This late-round pick in 2020 is going to be very important for the Tennessee Titans.
The Tennessee Titans rode an impressive magic carpet as the 2020 NFL Cinderella story all the way to the AFC Championship game where they ran into the mighty Kansas City Chiefs.
They had a bit of an up-and-down 2020 offseason with Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill returning but key starters like right tackle Jack Conklin and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey moving on.
The 2020 NFL Draft was focused on replacing Conklin and another key starter in cornerback Logan Ryan, and the Titans used their top two selections on right tackle Isaiah Wilson and cornerback Kristian Fulton.
Although Wilson and Fulton will undoubtedly play major roles in the 2020 season for the Titans, one late-round pick is poised to play a hugely important role this season.
Cole McDonald trades the island for Music City
Hawai’i quarterback Cole McDonald was hot and cold for the Rainbow Warriors, throwing for over 8,000 yards in the past two seasons with 69 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions.
McDonald sometimes ran so cold that Hawai’i actually benched him twice over the past two seasons, but his talent is impossible to ignore.
McDonald profiles as one of the best athletes from the 2020 NFL Draft at the quarterback position, and a fascinating backup type with outstanding speed and explosiveness.
Although no one is expecting it to happen, there’s a very real chance the Titans would have to call upon McDonald at some point to play in 2020.
Despite the fact that he played tremendous football in 2019, Ryan Tannehill has not successfully completed a 16-game regular season since 2015. Part of the reason he landed in Tennessee was the fact that he couldn’t stay on the field for the Dolphins.
No one is wishing him injury, but the possibility exists that the Titans could be one snap away from Cole McDonald taking snaps in 2020.
The Titans’ other backup option for this season is former AAF quarterback Logan Woodside, who spent 2019 on the Titans’ practice squad.
He could be the favorite to win the backup position based on the time he’s spent in the offense already, but there’s no doubt that McDonald has a bigger upside and offers the speed to make plays with his legs if he would have to provide relief for Tannehill.
The Titans are going to have to be patient with McDonald’s development, but there’s a very real chance he is the most important late-round pick on this team as Ryan Tannehill’s potential backup.
McDonald obviously has arm talent and athleticism, but he’s not yet reigned it all in. If he can learn to play with some consistency, he could wind up being a steal for the Titans and someone who contributes unexpectedly in 2020.