Tennessee Titans 2013 Breakout Candidate: Delanie Walker

By Andrew Fisher
Delanie Walker
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans went out and made some noise this offseason. From the start of the free agency period and all the way through the draft, the Titans were aggressive. Fans are hoping that these moves payoff, and that the franchise is finally on its way back up after several years of mediocre football. The offense went through some retooling, and one position that will feature a new player, is tight end.

Jared Cook was a dynamic young tight end, but he wanted a lot of money. He eventually took a five-year/$35 million deal with the St. Louis Rams, which ultimately led the Titans to ink his replacement, Delanie Walker.

A long time backup with the San Francisco 49ers, Walker will be getting his first real shot at a starting job. As a result, he came much cheaper to Tennessee, and they were able to sign him to a four-year deal worth $17.3 million. The extra money the Titans saved by going with Walker allowed them to disperse more funds to other areas of the team. Now, they’re just hoping Walker can have a breakout season.

If it’s one thing Walker lacked in San Francisco, it was targets. He flat out didn’t get many as Vernon Davis‘ backup, and he was primarily used as blocker. He had what was by far his career-season in 2012 (21 receptions for 344 yards and three touchdowns), so he has a solid base to build on in 2013. His confidence should be at an all-time high, and in interviews he comes across as a guy who’s highly motivated to succeed. He’s only 28-years old and he’s ready to be a No. 1 tight end. All indications are that the Titans are going to treat him like one.

These factors are going to lead to a breakout season for the seven-year veteran. It’s finally his time to show what he can do, and I’m predicting he’ll reach new heights in 2013.


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