How is the 2014 Tennessee Titans roster shaping up following draft weekend? Below is an early defensive depth chart that includes every player listed on the Titans Online roster (plus the six rookies).
Undrafted Free Agents Defense (UPDATED AS OF 10:25 PM CT)
James Gayle (defensive end, Virginia Tech)
Jamal Merrell (linebacker, Rutgers)
Rishard Anderson (cornerback, Syracuse)
Hakeem Smith (safety, Louisville)
Analysis: Not expecting much from this group. Hakeem Smith could win a spot as a reserve safety and special-teamer, especially if Marqueston Huff is permanently used at cornerback. Safety youth isn’t necessary but nice.
Analysis: It’s hard to create an actual depth chart here because many players will play anywhere along the defensive line. These position listings are straight from Titansonline.com (except DaQuan Jones, he’s still unlisted). Don’t expect Anunoby to make the final roster. Could see a surprise cut among this group.
Analysis: Don’t expect Dixon to make the final cuts. While these are the listed defensive ends (minus outside linebacker / defensive end hybrids), Klug is more of a rotational piece. I’m interested to see how or even if Edwards fits into this defense. The Titans already have so many edge-type players that it’s hard to see him making the 53. He needs a strong training camp.
Analysis: Looking forward to see how Ray Horton uses Morgan. Both of these players have the ability to play hands down in four-man fronts and hands up in three-man fronts. How well Morgan transitions into this hybrid 3-4 defense will make a huge difference in whether this defense excels in 2014.
Analysis: Copeland and Hinds have negligible chance to make the final roster. I’d guess that the final set of outside linebackers would look (including hybrid DE/LB): Morgan-Phillips-Ayers-Wimbley. Final set of inside linebackers would include Brown-Woodyard-Fokou-McCarthy-Williamson-Gooden.
Analysis: Huff appears like a better fit to play cornerback, although he has the versatility to become an undersized free safety. Sensabaugh and Wreh-Wilson are the top contenders to win the No. 2 cornerback that was opened when Alterraun Verner joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For Campbell, another sub-par preseason could spell the end.
Analysis: There’s room for another young body.
There’s a lot of competition for depth jobs. Every position includes battles for, at a minimum, spot-playing opportunities. No. 2 cornerback, inside linebacker, and possibly one of the defensive end positions are starting jobs that are up for grab. Ayers needs a strong training camp.