NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson's first draft class produced two starters (right tackle Jack Conklin and receiver Tajae Sharpe), one regular contributor (safety Kevin Byard), one capable player (Derrick Henry) stuck behind an excellent starter and one guy who's getting a late-season look (cornerback LeShaun Sims). All 10 members of the draft class are still around, with one on injured reserve and one just elevated from the practice squad.
Best rookie: Unquestionably, it's Conklin, the starting right tackle. He has been excellent in pass protection, giving up just one sack so far, and is solid in run blocking as well. Conklin has proved to be just what Robinson thought he was when the Titans traded up to ensure they landed him eighth overall.
Most improved rookie: Byard gets better and better. He has good ball sense and field awareness, coming up to make stops on run plays, delivering hits in the secondary and blitzing effectively. He was a ball hawk at Middle Tennessee, where he had 19 interceptions. That's the next step for him with the Titans.
Most disappointing rookie: Outside linebacker Kevin Dodd was the 33rd pick overall but didn't make much of an impact when he played, then felt he was dealing with leftover stuff from spring surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. He was scratched for two games when the Titans said he was healthy but not producing sufficient effort in practice. After those two games and a bye, they put him on IR.
The jury is still out on ...: LeShaun Sims. When Perrish Cox's confidence waned, the Titans cut a two-year starter and decided to go with Valentino Blake and Sims. The Titans should see enough of Sims by the end of the season to know just how big their biggest need, clearly cornerback, will be when the draft rolls around.
Undrafted rookie check-in: The Titans like two undrafted defensive linemen who have been on their practice squad. Unfortunately for Mehdi Abdesmad and Antwaun Woods, the Titans are as deep on the defensive line as they are anywhere. With Jurrell Casey (foot) and Karl Klug (Achilles) injured, the Titans promoted Abdesmad to the 53-man roster on Monday.