The Titans waited until their very last pick to select a receiver in last weekend’s draft, and when they did it was a local player who was a two-star recruit from Wilson Central who made good on his opportunity at UT Martin.
Colton Dowell was chosen at No. 228 overall by the Titans and is the sole wideout in a draft where the Titans came in needing major help at the position.
While it would be a major accomplishment for Dowell to make the jump from FCS and a seventh-round pick to being an immediate contributor, the Lebanon native believes he is up to the challenge.
“I felt like I showed that I’m a good player, even though I come from a small school, that I can compete with the top dogs, no matter who they put in front of me,” Dowell says. “I’m a competitor and I just proved myself time after time against good talent.”
Titans General Manager Ran Carthon says Dowell impressed the coaches and scouts when he attended the team’s local pro day.
“When he had to play Power Five competition, he played well,” Carthon says. “When we brought him in for the local day, and when he was out there amongst the other Power Five guys that we brought in here locally, he stood out and looked like a Power Five guy who just so happened to be at UT Martin.”
One of Dowell’s better games came when he faced the Tennessee Volunteers when he caught seven passes for 112 yards, including a 41-yard gain.
Dowell grew up a Titans fan and is about as local as it gets, attending Titans training camp practices with his friends as a teenager. His father is a former fire chief in Lebanon.
But now Dowell knows that there is much work ahead for him to live out his dream of going from Titans fan to Titans receiver.
“It means everything. It proves, it shows to me and I hope it shows to a lot of other kids around my area that hard work and perseverance, they outshine going to a small school. UT Martin, I love it, but going to a small school, it doesn’t define you. Your hard works defines you,” Dowell says.
— Terry McCormick