JC Latham needs to be an upper-echelon tackle for the Titans

Titans and first-round selection reach a $26.04 million deal.

JC Latham signed his rookie contract, making him a bonafide Titan.
Or so they hopeā€”the Tennessee Titans think they have discovered their franchise left tackle. JC Latham, an Alabama graduate, has a lot of expectations because he was selected as the second offensive lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 21-year-old formally signed his first professional contract on Friday. Over a four-year period, the deal is worth $26.04 million.

What can supporters of the Titans anticipate from the 6-foot-6, 342-pound bruiser in the future?
For the Titans, JC Latham needs to be an elite tackle.

Latham had a successful career for the Crimson Tide as a right tackle. The former five-star recruit proved to be resilient, missing just one game in his final two seasons while playing full-time. Last year, he was also named to the first team of the SEC and the second team of the AP All-American.
In the next level, Latham has Pro Bowl-caliber potential, according to NFL.com scouting report author Lance Zeirlein.

According to Zierlein, a human bulldozer possessing the strength of both upper and lower body might forcefully clear run lanes and expeditiously enhance a team’s ground assault. Latham possesses a girthy build and exceptional drive-blocking ability. Although he has experience with a range of run schemes, he will only be a mediocre move blocker when moving laterally and up to the second level.

Latham’s lack of lateral quickness and mobility will be a problem when facing fast edge rushers, but his strength and physicality provide him with a solid base upon which to develop.
Zierlein went on, “His pass sets are well-balanced with good initial quickness and active hands.” He successfully mirrors and releases lefts and rights upon contact, but when he over-sets, he is outmatched by inside techniques. He can stop rushers with his length and hand power, but in order to prevent digging too far into his own pocket, he needs to learn how to set more comfortably diagonally than vertically. Latham has a chance to develop into a highly regarded right tackle or guard with Pro Bowl potential because to his size, strength, and skill.

It’s crucial to avoid dropping too far into his pocket because Titans quarterback Will Levis isn’t a particularly explosive rusher. Despite his mobility, he lacks the elite-level escape ability required to consistently handle edge rushers in his grill.
Still, during his career, Latham gave up just two sacks, six quarterback hits, and 22 hurries. That’s why, in spite of his mobility concerns, he was such a highly valued draft choice.

According to Nick Suss of The Tennessean, Tennessee is so confident in him that the team has no problem moving him to a different position immediately.
Latham was a right tackle at Alabama, but the Titans want to use him as a left tackle in the NFL, making him the new blindside defender for second-year quarterback Will Levis, according to Suss.

For a rookie lineman, protecting the blindside is a major responsibility, but the Titans felt that Latham’s physical potential made it an easy choice. Derrick Henry, Tennessee’s standout running back, left in free agency, thus Tennessee may rely more on the passing game moving forward. Latham will therefore need to start strong in order to prevent giving up blindside sacks in pass protection. Over the next few seasons, there will be a significant correlation between Levis’s and his success.

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