Cincinnati is one season removed from a College Football Playoff appearance. While nine Bearcats went off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, it was clear there were more to come based on the sustained success of Cincinnati last fall.
One of those talented pieces was tight end Josh Whyle, who became the third Bearcat selected in the 2023 NFL Draft — following wide receivers Tre Tucker and Tyler Scott. Whyle’s landing destination was the Tennessee Titans, which drafted the tight end as the 147th pick of the fifth round.
Whyle was a steady contributor in a Cincinnati offense which relied heavily on tight end usage in the Luke Fickell era. Operating alongside another talented tight end in Leonard Taylor, Whyle produced three nearly identical seasons from a statistical standpoint — 353 yards and six touchdowns in 2020, 332 yards and six touchdowns in 2021, and 326 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. He earned All-AAC honors in 2020 (Second Team) and again in 2022 (First Team) after serving as a potent blocker and providing a reliable set of hands to the Bearcat offense.
He left Cincinnati as the program’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 15, shattering a record previously held by former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek.
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, the 6’6”, 248-pound tight end ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash in addition to posting a 33.5-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 7-inch broad jump. Scouts have revered Whyle for his athletic blocking ability, as well as his affinity to locate holes within zone defenses, but concerns involve his acceleration when running routes and his contested catch ability.
Whyle continues his football journey with the Tennessee Titans, which emphasized drafting offensive pieces this draft. Other notable Titans selections included quarterback Will Levis, running back Tyjae Spears, and offensive tackle Peter Skoronski. Whyle may be an immediate contributor to an offense in Nashville which lost tight end Austin Hooper to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.
The former Cincinnati standout will compete in a room involving Chigoziem Okonkwo, who finished second on the team in receiving yards last season with 450. Free agency pickup Trevon Wesco likely holds the second spot on the depth chart at the position for the time being. Whyle’s presence hopes to bolster a Titans passing attack which finished fourth-to-last in passing yards in the 2022 season.