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2009 Tennessee Titans rookie report cards

Yesterday, Andrew got the offseason ball rolling by penning a review of the rollercoaster ride also known as the 2009 Tennessee Titans’ 8-8 season. Continuing down the seemingly endless path of the offseason, today I’ll take a look at the performances of the Titans’ most recent draftees during their rookie years. A first-year review of the ’09 Titan draft class…after the jump. Job well done Kenny Britt lived up to the hype that surrounds a first-round draft selection by stepping up as an immediate contributor to the Titan passing game in ’09. As I mentioned in an article earlier during the season, the sky’s the limit for the talented Britt. He’s a physical guy who can also beat opposing defenses by making plays down the field. Don’t like him as a kick returner, but as a receiver, Britt more than held his own as a rookie. Grade: A Gerald McRath turned heads in the preseason with his impressive play on special teams. Due to injuries at linebacker, McRath was presented with the opportunity for some playing time at his natural position during the regular season. McRath is a tough player who was solid in limited action as a rookie. Moving forward, I expect Gerald to continue to impose his wrath upon the opposition as a valuable cog on the Titan defense for years to come. Grade: B Slowly, but surely Sen’Derrick Marks’ rookie season got off to a slow start, but by the end of the year, he showed us glimpses of the player that he could eventually become. He’s still a bit of a project, but with his physical ability and size, don’t be shocked if Coach Jim Washburn whips Marks into a pretty solid player down the road. Grade: C Growing pains Thanks to a slew of injuries at the CB position, rookies Ryan Mouton and Jason McCourty were both forced into action out of necessity during the early portion of the ’09 season. In addition to his CB duties, Mouton also served as the team’s punt returner in an ill-fated experiment that was plagued by costly fumbles. Considering his struggles and the team’s decision to select him over local favorite D.J. Moore, let’s just say that Mouton got off to a rough start as a Tennessee Titan. Grade: D- As for McCourty, he also had his share of struggles defending NFL wide receivers, but played solidly on special teams. Despite being drafted a few rounds lower than Mouton, I actually like McCourty’s upside a little better due to his size and speed combination. Grade: D+ Great hopes, poor results One of the highlights of OTA’s and mini-camps was the constant display of athleticism from rookie TE Jared Cook. Judging by the rave reviews, Cook seemed poised to emerge as a contributor during his rookie season. Unfortunately, Cook wasn’t able to live up to the offseason hype as he only accounted for 9 catches for 74 yards in his rookie campaign. Hopefully, bigger and better things will be in store for Cook in 2010, especially considering the fact that he cost the Titans a 2nd round pick in April’s draft. Grade: D Dominique Edison’s solid preseason performance caused some to think that if given the opportunity, he could produce a little. Unfortunately, the opportunity never arose for Edison, who did his best Paul Williams impression by not catching a single pass as a rookie. Grade: D- Javon Ringer was another guy who played extremely well in the preseason but was unable to produce when the games mattered. Of course, considering Chris Johnson’s record-breaking season, carries were hard to come by in the Titans’ backfield…just ask LenDale White. As a result of the dearth of opportunities for Ringer to shine, I’ll give him a Matthew Mulligan for now. Grade: Incomplete The rest of the bunch Considering the talent ahead of him, it’s no surprise that we didn’t see much of OL Troy Kropog in ’09. He’s still a big and talented kid, so hopefully he’ll emerge as a solid backup to Michael Roos and Big Country at the tackle position moving forward. Grade: Incomplete Not sure if they have futures in Nashville, but at least for the time being, S Nick Schommer and OL Ryan Durand hung around via the practice squad. Based on the uphill climb facing them as they try to stick around on the Titans’ roster, I’ll grade them harshly for now (Someone’s gotta fail, right?) Grades: F, F Have any thoughts about my grades for the rookies? Feel free to post them in the comments section below.