Titans take Burks as 18th pick in NFL Draft

The Tennessee Titans made former Razorback receiver Treylon Burks the 18th pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft Thursday night, keeping the Warren native in the SEC footprint at least for the early portion of his NFL career.

The Titans were so enamored with the ex-Razorback, who left the program after his third season to seek his NFL fortune, that they traded up to secure his rights by letting their top receiver A.J. Brown go to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Titans also got the 102nd pick in the trade.

The move puts Burks in the spotlight for his rookie season and saves the organization a ton of money. Brown’s deal with the Eagles was reportedly for $100 million over four years with $57 million of that guaranteed.

“My high school head coach said this morning that the Titans were going to get me,” Burks said on a conference call after being drafted by the Titans, according to TennesseeTitans.com. “I didn’t believe him at the time, but once I got the call I was like, ‘This dude was right.'”

Burks (6-3, 225) played in 32 games for the Razorbacks in three seasons with 30 starts. He caught 146 passes for 2,399 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing 38 times for 222 yards and a touchdown.

“I am happy to be a part of the team now, and play my role,” Burks said of the Titans. “I wouldn’t say I am (A.J.)’s replacement, but I am thankful for the opportunity and that they believed in me to make that trade.”

Burks described himself as “Big, fast, physical and fearless.”

Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said he’s excited about Burks.

“He has been an exciting player in the SEC,” Robinson said of Burks. “Big yards per catch, he’s a big target, he’s fast, he’s competitive. He’s a player we spent time with – he came here on a 30-visit and we got to know him. I am excited to get him here in the offense and watch him work.”

Titans coach Mike Vrabel added that Burks’ abilities and skills were attractive to the Titans prior to the trade of Brown.

“We’ve liked him since, when A.J. was on our roster,” Vrabel said of Burks. “He was a player that we were targeting, just because of the skill-set that we mentioned – big, physical. He was a player we really liked whether A.J. was on our roster or he wasn’t.”

Graduate transfer defensive lineman John Ridgeway (6-6, 327 is the next Hog slated to be taken somewhere between the fifth and seventh and final round.

Ridgeway played in 12 games with 11 starts for the Hogs in 2021. He had 39 tackles, 11 solo, four for loss, two sacks and a quarterback hurry.

The two former Razorbacks most likely to hear their name called next are cornerback/safety Montaric Brown (6-0, 190) of Ashdown and end/linebacker Tre Williams (6-5, 255), a grad-transfer from Columbia, Mo.

Brown had 34 starts in 42 games with the Hogs. In four seasons, He had 133 tackles, 77 solo, four for loss, two forced fumbles, seven interceptions and 23 pass breakups.

Williams played 12 games in 2021 starting each of them. He had 28 tackles, 11 solo, 6.5 for loss, six sacks and half dozen quarterback hurries.

Other Hogs who might not be drafted but could be looking forward to free-agent opportunities are All-American and All-SEC linebacker Grant Morgan (5-11, 230), offensive tackle Myron Cunningham (6-6, 325), long snapper Jordan Silver (6-1, 235), and offensive guard Ty Clary (6-4, 315).

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