By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — A pair of now departed players are the only members of the Tennessee Titans to make ESPN’s top players of the decade from the AFC South. The list was made public last week, and Delanie Walker was chosen as the finest Titan and the starting tight end on that team. He was selected by writer Turron Davenport. “Walker was one of the best free-agent signings in Titans history,” Davenport said on ESPN’s website. “He was the epitome of consistency for Tennessee, with an ability to generate yards after the catch and consistently make plays in traffic. He was the team’s primary pass-catcher in the first five years of his Titans career. Before suffering a horrific ankle injury in the 2018 season opener, Walker averaged 71.2 receptions, 831.2 yards and 5.2 touchdowns from 2013-17. Walker’s 94 receptions for 1,088 yards in 2015 was the franchise’s most productive season for a tight end. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in three of his five full seasons with the Titans.”
Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who was traded to Denver in the offseason in what remains a controversial decision received an honorable mention.
“Casey was a mainstay on the Titans’ defensive line and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2013 after posting 10.5 sacks,” Davenport added. “He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past five seasons in Tennessee. Casey’s versatility allowed him to make an impact on games while playing up and down the defensive line.” Walker’s time with the Titans was marred the final two seasons by injury. He only played one game in 2018, and then his comeback was hampered last season by recurring problems with his ankle. He was cut by the Titans during the offseason. Casey has remarked that he felt like being tossed aside and treated like garbage after the Titans traded him to the Denver Broncos for a seventh-round pick. He’ll be facing his former team in the season opener assuming the NFL year starts on time.
Still, both players should ultimately get a spot in the team’s “Ring of Honor,” and both are the best at their positions that the Titans have had so far in Nashville.
The Titans also had four players land sports on Pro Football Focus’ All-Decade top 101 list, though surprisingly Walker was not one of them. Safety Kevin Byard was listed at number 93, and newly acquired cornerback Jonathan Joseph was right behind at 94. Casey was number 96, while edge rusher Cameron Wake was the highest rated, finishing at number 41.