The Tennessee Titans made a splash when they went and got Julio Jones, but where does that leave the rest of the roster?
The Tennessee Titans made a splash when they went and got Julio Jones, but where does that leave the rest of the roster? The Titans still have multiple important roles up for grabs this summer, especially in their secondary after they cleaned out shop this off-season. I will be reviewing the position battles the Tennessee Titans have going on this training camp.
1. Kendall Lamm
2. Dillon Radunz
The RT position was really missing Jack Conklin in 2020. That didn’t show King Henry down, but the position struggles all year long. They drafted Dillon Radunz this year who has a shot at getting the role, but the man I expect to fight hard for this position is Kendall Lamm. He graded out very highly as a pass protector in limited snaps in 2020 by PFF. If he can keep Tannehill’s pocket clean, Derrick Henry can get his on the ground either way. This is probably the most important competition on the entire offense.
1. Darrynton Evans
2. Jeremy McNichols
3. Brian Hill
The Titans backup RB is not a very high usage spot, but with the workload Derrick Henry has had over the past three seasons, it would be nice to have a back the team can rely on if Henry were to miss time or need rest. Darrynton Evans has to be the clear-cut favorite for the role. He is a former 3rd round draft pick, and has a lot of explosiveness that he brings to the table. If he can stay healthy, I would expect him to hold down that role and be successful in doing so.
If Evans shows to be not what the team thought when they drafted him, then they’ll have two choices for the backup role. Last season, McNichols held the job down for most of the season and he was not great. He was ranked 64th of 70 qualified backs by PFF. Brian Hill was signed as a free agent this off-season to add competition to the backfield behind Henry. He was the backup for most of the season in Atlanta last year. He ranked even worse than McNichols as the 68th out of 70 RB’s. They are really banking on Henry and Evans’ health.
1. Geoff Swaim
2. Jared Pinkney
3. Miller Forristall
The tight end position is one that has been of great value to this team over recent years. Although still important, the position of TE2 on the team is at its’ lowest value in a few years. They are shaping to be in much more 11-personnel in 2021 and with a shallow TE room, they’ll need to be. Anthony Firkser showed flashes and was very highly regarded by PFF being ranked 7th of 71 TE’s. If he can sustain that level of play with much higher usage, then the tight end position should be fine for this offense.
Swaim has been a solid player over the years as a depth tight end. He should be the front-runner for this spot pretty easily. Pinkney and Forristall haven’t played a snap in the NFL and they are at risk of not having a roster spot in 2021. Pinkney was quite the receiver at Vanderbilt, but he has a lot to prove still to take the second TE role. Forristall has a long way to go as well as he wasn’t even too valuable as a receiver in college.
1. Janoris Jenkins
2. Breon Borders
3. Caleb Farley
4. Kristian Fulton
This competition is pretty wide open. We have a lot of names to talk about here. Breon Borders and Janoris Jenkins were the only two qualified corners from PFF, and both were pretty solid. Borders was graded 21st out of 121 CB’s, but only played six games. Janoris Jenkins was solid as he finished as the 42nd of 121 CB’s. As you look down the cornerback room, there is a lot of question marks. Kristian Fulton graded much lower than Jenkins, despite not qualifying with enough snaps. Both Caleb Farley and Byron Murphy are rookies, although they are listing Murphy as a safety.
I believe the likely way this cornerback room will shape out is that Janoris Jenkins and Breon Borders will be the outside corners to start the year. The slot duties will be fought out between Caleb Farley (if healthy) and Kristian Fulton. Fulton lined up most often in the slot last season, so he has the experience, but he didn’t play particularly well either. Caleb Farley was as talented as any corner in this draft, so he has a good chance to see plenty of snaps right away. Those should be the four corners that see the field most often this season.
1. Kevin Byard
2. Amani Hooker
3. Byron Murphy
The Titans are set up nicely for a cover 2 defense. They need to live in cover 2. Byard and Hooker are both better playing deep and if you can have them share the back end, they should both excel in these roles. Byron Murphy is a really nice addition to this defense because he has amazing instincts in zone, and he can be their box safety and take shallow zones and be really effective in that role. I believe that all three of these players can work on the field at the same time, but it will be interesting to see who earns more playing time between Amani Hooker and Byron Murphy.
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