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2007 Titan draft class: A year two outlook

In my last article, I took a look at the prospects of the current Titan rookie class as they attempt to earn time on the playing field during their rookie seasons.
Only a few members of the 2007 Titan draft class contributed on the field in their rookie campaigns. As year two of their careers approaches, let’s take a look at what the remaining 2007 class of draftees have in store for their second seasons.

Michael Griffin DB
Despite some early struggles, Griffin eventually lived up to his billing as the Titans’ first round draft pick in 2007. Splitting time between the safety and cornerback positions, Griffin saved his best football for the Titans’ stretch run, accumulating three of his four interceptions during the last month of the regular season.
Griffin looks to be well on his way to becoming a solid player for years to come.
Chris Henry RB
This is a crucial year for Chris Henry. Drafted in the second round mostly as a result of his excellent combine numbers, Henry struggled a bit during his rookie season. A four-game suspension was the lowlight of Henry’s rookie year that ended with only 119 yards and two touchdowns.
The Titans’ decision to draft the speedy Chris Johnson in the first round of the 2008 draft is undoubtedly an indictment of Henry’s lackluster rookie performance. Hopefully, competition in the form of the dynamic Chris Johnson will bring out the best in Chris Henry.
Paul Williams WR
In 2008, Williams will look to avoid a repeat of his goose-egg performance as a rookie. His first year in the league consisted of 0 catches, and his inability to get activated on game day was a recurring theme in 2007.
Blessed with the god-given physical attributes of size and speed, Williams has the potential to emerge as a factor in the Titans’ passing game. There are several players vying for playing time at the wide receiver position, so Williams must step up if he is to erase the memories of last year’s dismal performance.
Leroy Harris G/C
The retirement of Benji Olson and the departure of Jacob Bell via free agency opened up two starting spots at guard. Jake Scott was signed to man one of the guard spots, with the other position still up for grabs.
Leroy Harris is in a fight with Eugene Amano for the remaining starting guard position. Harris is a talented guy who will get every chance to compete for playing time next season.
Chris Davis WR/PR
Like Paul Williams, Davis is competing with several others for playing time at the wide receiver position. Unlike Williams, Davis did contribute some as a rookie, serving as the team’s punt returner while also catching five passes last season.
Davis is also competing with newly-acquired Chris Carr for the punt-returning job. Davis will have to withstand competition at WR and PR if he expects to be on the field next year.
Antonio Johnson DT
Coming off of a rookie season that ended before it started with a torn ACL, Johnson will have the opportunity to get on the field next year. The departure of Randy Starks opened up a spot in the Titans’ DT rotation, and with the absence of Albert Haynesworth during OTA’s, Johnson will have a great opportunity to impress Jim Washburn and Jeff Fisher as he attempts to become a factor in his second season.
Jacob Ford DE
Like Johnson, Ford’s rookie year also ended prematurely. An Achilles injury sidelined Ford last year, and with the free agency departures of Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy, Ford (along with rookies Jason Jones and William Hayes) will also have the chance to compete for playing time at DE next year.
Of the two defensive linemen that were injured last season, I like Johnson’s chances of getting playing time next year: he has less competition and Washburn has already compared Antonio to former Titan DT Robaire Smith, a solid player for the Titans during their glory years.
Mike Otto OL
Otto’s rookie season consisted primarily of time on the practice squad. In year two of his career, Otto will attempt to compete for time on the active game-day roster.