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By: Shaun Calderon
Tennessee Titans rookie running back Tyjae Spears was one of the more controversial picks amongst fans on draft weekend.
Everyone knew how talented the Tulane product was. However, choosing to take a running back with their final pick on Day 2 despite the glaring need at wide receiver was a fairly questionable selection by the Titans.
But after 10 weeks, that decision has paid off for the Titans.
Spears ranks fifth in rushing yards (234) and third in receiving yards (166) among all rookie ball-carriers despite the fact that he’s played second fiddle to Derrick Henry.
Spears’ 400 total scrimmage yards are fourth in the league amongst rookie running backs. Only Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson (820), Detroit’s Jahmyr Gibbs (676) and Miami’s De’Von Achane (527) have more.
Tyjae Spears making plays pic.twitter.com/LG3ADMVGsq
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 31, 2023
Spears’ most impactful moments have occurred on third downs.
He’s not only one of the better pass-blocking backs in the league, but he has proven to be a chain-moving weapon for the Titans’ offense in those situations.
Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he converted a third-and-4 with a 15-yard reception and then converted a third-and-2 with a 13-yard catch-and-run.
Those two plays marked the seventh and eighth times in which he converted a third down this season, either on the ground or through the air. Only Robinson (11) has done it more.
#Titans’ Spears ranks 4th among NFL rookie RBs in scrimmage yards, and he ranks 2nd in 3rd-down conversions by a rookie RB: pic.twitter.com/PpCJ6V4Z09
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) November 16, 2023
It will be interesting to see what the Titans decide to do at running back in 2024, as Henry is set to be a free agent.
If the team ultimately decides to move forward with Spears being the lead back, I don’t think too many people would blame them.
Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: the future is bright for Tennessee’s rookie ball-carrier.
Originally posted on Titans Wire