he left and he still ended up coming to the Longhorns when David McWilliams took over. Stocker is a useful NFL player, but heading into his age-31 season with a career high of 165 receiving yards, it’s unlikely that he drives much interest on the free agent market. He finished his career with 71 receptions for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. What they’re saying Ted Koy: “He is a multi-talented guy. Spreading the field with three wide receivers on nearly every snap works for the Rams, but it’s certainly not the only way to excel on offense in 2019. Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson has become a popular mock draft pick for Tennessee in recent weeks and he’s the consensus top player at the position. He led Texas in receptions in both 1964 and 1965 while playing on both sides of the ball. It was a very green group of targets overall for the 2018 Titans, but that was particularly true for the tight ends. Smith is one of the guys that I think will benefit the most from the continuity on offense this offseason. That's 50 catches, including 10 in the Rose Bowl. What they’re saying Ted Koy: “He was a big, strong kid who could catch anything in sight. The optimist in me says that Walker is far from a “normal” 35-year old. That’s why I won’t necessarily dismiss tight end as a possibility, even in Round 1. Where Firkser belongs in 2019 is tough to peg. The Titans got solid production from their tight ends this season, as Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser combined for 80 receptions, over 800 yards … However, that doesn’t mean that the Titans should prepare for the season as if 2017 Delanie is walking through that door. This would be a great draft class to find a player who can be a long term complement to Jonnu Smith or even supplant him as the “TE1 of the future”. He was a threat when the Longhorns got close to the end zone and a threat to stretch the middle of the field. We will get to what that might look like later, but I think that even a diminished Walker would be capable of providing good blocking and a sure set of hands on third down in the middle of the field. Wick was a late season addition signed off the 49ers practice squad when Jonnu Smith went down with a knee injury. However, the Titans have to at least be ready for the possibility that Walker comes back looking a lot more like his actual age than he did before he went down in Miami. The 40 time and the vertical are both in the 90th percentile of tight ends in the history of the combine. The Titans parted ways with outside linebacker Cameron Wake and running back Dion Lewis on Thursday. On Friday night, NFL Network revealed 18 offensive linemen, five tight ends and four head coaches on the NFL's All-Time Team. Executive VP/General Manager: Jon Robinson. He could find that opening from his tight end spot and sit down in those little zones. He wasn’t just the team’s leading receiver in 2017, but he was also a top 10 run blocking tight end in the NFL according to PFF’s charting. It’s unlikely that he’s going to suddenly become a star at the position, but I think his play was good enough to make Luke Stocker expendable (more on that later). The Titans ended up with four tight ends setting or tying career highs in receiving yards before the season was over. However, his run blocking, while not as elite as Hockenson’s, is good enough that he’s not just a glorified receiver. That ability translated to regular season NFL games as well. The Titans could choose to bring Stocker back on a cheap contract to help supplement the blocking in this group, but he really doesn’t bring more to the table than Pruitt at this point. Formed a dynamic trio with his twin brother Keith and receiver Johnny Walker during their four years on campus. He graded out as the 52nd ranked run blocker out of 81 qualifying tight ends and that will need to get much better if he wants to become more than a role player in this offense. How he ended up at Texas? Ahh yes, my early training camp crush that quickly developed into a preseason crush and then a regular season crush. Yet, he is still a popular pick as a regression-target this year. Special thanks also goes to former Texas coaches David McWilliams and Fred Akers who helped fill in a lot of the gaps in the recruiting sections for this series. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Why he’s in this spot? Not elite by any means, but pretty good for a second year tight end. They would all be an upgrade on Stocker and depending on their market they might be able to be added for cheap, giving the Titans a low risk depth option that could be a credible TE2 if needed. As the Tennessee Titans begin to assess the off-season and rank priorities regarding which of their free agents to try and retain, one position group stands out as a glaring All four Titans tight ends headed toward free agency | Titans News | titaninsider.com Sampleton, who had a great wingspan, had 68 receptions for 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns as he showed time and again that he was just a big, athletic target with soft hands. That work ethic combined with his natural gifts make me interested to see what Year 3 looks like for Jonnu. Why he’s in this spot? Could Aaron Glenn be a candidate for the Titans DC job? The coup de grace was his 10 catches against Southern Cal in the national championship game. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Stocker’s first full season in Tennessee was arguably the best season of his career. And now all of the rando tight ends on the Titans roster are starting to outscore him. The only reason he chose junior college is he didn’t have any offers. In his five healthy games after the bye, he produced 15 catches, 217 yards, and three touchdowns on 17 targets. Delanie Walker is arguably the greatest Tennessee Titans tight end of all time, although debatable. There is a pretty large crop of notable free agent tight ends slated to hit the market in March if they aren’t re-signed prior to the end of the league year. That list is essentially four of the five best tight ends of all time and Ben Watson who never seems to age. Former Vanderbilt tight end Jared Pinkney signed a futures contract with the Titans, the team announced Wednesday. I consistently felt like Pruitt was the Titans most consistent blocker among the tight end group. His versatility and toughness have taken him a long way. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 258 pounds. You got the feeling he was about to break through to become a big-time player after his redshirt-sophomore season. He played college football at Southern Illinois, where he was a two-time first-team FCS All-American.He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round, 143rd overall of the 2015 NFL Draft Only five tight ends in the last 50 years have had a 500-plus yard season at 35 or older: Tony Gonzalez, Ben Watson, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, and Shannon Sharpe. It’s uncomfortable and sad, but it would be irresponsible for the Titans not to prepare for the possibility. All four # Titans tight ends are heading toward free agency this off-season, making for some tough decisions for the front office. While that sounds like a good thing — and it is good for those players individually — it really speaks to just how inexperienced this group was for most of the season. With that, let’s jump into a look at which tight ends are returning from last year’s roster, which ones might not be, and what the Titans might do to improve this group for the 2019 season. Thomas selected the Longhorns over Oklahoma in a recruitment that was Texas all the way behind the scenes. What they’re saying Bobby Burton: “I remember listening to Mike Mayock on his NFL Draft coverage talking about how much he liked David Thomas. Tennessee Titans tight end Geoff Swaim scored only the second touchdown of his six-year NFL career Sunday at Jacksonville. Run blocking still needs to be a major point of emphasis with him. A few guys that are interesting to me are Maxx Williams, Jesse James, and C.J. What about Pruitt or Firkser as TE2? Smith’s ceiling is near limitless thanks to his elite athleticism, but reaching that ceiling is never easy. Walker has a chance to join some elite company if he can reach that number this year, but history suggests that the Titans shouldn’t necessarily count on it. How he ended up at Texas? The Tennessee Titans have been the home to a few memorable receivers in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts announced today that tight end Jack Doyle has been ruled out of Thursday’s Week 10 matchup against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. With Texas trailing 14-8 and just 4:47 left in the game against Arkansas in 1969, Peschel made an extremely difficult over-the-shoulder catch from quarterback James Street in double coverage to gain 44 yards and convert a key fourth down. Where would tight end rank among the Titans biggest needs if you removed Delanie Walker from the picture? To his credit, Smith was often seen getting extra work after practice during the 2018 season, catching passes from Marcus Mariota or working the Juggs machine. The simplest answer to this question is to get a healthy Delanie Walker back in the lineup and watch him do his thing. Delanie Walker only has a year or two remaining at an elite level. © 2005-2021 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you needed him at quarterback or running back, he could have played it. He had a very good family on top of everything.”. After bouncing down to the practice squad to make room for Pruitt, Firkser would eventually earn another promotion to the active roster. He had more athletic ability than David Thomas but didn't always put that together on the field. However, the Titans have other holes on the roster that can use a first-round talent before adding to the tight ends room. Getting him back in 2019 figures to be a huge boost to the offense, but one of the biggest questions of the offseason will be whether he can get back to the level he played at from 2015 to 2017. A day later, the team announced it has released tight end … If the Titans decide to add to their tight end room this offseason, here are some options for how they can do it. Firkser stood out early on at training camp and then put up 10 catches, 108 yards, and a touchdown in preseason action before making the 53-man roster as a surprise inclusion. Iowa actually has the top two tight ends this year as Noah Fant joins Hockenson at the top of the class. Fant is also 6’-5” but slightly lighter at 241 pounds. He was a highly productive receiver as a senior, catching 81 balls for 861 yards and 13 touchdowns. The tight ends might be the players most affected by the Titans’ shift in offensive philosophy under new head coach Mike Vrabel. The Titans rarely asked him to block in the running game. How he ended up at Texas? Regardless of where you come down on the question of a possible first round tight end, I think we can all agree that seeing Delanie Walker streaking down the seams at Nissan Stadium will be a sight for sore eyes in September. Known for the time he missed almost as much as for the time he played. Pinkney, an undrafted free … While he didn’t have a lot of receptions, he always seemed to make big catches. Why he’s in this spot? They were used to having to overcome people not knowing how good they were because they were a military family who moved around a lot. 1 if he had spent one more year on campus. 2018 Stats: 9 catches on 11 targets (81.8%), 102 yards, 1 touchdown, 11.3 YPC. Mack Brown even told Scaife he probably should retire. Most analysts believe Hockenson to be a better prospect than his former Iowa teammate George Kittle. While Walker has been in the NFL for 13 years, his first 7 were as a backup in San Francisco so he realistically has far less wear and tear than your average 35-year old tight end. 2018 Stats: 4 catches on 7 targets (57.1%), 52 yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.0 YPC. His mother was Jack Perry’s sister. MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser are interesting pieces, but both of them are relatively one-dimensional at this point in their careers. Only Rob Gronkowski and George Kittle among current tight ends provide the kind of run blocking advantage that Walker does along with elite pass catching skills. However, though it’s not well known, with about two days left before signing day, Finley almost ended up switching back to Arizona and that hinged on Bennett’s college decision. BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 11, 2020 - Tight Ends Coach Todd Downing of the Tennessee Titans Tight end MyCole Pruitt #85 of the Tennessee Titans and Tight end Jonnu Smith #81 of the Tennessee Titans on the bench during the divisional playoff game between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round game at M&T Bank Stadium in … It’s really hard to see the Titans making a move for him given that track record. The Longhorns didn’t realize how much they’d miss him. On Tuesday Hookem.com looked back and ranked the best defensive backs, which is one of (and possibly the) strongest position in the history of the school. Conrad, San Jose State’s Josh Oliver, UCLA’s Caleb Wilson, and LSU’s Foster Moreau are also considered possible top 100 picks. He took over as tight ends coach in 2015. BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 11, 2020 - Tight Ends Coach Todd Downing of the Tennessee Titans Tight end MyCole Pruitt #85 of the Tennessee Titans and Tight end Jonnu Smith #81 of the Tennessee Titans on the bench during the divisional playoff game between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. Out of 181 offensive snaps for Firkser, the team ran the ball just 41 times. Tight end isn’t an immediate need if Delanie Walker comes back and plays at a similar level to his elite pre-injury ability. In today's All-time tight end rankings, Hookem.com looks at the best tight ends to ever put on the burnt orange. Why he’s in this spot? The Titans added him to the roster just before OTAs got started. Mackey was a five-time Pro Bowler, also being named an All-Pro three times. It was the same with them as it was with Johnny Walker. However, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see them turn most of his blocking tight end role over to Pruitt and decide that Stocker’s time here has run its course. Expanding that view to the entire offense, you’ll find that 8 of Mariota’s top 11 pass catchers set career highs in receiving yards. Further down the list, Georgia’s Isaac Nauta, Utah State’s Dax Raymond, Stanford’s Kaden Smith, Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger, Ole Miss’ Dawson Knox, Kentucky’s C.J. Fitzgerald’s recruitment was unorthodox because he was a California junior college player that was a full qualifier out of high school. What they’re saying Kirk Bohls: Bo Scaife was victimized by one knee injury after another, but he left Texas as one of the most resilient tight ends and Longhorn players ever. And he was a big target for the quarterback who was reliable when the ball came his way. His strengths are elite speed and leaping ability that make him capable of both stretching the field up the seams and dominating in the red zone. He probably wasn’t used as much as he could have been back then, but a lot of tight ends/receivers could say the same thing.”. He was undersized, but he was just a winner. For a brief time Sunday, Delanie Walker had a share of a franchise record. Thomas provided a much needed safety net for Vince Young in 2005 as the Longhorns marched to an unbeaten season and the school’s first national championship in 35 years. If anything, he was behind his time, because he could play all the positions. Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Phillip Supernaw (89) celebrates after a special teams stop against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. What they’re saying Ted Koy: “He was ahead of his time. After three Pro-Bowls with … The kind of options the Titans would have with 13 personnel would be extremely difficult to matchup with for opposing defenses. The Saints and Patriots — the third and fourth ranked offenses in 2018 — were also among the lowest users of 11 personnel (three wide receivers), though they split their heavy packages between two back sets and two tight end sets more evenly than Kansas City did. He could come off of his stance from the blocking position, which a lot of people really struggled to do, but it never was an issue for him. He finished his career with 98 receptions for a position-high 1,367 yards and 15 touchdowns. ... 997 yards and five touchdowns and ended up playing for the Tennessee Titans … On Sunday, he’ll be looking to find the end zone for the third time in six games against the Bengals. The Titans … Jonnu Smith, Titans vs. Texans. He was just a big, old tight end that had speed. Each of these guys are young and have a good blend of receiving and blocking skills. If he is brought back I would expect him to be firmly on the roster bubble heading into camp. He looked like a guy that wasn’t completely sure what he was supposed to do at times in Matt LaFleur’s offense, but the promotion of his old position coach to offensive coordinator and keeping the same terminology and framework of the offense intact heading into a new season should allow Smith to focus on improving the details of his game. Jason Witten set to break all-time games mark for tight ends By JOSH DUBOW - an hour ago Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jerome Baker (55) tackles Las Vegas Raiders tight end Jason Witten (82) during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas. As much as it hurts to think about, the end is close for Walker. He knew in his heart that Texas was the place for him. He was in the early days when they were running the I-formation, so he was mainly a blocker. Uzomah. What they’re saying Kirk Bohls: “Jermichael Finley didn't always live up to his vast potential and left two years of eligibility at a time when Texas had no other tight end options. He was a lot like David Thomas. A season ending injury for three time Pro Bowler Delanie Walker derailed what was expected to be a … The star tight end was just so central to everything the team wanted to do on that side of the ball. How he ended up at Texas? MyCole Pruitt (born March 24, 1992) is an American football tight end for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). How the team prepares for that grim scenario will have a lot to do with their opinion of Jonnu Smith heading into his third year. At 35 years old and coming off a major leg injury it would only be natural for him to lack a little bit of the explosiveness he still had before he went down, but to what degree remains to be seen. Visit ESPN to view the Tennessee Titans team depth chart for the current season He grew up wanting to play for Texas, according to Fred Akers. It would be pretty surprising if he wound up making the 53-man roster out of camp. This season, Cincinnati’s defense is allowing 9.8 fantasy points (fourth-most) and 10 touchdowns to opposing tight ends. According to Fred Akers, he was one of those who felt like he could join other people just like himself in terms of talent and goals at a university. Well, not only was he a great blocking tight end, but he also was a part of one of the greatest plays in Longhorns history. Cook still remains allergic to blocking which makes him an older, more established version of Jonnu Smith and not a good fit for the Titans. 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