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Titans 2021 Draft Prep - Positional Analysis


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Continuing as we start college football I think it is wise to look at our current roster construction and look at potential areas of need and positions we will likely target in the draft. 
 

QB - A true developmental Back-up

Long have the Titans needed an actual developmental QB on their roster that they can begin to groom. Woodside is serviable because he knows the offense, but he is more of an extension of the coaching staff than anything at the point. Siemian likely won’t returns

 

WR - Talent, Explosivness, and Depth

One of the positions that will likely undergo a pretty big overhaul this next offseason. AJ Brown is a legit WR1. Corey Davis is talented but has struggled to put it together. With a smaller cap and bigger free agents to take care of, there is a good chance we lose Davis. Behind them Humphries likely returns though he could be a restructure candidate. After that is a bevy of unproven and undersized WR. Raymond has not taken advantage of increased opportunities this year so far, but is also a free agent as well. Batson is interesting, but largely this group lacking explosiveness.

 

TE - Priority Area

For a team that is as TE heavy, next years roster and depth here is a total question mark as all 4 TE’s are set to be free agents. Jonnu Smith will no doubt be the main priority and likely gets the franchise tag if they are unable to reach a deal. Returning Firkser as a RFA and Pruitt will be key to keep offensive continuity. Firkser is one of Tannehill’s go-to targets on 3rd downs thus keeping him will be vital as well. 
 

IOL - Depth and potential replacement

If there is one vet that could be on the way out due to salary cap reasons, it would be Roger Saffold. The team currently has a bevy of young developmental guys, but largely there isn’t anyone really ready to step into the LG role full time. I know many of us would hate to draft an OL early again. Depth here as well is important moving forward.

 

IDL - Simmons and not much else

As we enter next year there is not much at this position other than Simmons. Jones and Crawford are set to be free agents. Murchison, Mack, and Dickerson are unproven depth. Tart is a nice developmental guy on the DL, but this part of the team will need to be reworked and as much as Jones has been great, I doubt we see him get a 3rd contract. There are several early IDL prospects that I could see fitting in nicely. 

 

EDGE - Complete Overhaul?

Another position like TE that has key free agents at starter and depth. Only Harold Landry really returns along with Derick Roberson. Clowney, Beasley, and Correa are all free agents and we already know the franchise tag won’t be an option there to use on Clowned. I think we could see the Titans attempt to get a deal done with Clowney but resources could be directed more towards keeping the offense in tact w/ Jonnu, Firk, and Davis. This is likely a spot along with WR where early draft capital needs to be spent.

 

ILB - Is Brown worth it? Depth concerns.

The biggest question here is Jayon worth a potential extension at $10M/year. If he were the only big free agent I think he would be the main priority but it will be hard to keep him and Jonnu and some of the key depth pieces. That being said depth is a huge concern. As Compton, Dzubnar, and eventually Bates will all be free agents. There is also some doubts that Long can step into Browns every down role and top coverage LB. A decently high pick could need to be invested in this group.
 

CB - Talent is there 

Assuming Adoree is healthy moving forward, this position is not in bad shape moving forward. There is a great chance Butler is either a cap casualty w/ a small chance he reworks his contract, but Fulton and Adoree Jackson give you two strong outside CBs. The biggest need is finding a true NB that can match up with quicker slot guys. Chris Jackson will have the opportunity, but I have doubts. Tye Smith is a free agent along with Chris Milton but both could be back. Joseph likely retires after this year and is free agent as well. Kareem Orr is an interesting player who probably makes the roster if not for a late camp injury. 
 

Safety - Most Complete position group 

This position is essentially set for another year with starters and depth. Byard and Vaccaro make up a solid tandem at safety and Hooker will continually be more and more involved on the backend moving forward. I have a sense that the team has plans for Cruikshank to be a unique matchup weapon when he return. Kalu is a good ST’er. Biggest question in this group is if Hooker or Cruikshank are ready to start full time and thus allowing us to move on from Vaccaro. Don’t really see anyone being added here unless someone like Jevon Holland drops to the back of the 1st round where he is clearly BPA.

 

Special Teams - Meh

Some could say draft a kicker early, but it’s clear the Titans like McCann a lot thus it will be Gostkowski or him next year. Kern is great as usual. Biggest thought here is the WR drafted early will need to be able to add value in the return game.

Edited by titanskick8851
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Hate to say it, but if the stats for this year for the entire NFL hold up, we need to completely rethink the defense.. scoring is up significantly as is yards per play, and while this has been exciting football, the future is what Oman has said.. pass the ball and stop the pass..

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On 9/27/2020 at 6:50 PM, titanskick8851 said:

Continuing as we start college football I think it is wise to look at our current roster construction and look at potential areas of need and positions we will likely target in the draft. 
 

QB - A true developmental Back-up

Long have the Titans needed an actual developmental QB on their roster that they can begin to groom. Woodside is serviable because he knows the offense, but he is more of an extension of the coaching staff than anything at the point. Siemian likely won’t returns

 

WR - Talent, Explosivness, and Depth

One of the positions that will likely undergo a pretty big overhaul this next offseason. AJ Brown is a legit WR1. Corey Davis is talented but has struggled to put it together. With a smaller cap and bigger free agents to take care of, there is a good chance we lose Davis. Behind them Humphries likely returns though he could be a restructure candidate. After that is a bevy of unproven and undersized WR. Raymond has not taken advantage of increased opportunities this year so far, but is also a free agent as well. Batson is interesting, but largely this group lacking explosiveness.

 

TE - Priority Area

For a team that is as TE heavy, next years roster and depth here is a total question mark as all 4 TE’s are set to be free agents. Jonnu Smith will no doubt be the main priority and likely gets the franchise tag if they are unable to reach a deal. Returning Firkser as a RFA and Pruitt will be key to keep offensive continuity. Firkser is one of Tannehill’s go-to targets on 3rd downs thus keeping him will be vital as well. 
 

IOL - Depth and potential replacement

If there is one vet that could be on the way out due to salary cap reasons, it would be Roger Saffold. The team currently has a bevy of young developmental guys, but largely there isn’t anyone really ready to step into the LG role full time. I know many of us would hate to draft an OL early again. Depth here as well is important moving forward.

 

IDL - Simmons and not much else

As we enter next year there is not much at this position other than Simmons. Jones and Crawford are set to be free agents. Murchison, Mack, and Dickerson are unproven depth. Tart is a nice developmental guy on the DL, but this part of the team will need to be reworked and as much as Jones has been great, I doubt we see him get a 3rd contract. There are several early IDL prospects that I could see fitting in nicely. 

 

EDGE - Complete Overhaul?

Another position like TE that has key free agents at starter and depth. Only Harold Landry really returns along with Derick Roberson. Clowney, Beasley, and Correa are all free agents and we already know the franchise tag won’t be an option there to use on Clowned. I think we could see the Titans attempt to get a deal done with Clowney but resources could be directed more towards keeping the offense in tact w/ Jonnu, Firk, and Davis. This is likely a spot along with WR where early draft capital needs to be spent.

 

ILB - Is Brown worth it? Depth concerns.

The biggest question here is Jayon worth a potential extension at $10M/year. If he were the only big free agent I think he would be the main priority but it will be hard to keep him and Jonnu and some of the key depth pieces. That being said depth is a huge concern. As Compton, Dzubnar, and eventually Bates will all be free agents. There is also some doubts that Long can step into Browns every down role and top coverage LB. A decently high pick could need to be invested in this group.
 

CB - Talent is there 

Assuming Adoree is healthy moving forward, this position is not in bad shape moving forward. There is a great chance Butler is either a cap casualty w/ a small chance he reworks his contract, but Fulton and Adoree Jackson give you two strong outside CBs. The biggest need is finding a true NB that can match up with quicker slot guys. Chris Jackson will have the opportunity, but I have doubts. Tye Smith is a free agent along with Chris Milton but both could be back. Joseph likely retires after this year and is free agent as well. Kareem Orr is an interesting player who probably makes the roster if not for a late camp injury. 
 

Safety - Most Complete position group 

This position is essentially set for another year with starters and depth. Byard and Vaccaro make up a solid tandem at safety and Hooker will continually be more and more involved on the backend moving forward. I have a sense that the team has plans for Cruikshank to be a unique matchup weapon when he return. Kalu is a good ST’er. Biggest question in this group is if Hooker or Cruikshank are ready to start full time and thus allowing us to move on from Vaccaro. Don’t really see anyone being added here unless someone like Jevon Holland drops to the back of the 1st round where he is clearly BPA.

 

Special Teams - Meh

Some could say draft a kicker early, but it’s clear the Titans like McCann a lot thus it will be Gostkowski or him next year. Kern is great as usual. Biggest thought here is the WR drafted early will need to be able to add value in the return game.

 

When its put in writing you realise how many holes we actually have.

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22 hours ago, Titan_Aussie said:

 

When its put in writing you realise how many holes we actually have.


It is pretty scary considering who we will actually have on the roster before free agency and the draft.

 

As of now we have the following players for next year (also included RFA and ERFA) as we are sure to keep some of them:

 

QB: Tannehill, Woodside

RB: Henry, Evans, Foreman (RFA), McNichols, Blasingame (ERFA) 

WR: Brown, Humphries, Batson (RFA), Westbrook (ERFA)

TE: Firkser (RFA)

OL: Lewan, Saffold, Jones, Davis, Wilson, Kelly, Brewer, Douglas (RFA), Quessenberry

 

DL: Simmons, Murchison, Tart (ERFA), Dickerson (RFA)

OLB: Landry, Roberson

ILB: Evans, Long 

CB: Adoree, Butler, Fulton, Borders (ERFA), Orr (ERFA), C. Jackson, 

S: Byard, Vaccaro, Hooker, Cruikshank, Kalu (ERFA)

 

K:

P: Kern
LS: Orzech (ERFA)

 

With the upcoming cap situation, obviously Butler, Vaccaro, and potentially Saffold could very well be cuts. I would add Humphries but we literally would only have Brown as a legitimate NFL WR if we did that. I would guess they try and renegotiate Saffold and Humphries deals. Good chance that Jonnu is tagged if they don’t reach a new deal. 

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1 hour ago, ctm said:

Humphries and Saffold both have only 2 tears left on their contracts.  It's going to be hard to push a lot of cap space forward with a straight base salary restructure without doing an extension.


Very true. I think those two are the most likely to stick as they play at positions where we really don’t have anyone else behind them.

 

As of now Butler, Vaccaro, Kelly would be the possible vet cuts and I think they would move some money around from the Henry/Tannehill contracts. 

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5 minutes ago, titanskick8851 said:


Very true. I think those two are the most likely to stick as they play at positions where we really don’t have anyone else behind them.

 

As of now Butler, Vaccaro, Kelly would be the possible vet cuts and I think they would move some money around from the Henry/Tannehill contracts. 

Henry's 2022 cap hit is already 15M.  Tanneyhill's 2022 number is 34M.  Pushing money forward for those guys is really going to balloon those numbers.  Looking at next years contracts, I just don't see a lot of good restructure options.  As you said, releasing players seems like the best option.

 

A lot depends on Wilson's status.  Can he start in 2021?  And what is the NFL's cap number?  If it's 175M, the Titans will have issues.

 

It's a damn shame the team wasted 10M on Beasley, because that rollover into 2021 would sure help.

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13 minutes ago, ctm said:

Henry's 2022 cap hit is already 15M.  Tanneyhill's 2022 number is 34M.  Pushing money forward for those guys is really going to balloon those numbers.  Looking at next years contracts, I just don't see a lot of good restructure options.  As you said, releasing players seems like the best option.

 

A lot depends on Wilson's status.  Can he start in 2021?  And what is the NFL's cap number?  If it's 175M, the Titans will have issues.

 

It's a damn shame the team wasted 10M on Beasley, because that rollover into 2021 would sure help.


That is true. Maybe Byard, I can’t remember if he restructured already or not. May have just been Lewan.

 

I guess the silver lining is nearly every team in the NFL will have to make tough decisions to get under the cap this year if it is at that projected number of $175 Million.

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14 minutes ago, titanskick8851 said:


That is true. Maybe Byard, I can’t remember if he restructured already or not. May have just been Lewan.

 

I guess the silver lining is nearly every team in the NFL will have to make tough decisions to get under the cap this year if it is at that projected number of $175 Million.

Byard already restructured.  The additional bad news is that the Colts will lead the league in available cap space at 76M although they don't have a QB under contract.

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18 minutes ago, ctm said:

Byard already restructured.  The additional bad news is that the Colts will lead the league in available cap space at 76M although they don't have a QB under contract.


This is true. They could totally be such a wild card going into the draft. Maybe they expend a ton of resources to move up in the draft or another potential option could be trading picks to Dallas for Dak. Dallas is in a weird position where they could be in position to draft a top tier QB and continue to rebuild that defense. Saving all that salary with a rookie QB with some elite weapons (Lamb/Cooper/Zeke) could be a better long term decision. Colts could be the one to benefit from that by giving up two late first round picks.

 

I will add they are going to need to start paying some of their defensive players here the next few seasons as well. 

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