NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After Jonnu Smith bolted for New England and a rich free-agent deal following the 2020 season, the Titans overestimated what they could do with tight-end leftovers.

They got 8.2 yards per tight-end catch with the lesser group of tight ends as compared to 9.9 the year before.

Chig Okonkwo

Chig Okonkwo/ Courtesy of Maryland athletics

And with their moves, this offseason acknowledged last year was insignificant.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The returns are in and the Titans have assembled a nine-man draft class, two-thirds of which is offense.

They filled out the bulk of their needs, with two receivers, a right tackle (for the third year in a row), a tight end, and depth at running back and in the secondary.

Malik Willis

Malik Willis/ © Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The giant stories, though, were the subtraction of playmaker A.J. Brown, who was dealt to Philadelphia, and the third-round pick of hit-or-miss quarterback Malik Willis.

A look at all the newcomers in their Class of 2022.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Tannehill and his big contract need to be on a ticking clock after the Titans' third-round trade up to draft Malik Willis of Liberty 86th overall.

The veteran starting quarterback is sure to be manning the huddle on opening day and, barring the unforeseen, through this season.

Malik Willis

Courtesy Liberty athletics

But Tannehill’s unwieldy contract and shaky playoff performances clearly prompted the franchise to grab a player they regarded as a value. Teams don’t choose quarterbacks with premium draft picks envisioning them as non-starters, and successful signal-callers on rookie contracts are giant commodities.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A.J. Brown told ESPN he would have taken $22 million a year to stay with the Titans. 

But he actually asked for over $25 million a year and $80 million guaranteed and wouldn’t have stepped on the field once he was back with the team unless the massive deal was in place.AJBrownIND

Holding out of OTAs and tweeting his complaints was only the start of the issues the Titans were expecting to have with Brown, issues that were at the heart of their decision to deal him to Philadelphia in exchange for the 18th and 101st picks in the draft.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback in 2019, the Titans averaged over 30 points a game.

He became the third QB in NFL history to complete 70 percent of his passes and average at least 9 yards per attempt, joining Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana.

Ryan Tannehill

© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

It made perfect sense for the Titans to lock him down with a long-term contract.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The gap between what A.J. Brown wanted to be paid and what the Titans were willing to give him was just too big and so the Titans didn’t let things play out any further.VrabelRobinsonDraft2022

They dealt him to the Eagles for the 18th and the 101st picks in the draft. He got his monster contract from Philadelphia. The Titans moved ahead with Treylon Burks out of Arkansas at 18, and traded 101 when they dumped out of No. 26, their original first-round pick.

Jon Robinson managed to be relatively upbeat and spin things forward as he and Mike Vrabel discussed the first night of the draft.

Vrabel looked and acted miserably. He’s an alpha who does not have personnel power, and had to hitch on to Robinson’s decision but needs to do a better job selling that he’s on board if he wants us to believe it.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It took the Tennessee Titans forever to find a premier receiver in the draft.

There were a ton of poor and mediocre selections between Derrick Mason in 1997 and A.J. Brown in 2019. The team built a reputation for its failure to discover talent at the position. 

Treylon Burks

Courtesy Arkansas athletics

In 43 games, he caught 185 passes for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Faced with a disgruntled Brown, who wanted a payday after three seasons, the Titans dealt him to Philadelphia, who gave him a four-year, $100 million with $57 million guaranteed, per Ian Rapoport.

We'll need to see contract details to know the real total value, but the $57 guaranteed is obviously very good.

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2022 NFL DraftNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Here we are on draft day.

As we await the things to kick off tonight, here are six things I've been thinking about with regard to the Titans and how things might unfold for them.

No QB: They like Ryan Tannehill more than you do. They’ve talked about being great around him. A guy who would be holding a clipboard this season wouldn’t really help them do that, and are any of these guys really going to pan out to be better than him?

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