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Titans QB Ryan Tannehill excited about rookie TE Chigoziem Okonkwo

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill stirred up plenty of controversy when he took to the podium to speak with local members of the media earlier this week. Tannehill’s comments regarding mentoring rookie quarterback Malik Willis have gone viral despite being much ado about nothing. For those who watched the press conference, Tannehill actually had some interesting comments to make. He especially lit up when asked about new Titans tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo, who the team drafted with the No. 143 overall selection in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

“As soon as you turn the tape, this guy [Okonkwo] looks the part,” Tannehill said. “I don’t know much about him yet, but he looks the part. He’s big, long, he looks strong. I saw a couple of plays where he catches the ball on a flat route and he turns it up-field and he’s breaking tackles in the open field. He seems to have strong hands. I like some of the things I saw on tape. We obviously have to get him here and implement him into our system. He definitely has some traits that has me excited.”

Okonkwo enjoyed a career-best season as a senior in 2021 by recording 52 receptions for 447 yards and five touchdowns. The Titans lacked high-level production at the tight end position last season following the departure of Jonnu Smith. Interestingly enough, Okonkwo features several similar traits as Smith, both from a size and play-style perspective. They’re both well-built, compact tight ends that can create for themselves after the catch. Okonkwo had an excellent performance at the NFL Scouting Combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds. He also leaped a 35.5 inch vertical. Okonkwo is exactly the type of athlete the Titans have had success with at the tight end position in the past.

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