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Pre-Preseason Titans Roster Prediction


(image credit: George Walker IV / Tennessean.com)


Written by: Joseph Yun

Twitter: 2Yoon2ZeroBlitz


After seemingly an interminable but somehow short offseason, the preseason is finally upon us. All 32 teams have opened camp and the preseason kicks off in a few days with the annual curtain-raiser in Canton (turf conditions permitting).


Who are the select 53 that could make the Titans’ roster when the regular season opens in Nashville against the Cardinals? Who are the locks and who has some work to do in the preseason? Are there any free agents worth the Titans while?


OFFENSE


QB


1. Ryan Tannehill

2. DeShone Kizer


- Tannehill remains as the unquestioned starter. Nothing new for this position group except that the primary backup will change from Logan Woodside, who brings almost nothing of value except for more time in the system. Kizer was on the team last season and served as the “designated survivor” in case of emergency. He brings more of a competent threat with his legs should the unthinkable happen and he had to come in for Tannehill. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring in a veteran free agent if things go south with either Woodside or Kizer.


RB


1. Derrick Henry

2. Darrynton Evans

3. Brian Hill


FB


1. Khari Blasingame


- The back-to-back NFL rushing champion is back. Evans returns as well to serve as Henry’s primary backup after an injury that unfortunately marred his rookie campaign last season. What’s interesting is that Evans got some reps at receiver during the offseason so that might be a development worth watching. Brian Hill comes over from the Falcons with an impressive pedigree as a backup runner. Blasingame assumes his usual spot as the lead blocker for the potent Derrick Henry.


WR


1. Julio Jones

2. A.J. Brown

3. Josh Reynolds

4. Dez Fitzpatrick

5. Cameron Batson

6. Racey McMath


- The top three are spoken for in some order. Where the intrigue begins is at WR4 with some veterans and rookies in the mix. Fourth-round rookie Dez Fitzpatrick likely has the inside track but there are TEN receivers to compete for three slots. The likely true contenders are veterans Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, Fred Brown, Cam Batson, and Marcus Johnson. Look out for sixth-round rookie Racey McMath to make the final cut. Darkhorse sleeper candidates could be Batson and NWI due to prior experience with the team. Brown, Johnson, Rogers all have outside shots to make it but one could surprise folks.


TE


1. Anthony Firkser

2. Geoff Swaim

3. Tommy Hudson


- The competition to be TE2 behind possible fantasy sleeper Anthony Firkser heats up with veteran stalwart Geoff Swaim trying to ward off undrafted free agents like Hudson (2020) and Miller Forristall (2021). Veteran and former Titan Luke Stocker was signed last week as competition and could make the roster due to prior experience with the staff. Jared Pinkney needs a Pro Bowl level performance to make the roster, unfortunately.


LT


1. Taylor Lewan

2. Ty Sambrailo


- Lewan returns from an ACL tear suffered last season along with veteran Ty Sambrailo. The left tackle spot has been well solidified for several years now and isn’t likely to change. However, there could be upgrades on Sambrailo once cutdown day comes around. Veteran free agents include Germain Ifedi and Martinas Rankin among others like Ricky Wagner.


LG


1. Rodger Saffold

2. David Quessenberry


- Nothing new to see here just like the left tackle position. Saffold is entrenched as the starter and Quessenberry is a pretty good quality backup.


C


1. Ben Jones

2. Spencer Pulley


- Jones is the long-term starter and has been for several seasons. His backup, much less so as the job has seen some competition added to the ranks in the form of Patrick Morris and Pulley. Pulley makes the roster at this point but it will be a position of need going into the season.


RG


1. Nate Davis

2. Aaron Brewer


- Again, nothing new to see as Davis is emerging as one of the better guards in the league. Brewer is pretty well entrenched as a quality backup. If there is a quality option once cutdown day arrives, I’d imagine the team takes a look.


RT


1. Kendall Lamm

2. Dillon Radunz


- Right tackle has been a mystery ever since Jack Conklin was allowed to leave via free agency and due to the woefully immature Isaiah Wilson being a lost cause (and out of the league entirely). In steps to the maelstrom is Kendall Lamm, a career reserve and noted touchdown catcher to start. Radunz was the team’s second-round selection in the past draft and comes highly regarded.


DEFENSE


DE


1. Denico Autry

2. Rashad Weaver


- Both newcomers are locks to make the team. Autry the veteran came over from the rival Colts in free agency and Weaver was a fourth-round selection. Depending on Weaver’s legal situation, he’s pretty much solidly in. There are some veterans on the market like Bruce Irvin, Allen Bailey, or Ezekiel Ansah if the team chooses to explore.


DT


1. Jeffery Simmons

2. Teair Tart

3. Larell Murchinson


- The top two tackles are in with Tart having a monster camp so far and Simmons more than living up to his hype. Murch could be on the bubble if things don’t break right for the former fifth-round pick. I think the team is content for now unless a big name comes available on cutdown day.


NT


1. Kyle Peko

2. Naquan Jones


- The team currently has four nose tackles listed on their roster but I foresee two making it right now. Peko is a veteran who opted out of 2020 but was still effective prior to that decision. Jones is a surprise UDFA that could make it depending on how the team views the defensive line room.


OLB


1. Harold Landry

2. Bud Dupree

3. Derrick Roberson

4. John Simon


- The top three are well settled into their roles while Simon is a recent signing but he has prior experience with HC Mike Vrabel. That experience gets him safely onto the roster for now, but this is a fluid situation. There is the prospect that the team kicks the tires on KJ Wright, Olivier Vernon, or Jalen Reeves-Maybin via free agency if they aren't thrilled with their current core.


ILB


1. Rashaan Evans

2. Jayon Brown

3. David Long, Jr

4. Monty Rice


- Four outside linebackers and four inside linebackers on the initial list but it can change. Evans is playing out his rookie contract while Brown is playing on a one-year deal. Long has been deemed the successor for one of the two so he’s safe. Rice, the rookie third-round selection, makes it as a special teams contributor early on. Evans could be the key whether or not they elect to keep it balanced between inside and outside or not. He has the versatility to play both in certain situations.


CB


1. Janoris Jenkins

2. Caleb Farley

3. Kristian Fulton

4. Elijah Molden

5. Chris Jackson

6. Breon Borders


- The top four are spoken for in some capacity. Jackson has been having a pretty solid camp thus far and allows for the team to carry fewer safeties due to his positional versatility. Borders makes the roster as the sixth corner due to prior experience with the team and he’s played relatively well in the past given his place on the depth chart. This could be a position that possibly sees some churn with notable free agents on the market like Gareon Conley, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Derrick Henry meme king Josh Norman. The team will probably probe around for names on cutdown day as well.


FS


1. Kevin Byard

2. Amani Hooker


- Nothing new to see here as highly paid veteran Byard returns for another go around. Hooker has been a really valuable asset when he’s been handed some reps. I expect Hooker to steal some time as the third safety on the field and he has some versatility as both a corner and safety.


SS


1. Dane Cruikshank

2. Brady Breeze


- It has been a slow and steady rise up the depth chart for Cruikshank as he replaces the released Kenny Vaccaro as the starter at strong safety. Breeze was a star defensive back for Oregon who will get a ton of special teams reps to start. That value alone will get him a spot on the roster.


Special Teams


K - TBD

P - Brett Kern

LS - Morgan Cox


- The Titans kicker situation is in a bit of a dire strait, to put it mildly. They’re bringing in multiple kickers to see who can seize the job after multiple failed attempts at finding a person. Kern returns as one of the best punters in the league. Cox is a newcomer but comes in as a highly regarded long snapper.


OFFENSE - 25

DEFENSE - 25

ST - 3


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