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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Pharoh, May 1, 2015.
apparently Evans had nearly 500 carries without a fumble? Wat
5th round: DT Larrell Murchison from NC St 174th overall
Hawaii QB was a baller
Hopes are definitely up for Clowney
Resetting the Titans’ depth chart: How it shakes out after the draft
Imagine what it must have been like for Dennis Kelly as he watched the NFL Draft last Thursday.
One minute he was penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle, not long after signing a three-year, $17.3 million contract. The next, he was watching the Titans take their future starter at the position, Isaiah Wilson, with the 29th pick in the first round.
All of a sudden, Kelly realized he would have to “battle it out,” in the words of Titans general manager Jon Robinson, with Wilson to see who would begin the season in the starter’s role.
The Titans drafted only six players, and each could affect the team’s depth chart in 2020. Here’s a look at what the roster and depth chart look like at every position after free agency and the draft.
Analysis: Tannehill is, of course, the unquestioned starter, and Woodside is — at present — the top backup. Woodside has been in the Titans’ system for parts of the past two seasons and will get an opportunity to keep the No. 2 spot, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Titans add a veteran before training camp. Some of the more affordable options include Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Josh McCown, Mike Glennon and Matt Moore. Some other veterans will likely be cut loose before the season starts. McDonald, the team’s seventh-round pick, is an intriguing prospect. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound former Hawaii star is an excellent athlete and has a big arm. He looks like a great candidate to develop on the practice squad.
Analysis: The Titans’ hope is that Evans will serve as a successful complement to Derrick Henry — a role Dion Lewis struggled to fill last year. Evans brings home run potential; his 4.41 speed helped him rip off 11 runs of 50-plus yards at Appalachian State. He averaged 6.6 and 5.8 yards per carry over his final two seasons. Evans didn’t catch a ton of passes for the Mountaineers, but he did have five touchdown receptions (on 21 catches) last season. As for the rest of the backs, Blasingame got regular snaps last year and performed well on special teams, so he has a decent shot at sticking on the roster. It will be a challenge for Dawkins or Wilson to make the squad, but it’s not out of the question that the Titans will keep four backs.
Analysis: Robinson said the team considered drafting a wide receiver in the later rounds, but it wasn’t a big surprise that the Titans opted to go a different route. Tennessee brings back its top three players at the position, and it’s possible Hollister steps into the role Tajae Sharpe held in 2019. The Titans have unofficially agreed to terms with a few undrafted free agents at this position, so there will be competition to fill out the last spot or two.
Analysis: I thought the Titans might use one of their late-round picks at this position, but it didn’t happen. Smith took a big step forward last year and has the kind of athleticism that could boost him even higher. The chores are pretty evenly divided between the next two guys on the chart: Pruitt is more of a blocker who can also play H-back, while Firkser is more of a receiving threat. It still wouldn’t be a surprise to see a tight end added before training camp.
Taylor Lewan (left)
Dennis Kelly/Isaiah Wilson (right)
Analysis: If this were a regular offseason, we could probably pencil in Wilson as the starting right tackle. Teams don’t make first-round selections with the aim of keeping those players on the bench. But this is not a regular offseason, and Wilson’s development could be slowed by the lack of reps in OTAs and perhaps even training camp. It’s fair to assume Wilson will take over at some point during the season, but it would not be a shock to see Kelly as the starter in Week 1. Sambrailo has played in 57 games over five years, so he may have a leg up on Quessenberry on the depth chart.
Rodger Saffold (left guard)
Ben Jones (center)
Nate Davis (right guard)
Analysis: There hasn’t been much change here during the offseason, outside of signing Gennesy for depth purposes. I’m sure the Titans would have loved to get Davis a full, healthy offseason after he missed almost all of training camp last year. But it appears this offseason will be anything but normal.
Analysis: Simmons saw 50 percent or more of the team’s defensive snaps just five times in nine games last season, but his role will obviously expand after the trade of Jurrell Casey. His conditioning, strength and knowledge of the system should all be better after a rookie season that didn’t begin (due to injury) until Week 7. The Titans would love to see a player such as Mack or Ivie improve to the point of becoming a regular part of the rotation.
Analysis: The Titans will expect the steady veteran Jones to continue his role as a run clogger. Murchison, the team’s fifth-round pick, may end up at this position as well. The 6-foot-2, 297-pound rookie isn’t a giant, relatively speaking, but he’s quick and strong. He did a good job penetrating offensive lines last season at NC State, recording a team-high 12 tackles for loss.
Analysis: Crawford is the offseason addition here, and we’ll tentatively pencil him in as the starter, though the Titans could use Murchison in this position as well. Crawford posted career highs of 35 tackles and six sacks for the Falcons in 2018 but fell to 24 tackles and half a sack last year. He’ll be a rotational piece of the defensive-line puzzle.
Analysis: Will there be another huge change at this position before the season in the form of Jadeveon Clowney? That’s the big question still looming. But the Titans have bolstered the position in the event Clowney doesn’t sign, adding Beasley — a 2015 first-round pick — and re-signing Correa. Landry established himself as a pass-rushing threat last year with nine sacks, doubling his rookie season output. The depth-chart battle will be interesting. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Gilbert is more of an edge-setting run stopper, while Roberson flashed as a pass rusher toward the end of last season. Walker, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is a wild card after missing the entire 2019 season because of injury.
Analysis: The Titans didn’t address this position in the draft, but Dzubnar — a special-teams ace — was signed in late March as a free agent. It will be interesting to see if the undersized Long can continue to show promise after playing well toward the end of 2019.
Analysis: This was the Titans’ biggest area of need heading into the draft, and they filled it nicely with the second-round addition of Fulton. Many draft analysts believe the Titans got a steal in the former LSU star, who was projected by many to go in the first round. What will be interesting here is determining which player will see the most action as a nickel corner. Jackson is a possibility, but Fulton played the spot early on in college. It’s possible that Chris Jackson, the seventh-round pick who is listed as a safety, could end up here. He played more cornerback than safety at Marshall.
Analysis: The 243rd pick of the draft, Jackson has some interesting potential. He has 4.46 speed, broke up 45 passes and added seven interceptions while at Marshall. But it’s unclear whether he’ll be used more as a corner, a safety or in some type of hybrid role. His special-teams background should help him as he battles for a roster spot.
Analysis: Joseph may end up with the job — he did convert 17 of 20 field-goal attempts for Cleveland in 2018 — but the Titans need more of an evaluation to be certain. Unofficially, the team signed former Missouri kicker Tucker McCann as an undrafted free agent to provide competition. McCann’s biggest strength is a booming leg that resulted in few kick returns last season.
Analysis: No reason to believe anything changes here, as the Pro Bowler just keeps rolling along.
also signing Johnathan Joseph to a 1-year deal I guess
you know it's a slow time for sports when the Titans declining freaking Corey Davis' 5th-year option is the top story on ESPN.com
about as surprising as the fact I'm blazed by 9:30 AM
The Athletic published something where executives spoke on NFL team draft results:
The Titans, like the Dolphins, drafted a first-round offensive tackle four years after using top-13 picks for good players at the position. Both improbably needed replacements after Tennessee let 2016 eighth overall choice Jack Conklin leave in free agency and Miami traded 13th overall choice Laremy Tunsil to Houston. With those tackles earning large paydays from their new teams, their original teams found replacements late in the first round this year. Isaiah Wilson comes to the Titans as the sixth and final tackle selected in the first round — the final pure tackle selected until Minnesota chose Ezra Cleveland 19 picks later.
“I’m sure they were worried about the dropoff at tackle because there wasn’t a whole lot there after him where it is plug-and-play,” an exec said. “You felt like after that, maybe there is a guy who could be better in due time, but you look, the next potential tackle went at 39, Robert Hunt to Miami, and some people saw him as a guard.”
Second-round cornerback Kristian Fulton could fill a nickel role in the short term. Can he give the Titans great value at the position?
“If I was going to ding them, it would probably be for how they can’t get a good corner,” an evaluator said. “You look at the rest of the roster and they are pretty darn good, except corner. Adoree’ Jackson was a first-round pick and he won’t tackle. Fulton won’t tackle. Logan Ryan was overpaid. Malcolm Butler was overpaid. That is their Achilles’ heel and was their No. 1 need coming into this draft, ahead of tackle and halfback.”
Hopefully this lights a fire in Davis this year
Really well made video
Same channel previously made this video on Henry before this past season
Sounds like Seattle is out on Clowney
Hopefully it's an incredibly team friendly deal. He's not exactly a sure thing
Like the looks of this schedule. Kind of sucks there is a lot of road games to end the year but this is a more than favorable schedule. I'm calling 11-5
Some pretty great non-division foes
All at home will really help the local bars recover. Bears especially
That assumes bars will be open in Nashville. I wouldn't even bet on full stadiums being allowed in the fall.
Fantastic video I'd like to see more like it
Barnwell suggesting us and Steelers are the best landing spots for Newton
Hard pass. That seems way unlikely
We're really lucky Bill O'Brien is running a division foe
Barnwell ranks our offseason as 25th best:
25. Tennessee Titans
What went right: The ideal situation for the Titans would have been retaining quarterback Ryan Tannehill and franchising running back Derrick Henry, which is what ended up happening. Tennessee hasn't yet come to terms on an extension with Henry, which I'm considering a plus given how poorly contracts have aged for running backs. It also lost right tackle Jack Conklin, but it replaced the former All-Pro by re-upping Dennis Kelly and using its first-round pick on Isaiah Wilson.
What went wrong: Losing Conklin and cornerback Logan Ryan cost the team two valuable starters, and I'm not sure the Kelly/Wilson combination or free-agent corner Johnathan Joseph are going to be as valuable in their absence. The Vic Beasley Jr. signing locked the Titans in on a one-year deal for a pass-rusher who has been successful for 1½ of his five pro seasons and didn't offer any ability to keep him if he exceeds expectations.
Most notably, to get the Tannehill deal done, the Titans practically guaranteed their breakout quarterback three years and $91 million, which is a huge investment for a player whom the Dolphins paid $5 million to sell for a fourth-round pick at this time last year. He was one of the league's best quarterbacks last season, but he has a lengthy injury history. The Titans also want to build around running the football, which makes a $31 million quarterback an expensive accessory.
What they could have done differently: I'm not sure the Titans had much of a choice, but even limiting the Tannehill deal to two guaranteed seasons would have been a much better deal. With hindsight, it's fair to suggest they might have been better off letting him hit the market and going after somebody like Nick Foles or Andy Dalton at a much cheaper price. Likewise, for a team that has expressed interest in Jadeveon Clowney, the Titans would have been better off just signing Clowney to a one-year deal as opposed to Beasley. Some of that is hindsight, but the Beasley and Tannehill deals raised questions before we even saw how the rest of those respective markets worked out.
What's left to do: Let Henry play out his franchise tag. When he was asked about a possible extension in January, Henry said the six-year, $90 million extension that Ezekiel Elliott signed with the Cowboys was "the floor." Elliott's deal paid him $37.6 million over its first three years.
Henry's franchise tag is worth $10.2 million in 2020. If the Titans franchised him two more times, in 2021 and 2022, they would end up paying him $40.1 million, which is right about what Elliott's deal included after accounting for cap inflation. They also would retain the leverage of going year to year with the ability to opt out if Henry gets hurt or doesn't live up to expectations. The NFL's running back economics are absolutely warped, and it's unfair to Henry after his production over the past year and a half, but the Titans will likely regret it if they give him a Zeke-sized deal.
Glennon does really good work
Ranking the roster: Which positions are the biggest concern for the Titans?
These are — for the most part — optimistic times for Titans fans, who saw their team reach the AFC Championship Game for the first time in nearly two decades after a fourth consecutive winning regular season.
The star quarterback has been re-signed. The star running back has been re-signed. What could possibly be cause for concern looking forward?
That’s a nice line of thinking, of course, but probably not very realistic in the NFL considering how much of the league turns upside down every season. In other words, everyone worries.
So what should Titans fans fret about as they look ahead to the 2020 season? We decided to rank the team’s positions — from least worrisome to most. This takes into consideration starters and reserves at each spot.
No. 11: Safety
There’s little doubt free safety Kevin Byard is among the best in the game, as his 17 interceptions over the past three seasons lead the NFL. He’s averaged 11 passes broken up in each of those years as well. Hard-hitting strong safety Kenny Vaccaro is an ideal complement to the free-ranging Byard, not afraid to hammer receivers over the middle or running backs in the hole. Third safety Amani Hooker should only get better after a solid rookie season, and Dane Cruikshank even saw defensive snaps last season in the playoff win over Baltimore. The Titans have more depth in the form of Ibraheim Campbell, Josh Kalu and potentially rookie Chris Jackson.
No. 10: Running back
The good news is that the Titans are led by Derrick Henry, who just happened to lead the NFL in rushing attempts (303), rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns (16) last season. Nearly as important, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry has been hard to knock out of the lineup during his career, playing in 62 of 64 games during his four years in the league. The backup position appears to be in better hands this year as well, with explosive rookie Darrynton Evans — who also gets high marks for his ability as a pass catcher and pass protector. That’s a pretty good one-two punch, and fullback Khari Blasingame adds versatility to the mix.
No. 9: Wide receiver
The Titans haven’t upgraded at wide receiver during the offseason because the team is pretty confident in the returning group. A.J. Brown was the NFL’s best rookie at the position last season, topping 1,000 yards on just 52 catches. It also seems reasonable to expect that Corey Davis will get closer to his second-year numbers of 65 catches for 891 yards, especially if defenses focus more on Brown. Also, the Titans likely have yet to see the best of Adam Humphries, who missed a quarter of the 2019 season with a knee injury. Depth beyond the top three could be a factor. Don’t be surprised to see the Titans add one more veteran to this group.
No. 8: Offensive line
There should be very little cause for concern from left tackle to center — those spots are capably manned by vets Taylor Lewan, Rodger Saffold and Ben Jones. Lewan and Saffold were an especially impressive duo during the second half of last season. The concern lies on the right side. Right guard Nate Davis improved last year as his rookie season progressed, but he has plenty of room to grow. First-round draft pick Isaiah Wilson might not be ready to start right away at right tackle because of the shortened offseason, but the good news is that the team is very comfortable with Dennis Kelly manning that position.
No. 7: Inside linebacker
There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the two young starters. Rashaan Evans led the team with 139 tackles and added 11 tackles for loss last year. Jayon Brown, meanwhile, finished third with 117 tackles and added nine passes defended. But what about the depth? David Long started to come on toward the end of his rookie season, but is the 5-foot-11, 227-pounder ready for more responsibility? There are concerns behind Long — Nick Dzubnar is more of a special-teams standout, and Nigel Harris is unproven.
No. 6: Quarterback
Starter Ryan Tannehill should have plenty of confidence after leading the league in quarterback rating (117.5) and yards per attempt (9.6) last season. One question he’ll have to answer: Is it realistic to expect such numbers again, considering they were far superior to anything he produced before? Another question: Can he stay healthy? Tannehill did so last year, but he missed 24 of 48 possible starts over the previous three years. And that brings up the issue of the backup quarterback: Are the Titans ready to go with Logan Woodside and Cole McDonald behind Tannehill, or is there a need for a veteran to step in if necessary?
No. 5: Cornerback
The Titans went a long way toward easing concerns at this position when they nabbed LSU corner Kristian Fulton in the second round of the draft. But even though Fulton represents an upgrade in speed from the departed Logan Ryan, he’s still a rookie who’ll be dealing with a shortened offseason. Speaking of Ryan, his absence leads to another question for the corners: Which of the top three — Adoree’ Jackson, Malcolm Butler or Fulton — is likely to take care of the slot responsibilities that Ryan handled last year? The addition of Johnathan Joseph brings depth in the form of a veteran who started 11 games last season and is familiar with the AFC South.
No. 4: Tight end
Delanie Walker played in only eight games combined over the past two seasons, but this is still the first time since 2012 that the Titans will enter a season without the three-time Pro Bowl selection factoring into their plans. That said, the future looks bright for the mobile, athletic Jonnu Smith, who posted career highs of 35 catches, 438 yards and three touchdowns in 2019. Backups Anthony Firkser and MyCole Pruitt have strengths — Firkser has great hands, and Pruitt is a solid blocker. But do the Titans have enough firepower at this position, one that’s being increasingly emphasized around the league?
No. 3: Defensive line
Jurrell Casey may not have been at his absolute best last season — in part because he was often at less than 100 percent — but the Titans will still have a challenge in replacing his production. Yes, 2019 first-round pick Jeffery Simmons should slide into Casey’s position. But the fact remains that the Titans had three high-quality defensive linemen for the better part of last season in Casey, Simmons and DaQuan Jones. They now have two. The additions of free agent Jack Crawford and fifth-round pick Larrell Murchison will help the depth and offset the loss of Austin Johnson. But it will be up to Simmons — now more than a year removed from ACL surgery — to make the kind of impact Titans fans were used to seeing from Casey,
No. 2: Outside linebacker
It feels as though this is an annual concern for the Titans. If they sign prized free agent Jadeveon Clowney, the level of concern at this position drops noticeably. If not? Well, the Titans aren’t desperate at outside linebacker, but there are questions that need to be answered. Projected starters Harold Landry and Vic Beasley have shown the ability to get after the quarterback at times, but can they hold the edge in the run game when called upon? Clowney would be a big upgrade in that department. Kamalei Correa offers a solid option behind the starters, but who else will step up among the likes of Reggie Gilbert, Derick Roberson and D’Andre Walker?
No. 1: Kicker
No Titans fan will soon forget the dumpster fire of last season in this department, when a carousel of kickers combined to connect on 8 of 18 field-goal attempts. The Titans appear to be better set at the position now, but the bottom line is that neither of the two kickers currently on the roster — Greg Joseph or undrafted free agent Tucker McCann — has made a regular-season field goal for the Titans. Joseph looks like a decent option at this point after going 17 of 20 in Cleveland in 2018, but we didn’t receive a good gauge on his abilities last season, as he attempted just one field goal — connecting on it — during the Titans’ playoff run. It’s easy to dismiss concerns over a kicker, but the fact is that this position could decide a couple of games — and those games could decide a playoff berth. All-Pro punter Brett Kern, it goes without saying, is not a concern.
saw something on the Titans website where Lewan is talking about how he needs to be a better leader. He is entering his seventh year in the league
also saw a report on Yahoo saying the Browns offered Clowney the most money but that he is in no rush to sign
ESPN+ with a breakdown of offensive and defensive trends from the past decade
Offense: Half a season of Vince Young was better than half a season of Kerry Collins in 2010, but neither quarterback was on the team the following season. Instead, Matt Hasselbeck came in and started the whole year while mentoring first-round pick Jake Locker. Hasselbeck led a league-average offense, and then Locker took over in 2012 and was pretty bad, with Tennessee falling to 29th in the league in offensive DVOA. The offense was a little better with Locker splitting time with Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2013, and once again the offense came out as average. Locker's career crashed out in 2014, as he was lousy in five starts. Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger also got starts that year, and the Titans' offense was a mess.
So in 2015, the Titans drafted Marcus Mariota second overall. His rookie year showed some promise, although the Titans went 3-9 in his starts; they finished dead last in offensive DVOA because they were dragged down by four more Mettenberger starts. Mariota made a big second-year leap, and the Titans improved to a top-10 offense in 2016 for the first time all decade. But Mariota just couldn't play consistently well, in part due to struggles with injury. The offense fell back below average in 2017 and 2018 and for the first part of 2019. The Titans ranked 29th in offensive DVOA for the first six weeks, until Mariota was pulled for Ryan Tannehill. And then Tannehill just had the best stretch of his career. From Week 7 onward, the Titans had the No. 2-rated offense in the NFL, trailing only Baltimore.
Offensive outlook for 2020: How much do you want to bet on Tannehill continuing a level of performance totally out of line with the rest of his career?
Defense: The Titans' defense had a good year to start the decade but declined in each of the following two seasons. Then the Titans were quite consistent for the rest of the decade: 2010 was the only season all decade in which the Titans' defense was below zero (i.e. better than average), but 2014 was the only season in which the Titans ranked in the bottom five. Tennessee's defense has gotten a little better the past two seasons, playing close to league average in 2018 and 2019. The Titans got help from health, leading the league with the fewest adjusted games lost on defense over the course of the decade.
Defensive outlook for 2020: Tennessee's defense will most likely resemble the past two years, coming in as average or a little worse.
The Athletic with every team's obvious and non-obvious questions for 2020
OBVIOUS: Will running back Derrick Henry dominate again?
With over 300 carries last year, can Henry come back and dominate again? He broke tackles and ran over defenders. He was a beast with the ball. When the Titans ran for over 150, they were 5-1. When they were 125 and below, they were 3-5. Their 2020 success is tied to Henry duplicating his ’19 season.
NON-OBVIOUS: Can the Titans protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill when he must throw drop back passes?
The Titans allowed 56 sacks last year, which ranked 30th in the NFL. Tannehill was super effective off of play-action fakes, but when the Titans got behind and had to throw, their lack of protection in their offensive line became their Achilles heel.
so this Henry deal seems about as team friendly as you could expect given his production last year and importance to the offense
I think that’s close to a win win for everyone involved
"If I know one thing about Mike Vrabel, whatever team he has, he's going to make sure they play hard and fly to the ball. I need to be a part of something like that at this stage in my career," Clowney said.
Dude looks really good in a Titans uniform. Intimidation factor is very high
Lol Davis with a hamstring issue is the least shocking thing ever
Thank god we have AJ Brown to make up for this colossal bust
Well Isaiah Wilson sure seems like an asshole idiot
Got a DUI last night. Opening weekend??
According to court documents, Wilson was arrested at 11:29 p.m. He was released on $1,000 bond at 1:28 a.m. on Saturday. Wilson has a court appearance scheduled for Oct. 7.
The arrest report said that Wilson was traveling on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville at a high rate of speed. According to a witness, a vehicle that was later identified as Wilson's was doing "donuts" at the intersection of 25th Avenue N. and Charlotte Avenue. Wilson lost control of his vehicle and struck a concrete wall.
Wilson told the arresting officer that he had a problem with his back tire and that it was the cause of the crash. The officer smelled alcohol on Wilson's breath and noticed his eyes were watery, according to the arrest report. Wilson told the officer that he consumed two margaritas before driving his vehicle.
Wilson agreed to a Breathalyzer test, which resulted in a blood alcohol level of .107. The limit in Tennessee is .08.
Last month, Wilson appeared on a Tennessee State University campus police incident report after attending a gathering at an off-campus apartment. Wilson received a trespassing warning.
Man that's some high level stupid
Adding in the college party attendance and yeah pretty fucking dumb for him to be doing those kinds of things.
I cannot get over how dumb this kid is and it makes me wonder how much shit UGA swept under the rug
and doing all this stupid shit while thousands of at-risk people remain locked indoors in Middle TN because a pandemic is raging throughout the state and assholes like this keep allowing it to spread
Wilson claimed he committed to Bama at one point during his recruitment but decommitted right after because Saban shook his hand instead of hugging him. Weird dude and will 100% be a wasted pick
So our #1 pick is literally and figuratively, a huge (but talented) piece of shit?
Where to buy
Yup I want one.
The Tennessee Titans announced they placed cornerback Adoree' Jackson on injured reserve on Monday.
Jackson first appeared on the injury report as a limited participant on Friday due to a knee injury. The fourth-year cornerback didn't participate in practice on Saturday and was listed as out for the game against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
He will have to miss a minimum of three games, per IR rules for the 2020 season.
In a corresponding move, Tennessee signed sixth-year cornerback Tye Smith to the 53-man roster from their practice squad.
Was a good looking series of plays. Let's see what happens now.
The kicking woes continue. Wonderful
glad the K situation still fucking sucks
Kicking is not the part of Bama football that the Titans should be trying to copy.
Receivers getting pretty good separation. Need to give Tannehill more time. Really glad Miller is out.
why the fuck do we never get shown replays of personal fouls