Expectations For Top 10 Offensive Lineman In NFL Draft: JC Latham

Expectations For Top 10 Offensive Lineman In NFL Draft: JC Latham
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

After the NFL Draft concluded last week, many experts praised the Tennessee Titans for selecting JC Latham seventh overall. They said the Titans addressed a glaring need by selecting the offensive tackle from Alabama. Will JC Latham play a key role in the Titans playoff chances?

While top draft picks are never guaranteed to become top players, offensive linemen chosen that high typically fare well. Not everyone will have a career like Trent Williams, a fourth pick overall in 2010 who has made 11 Pro Bowls and earned three All-Pro honors, but many have become steady contributors.

BetTennessee.com - your trusted source for Tennessee sports betting updates - wanted to know what Titans fans could expect from their newest first-round pick. We utilized Pro-Football-Reference.com and pored over the stats on all offensive linemen taken in the top 10 between the 2010 and 2020 drafts. Since we’re using career value, an aggregate stat, we chose not to include those taken in recent drafts.

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Performance of Top 10 Offensive Lineman In NFL Draft (2010-2020)

 

Average Career Value

Combined All-Pro

Combined Pro Bowls

48.4

14 selections

42 selections

Offensive Lineman with Similar Career Value As Average

In reviewing all offensive linemen from 2010-2020, we found the following players to be performers who have similar career values to the average listed above.

Although he was undrafted, Andrew Norwell played for nine years and finished with a career value of 56. His best year came in 2017 when he was a first-team All-Pro selection for the Carolina Panthers. In his career, the left guard appeared in 128 games for the Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Commanders, starting in 127.

Justin Pugh was the 19th overall pick in the 2013 draft by the New York Giants. He played five seasons for them, switching between right tackle and left guard. In 2018, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent. Last year, he was signed by the Giants in October and started in 12 games. In 11 seasons, he’s racked up a value of 58.

Titans fans will be happy if Latham has a career like Taylor Lewan. The left tackle, the 11th pick in the 2014 draft, amassed a value of 55 over a nine-year career in Nashville. The left tackle was named to the Pro Bowl three times. Lewan’s numbers would likely have been higher had he not suffered knee injuries in 2020 and 2022 that limited him to just five and two games, respectively. He was released by the Titans last year and has been out of football since.

Ronnie Stanley was a top-10 pick like Latham, going to the Baltimore Ravens as the sixth overall pick in 2016. In his first five seasons, he was considered among the top left tackles in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors in 2019. Injuries limited him to just seven games in 2020 and 2021 combined. Over the past two seasons, Stanley has started in 24 games. He has a career value of 55 and is expected to become a free agent in 2025.

Like Norwell, David Andrews was not picked in the draft, but he became the New England Patriots’ starting center during his rookie season in 2015 and has held the position since. With a career value of 55, Andrews has two Super Bowl rings and is still anchoring the Pats’ offensive line.

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Coaching Change May Help Rookie

Latham likely will benefit from a change the Titans made after the 2023 season ended. Coach Mike Vrabel was fired after Tennessee went 6-11. That followed a 7-10 2022 campaign that saw the team lose its final seven games.

Taking over on the sidelines is Brian Callahan, who previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Callahan did not have to look very far to find his offensive line coach.

Bill Callahan, Brian’s father, will serve as the Titans' offensive line coach. A former head coach with the Oakland Raiders and the University of Nebraska, he has more than 20 years of experience coaching linemen. The elder Callahan served the past four seasons as the Cleveland Browns' offensive line coach, helping that team lead the league in rushing average (5.1 yards per carry) in 2021 and amass 2,490 rushing yards in 2022.

In his career, Bill Callahan has helped 14 linemen earn 35 Pro Bowl selections. If Latham can produce quickly, Callahan might get to update those stats.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.