The Tennessee Titans drafted former Cincinnati Bearcats tight end Josh Whyle with the No. 147 overall selection in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Drafting Whyle helps complete Tennessee’s offseason transformation at the tight end position.
"When that call came, I don't even know if he could understand what I was saying. My heart was pounding. We're both just excited for me to get down there and contribute any way I can to the team."#Titans Select Cincinnati TE Josh Whyle in Fifth Round of NFL Draft— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) April 30, 2023
New general manager Ran Carthon inherited a roster with one tight end under contract. That of course is Chigoziem Okonkwo, who flashed a ton of potential as a dynamic pass-catcher throughout his rookie season. Carthon was searching for compliments to Okonkwo, and he found an exciting running mate in Whyle.
Firstly, Carthon decided against re-signing Austin Hooper and Geoff Swaim. Hooper disappointed in 2022 and recently signed a contract with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency. Swaim remains available via the open market, but the Titans haven’t shown legitimate interest in re-signing Swaim, who was essentially replaced by Trevon Wesco. Wesco is a similar “Y” in-line tight end who will handle blocking duties.
Whyle becomes the third NFL-worthy tight end on Tennessee’s current 90-man roster. Whyle is a 6-foot-6, 250 pound athletic weapon. A red-zone threat, Whyle compiled 15 touchdowns across four campaigns. Whyle accounted for 88 receptions and 1,062 receiving yards. Whyle was essentially a three-year starter (2020-22) after backing up Josiah Deguara in 2019.
Whyle is an athletic standout. He’s an excellent route-runner with plus-level body control, reliable hands and ball skills. Whyle is more elusive as a post-catch threat than his size and frame would indicate.
Whyle possesses some exciting athletic traits. He ran a 71st-percentile 4.69 40 with a 69th-percentile 1.62 10-yard split. He’s going to compete for a pass-catching role in 2023.
Josh Whyle was drafted with pick 147 of round 5 in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 8.98 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 114 out of 1105 TE from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/74bp9vlBYc pic.twitter.com/ImbVM6iE0v— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2023
Whyle fits somewhere in-between Okonkwo and Wesco. He’s a better in-line blocker than Oknonkwo is, but he’s not a Y-only type like Wesco is. Carthon carefully crafted a three-man tight end room with differing skill sets that will allow offensive coordinator Tim Kelly to utilize his options appropriately based on down-and-distance and in-game situations.