Getty Images

In the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft, it seemed all but assured that the Tennessee Titans would use their first-round pick -- No. 7 overall -- on a tackle. They had splurged in free agency for wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd, along with center Lloyd Cushenberry and running back Tony Pollard, adding them to incumbents Peter Skoronski on the offensive line, DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver, and Tyjae Spears at running back.

They were still left with a gaping hole on the blind side of the offensive line, and the only question was on which tackle they would eventually land. In the end, it was Alabama's JC Latham who became the pick. And it seems that the early returns on Latham during the offseason program are promising. 

At least, new Titans offensive coordinator Nick Holz seems pleased with his progress.

"JC has maybe the best energy of any person on this team," Holz said, via ESPN. "His energy is infectious. He's done a really nice job with his footwork. He's improved and is playing under control. He's so big and so strong."

The footwork aspect is important for Latham because he is making a switch to the opposite side of the offensive line. In his career at Alabama, Latham played exclusively on the right side. He played 135 snaps at right guard, 5 as a right tackle, and 2 as a blocking tight end as a freshman, then lined up for 874 snaps at right tackle in each of his sophomore and junior seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

Now, he'll play left tackle for the Titans, protecting Will Levis' blind side. He'll align next to Cushenberry on what should be a much-improved left side. With Bill Callahan (father of new Titans head coach Brian Callahan) coaching up the offensive line, there is hope that even an under-manned group can take significant steps forward.