The selection of Willis prompted obvious speculation regarding the future of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who reportedly was not consulted prior to the Titans making the decision to trade up and draft Willis, according to Pro Football Talk.
“He was the best player on the board, and we’re excited to have him on the team,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said of Willis, according to ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “Good arm, athletic, moves around well and has a really good skillset. He throws a good ball and is tough to tackle. He’s got a lot of work to do like all these rookies do.”
The Titans reportedly plan on keeping Tannehill as they keep Willis on the bench, but given all of their big moves it certainly begs the question if the clock is ticking on Tannehill’s time as the Titans starter. Tannehill, 33, is coming off a brutal performance in the divisional round where Tennessee lost to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Willis was projected as a first-round talent by many draft analysts, but slid to the third round.
“Ryan Tannehill is a great player, and he’s a great leader for this organization,” Willis said. “I just want to come in and just do all I can in order to get better at my craft. Whenever that time comes for me to get on the field, then that time will come. But until then, I’m just going to try to learn and be the best teammate that I can be.”
“His role will be determined by how quickly he comes in here and learns the offense and improves and gains the respect of his teammates,” Robinson said regarding Willis becoming a starter.
“We want them all to compete for starting roles,” added Vrabel. “Everybody wants the corner office and to live on the top floor. That’s what you try to do in professional sports.”