As rookies, the 2009 Tennessee Titan draftees saw their share of playing time.
First-round WR Kenny Britt emerged as a valuable part of the team's passing attack. The M&M boys (CB's Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton) were pressed into on-the-job training due to the Titans' myriad of injuries in their secondary. Unheralded 4th round LB Gerald McRath imposed his wrath against the opposition by stepping up on special teams' and playing well when given time at his natural LB position.
Let's take a look at what's in store for the '09 draft class as they embark upon year-two of their playing careers.
Kenny Britt WR
Coming off an impressive first-year campaign, Britt was poised to continue his emergence into the team's first, true #1 WR since Derrick Mason departed the premises of Nashville several years ago.
Then, the offseason happened. Slowed by a self-acknowledged inability to stay in shape, Britt is behind the pace to say the least. Hopefully, he'll be ready to play as training camp unfolds later this month.
Although my hopes have been somewhat tempered by his offseason struggles, I'm still optimistic that Britt will fill the role as the Titans' #1 WR next year and beyond.
Sen'Derrick Marks DT
After a slow start to his rookie campaign, Sen'Derrick started to make his mark towards the end of the 2009 season. As the Titans' playoff chances faded, Marks received additional playing time and displayed the potential of becoming a nice little player down the road.
Since I was impressed with his combination of size and athletic ability and his pass-rushing talents, I'm expecting Marks to serve as a solid player in the Titans' DT rotation this year.
Jared Cook TE
Consistent with his enigmatic ways, Cook has tantalized us with his mouth-watering athletic abilities while simultaneously frustrating us with his inability to turn his vast potential into production.
Of course, it's only his second-season so there's still time for Cook to emerge as the dynamic receiving threat he's capable of becoming.
However, until Jared attains some consistency, visions of Ben Troupe will continue to haunt us.
Ryan Mouton CB
Mouton's NFL career got off to a rocky start due to his struggles defending NFL wide receivers and his forgettable mishaps as a returner.
Heading into his second season, Mouton is one of the youngsters vying for the right to start next to Cortland Finnegan at the cornerback position.
Honestly, I'm anything but confident in Mouton's chances of winning the starting-opposite-to-Finny sweepstakes and I think I speak for Titans' fans everywhere by saying that hopefully, his days of returning punts and kicks are over.
Gerald McRath LB
As I mentioned earlier, McRath was the surprise of the '09 draft class as he made the most of his opportunities during his rookie season.
Unfortunately, his momentum heading into year-two of his career came to an abrupt halt due to a league-mandated four-game suspension.
Once his suspension ends, I'm hopeful that McRath can bounce back and once again emerge as a contributor at the LB position.
Troy Kropog OT
Playing behind stalwarts Micheal Roos and "Big Country" Stewart, Kropog's opportunity for playing time was virtually non-existent during his rookie season.
Barring an injury to the Titans' aforementioned dynamic duo at the tackle position, Kropog will continue his training as an NFL offensive lineman on the sidelines and the practice field.
Javon Ringer RB
After showing great promise last preseason, Ringer spent the vast majority of his rookie year on the bench. Of course, his inability to get playing time is in no way, shape or form an indictment of his abilities: blame the emergence of CJ2K as the main reason why Ringer's opportunities were limited in 2009.
With LenDale White leaving the building, Ringer is poised to become the team's #2 RB option in 2010. Although Chris Johnson will continue to be the guy (as long as he avoids a holdout), Ringer should have a few more opportunities to run the football next year.
Jason McCourty CB
Similar to fellow CB Ryan Mouton, McCourty received his share of on-the-job-training at the CB position as a rookie due to the Titans' slew of injuries. Although, like Mouton, McCourty experienced struggles as well, I was a little more impressed with what "J-Mac" brought to the table.
As we get closer to training camp, McCourty has caught the eyes of the coaching staff by emerging as perhaps the favorite to start opposite of Cortland Finnegan at the CB position in 2010.
Starting later this month, we'll see if McCourty is able to seize his opportunity to become a starter in only his second season.
Dominique Edison WR
Buoyed by a solid showing during last year's preseason, Edison emerged as a surprise member of the Titans' 53-man roster as a rookie.
Despite his exhibition exploits, Edison failed to make his mark during the regular season, as evidenced by his Paul Williams-like goose-egg in the reception department.
There's a ton of competition for playing time at WR this year, so it's paramount that Edison can keep up his good preseason work by once again turning heads in August.
Ryan Durand G
Heading into his second season, Durand will compete for a backup spot at one of the guard positions in training camp.
Nick Schommer S
With arrival of first-year safeties Myron Rolle and Robert Johnson, Schommer's task of making the team just got a little tougher.
That's all from me, folks. Have any thoughts regarding the year-two expectations for the Titans' 09 draft class? Feel free to post your thoughts/opinions/analysis in the comments section below.