Rookie mini camp is underway in Nashville for the Titans. In addition to the draft picks such as Jack Conklin and Derrick Henry there are twenty players who have been invited to try out this weekend. Each NFL team can carry 90 players into the preseason before having to cut down to the 53 man roster to open the season. Undrafted hopefuls from across the country will attempt to become one of the 90 to make it into the preseason although they face long odds when you look consider Tennessee drafted ten players and signed eleven undrafted free agents.
With 41 rookies trying to make the roster in addition to the returning players and incoming free agents the players in the rookie mini camp face a long road as they try to make the 53 man roster this summer.
Toledo QB Phillip Ely is a notable name trying out in Nashville this weekend. Ely transfered from Alabama in 2013 after getting caught up in a logjam behind AJ McCarron and Blake Simms and went to Toledo where he had a good career and led the Rockets to a big upset win over Arkansas last year. He had a strong showing at a Regional Combine earlier this year and earned an invitation to the Titan’s rookie mini camp.
Jacob Huesman may be a familiar name to football fans in middle Tennessee. He re-wrote the UTC record book during his time on campus and led the Mocs to three Southern Conference championships while under center. Huesman tried out for the Steelers earlier in the week but did not get an invitation to join their 90 man roster.
The Titans invited three cornerbacks to tryout, Denzel Thompson, Jonathan Rose and Bennett Okotcha along with two safetys, Tim Kilfoy and Qujuan Floyd. Rose is probably the best known of the bunch after a pretty good senior year at Nebraska that saw him pick off Connor Cook last NovemberTennessee is very thin in the secondary after cutting Michael Griffin and losing Coty Sensabaugh to the Rams in free agency. Titans’ GM Jon Robinson drafted corner Tajae Sharpe from UMass and safety Kevin Byard from MTSU. If one of these prospects in the secondary can standout they may have a chance to earn a spot on the roster this summer in the preseason.
Mississippi State tight end Darrion Hutcherson is an intriguing prospect. He stepped up into a starting role as a senior when Gus Walley went down to injury. Hutcherson is a monster at 6’7, 260 pounds. Tennessee is stacked at the position with Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano, Craig Stevens and Phillip Supernaw. If Hutcherson wants to have a shot at making the roster he has a long hard road ahead of him.
Oklahoma center Ty Darlington was projected to be a late round pick but wound up going undrafted and is also competing for a spot on the Titans’ roster in the mini camp. He won the Campbell Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy last season and was on the All-Big 12 first team. Tennessee just signed Ben Jones from the Texans and he is penciled in to be the starter and Brian Schwenke is thought to be the back-up. Darlington will need a good showing to impress the coaching staff.
On the defensive side of the ball Jamal Palmer from Baylor is probably the most familiar name. He was All-Big 12 last year and had monster game against Oklahoma State and Texas last year.
Here is a list of the twenty players trying out for the rookie mini camp for the Titans.
QB Phillip Ely Toledo
QB Jacob Huesman UT-Chattanooga
FB Sam Bergen Rutgers
WR Ben Roberts Montana
WR Reece Horn Indianapolis
WR Devon Price Ohio Northern
WR LaDarius Brown Sam Houston State
TE Darrion Hutcherson Mississippi State
G Golden Ukonu Long Island University Post
C Ty Darlington Oklahoma
C Andrew Ness Northern Illinois
CB Denzel Thompson Southeastern Louisiana
CB Jonathan Rose Nebraska
CB Bennett Okotcha Texas-San Antonio
S Tim Kilfoy, Northern Iowa
S Qujuan Floyd Iowa State
LB Nick Holt Jr. Western Kentucky
OLB Jamal Palmer Baylor
LB Dejon Brown Western Kentucky
DE Mike Smith Southern Mississippi