October 9, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Tennessee Titans offensive linemen Jake Scott (73), David Stewart (76) and Mike Otto (66) take the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Less than one week has passed since the Tennessee Titans wrapped up the 2013 NFL Draft. In the upcoming weeks, the Titans will put the finishing touches on their training-camp roster with undrafted free agents and some veterans who could solidify depth positions on the offensive line and defensive line. Mike Munchak and his staff have four months to configure a 53-man roster with starting lineups before their regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What could that roster look like? Let’s take a look at some post-draft depth chart and roster projections for the 2013-14 Tennessee Titans. Other than tight end and special teams, the Titans have significant personnel decisions to make at every position.
This is set. If the Titans needed room for a 53rd player and Smith had a poor preseason, then maybe they release Smith and add a No. 3 quarterback on the practice squad. That’s possible.
Running Backs (4-7)
Quinn Johnson vs. Colin Mooney
An undrafted free agent (e.g. Stefphon Johnson) could challenge Harper for his No. 3 role. With an emergency fullback like Craig Stevens, the Titans shouldn’t use a roster spot on two fullbacks. That sets up a competitive battle between Johnson and Mooney.
Wide Receivers (6-13)
Darius Reynaud vs. Marc Mariani
Damian Williams vs. Michael Preston
Wright and Hunter are 100-percent safe. Unless Britt does something foolish, he’s safe. Since Khalid Wooten has experience as a return specialist, there’s room for either Reynaud or Mariani. Not both. Williams will try to hold off Preston for the No. 5 role. Kevin Walter needs a remarkable preseason and-or injuries to save him.
Keep an eye on Washington. Titan Sized lead columnist Josh Gunnels talked about the possibility of the Titans adding John Abraham to their rotation at defensive end. On May 2, Jim Wyatt from The Tennessean reported that the team was visiting with the almost 35-year-old defensive end
If Abraham signs, Eugene Amano and-or Washington could become cap casualties. Williams and Preston make team as No. 4 and No. 5 receivers.
Tight Ends (3-16)
Maybe a different order. That’s about it.
Offensive Line (9-25)
Eugene Amano vs. Mike Otto
Kevin Matthews vs. Rob Turner vs. Kasey Studdard vs. Chris Spencer
Top six are locks. At age 24, Stingily gives the Titans a versatile offensive lineman who could become the long-term replacement for Michael Roos or David Stewart. Barring a horrible training camp, Stingily appears safe.
That leaves one, likely two more reserve jobs. If the Titans can afford it, they may as well keep Amano as a backup guard and emergency center. With that said, would they keep the base salaries of Amano ($3.685 million), Velasco ($2.023 million) and Otto ($1.7 million) all as backups?
Let the best man win the No. 9 gig.
Defensive Line (9-34)
Sammie Lee Hill
Karl Klug vs. DaJohn Harris
Keyunta Dawson vs. Scott Solomon
Top five are locks. Pitoitua and Edwards are probably safe. If Akeem Ayers can serve as an emergency defensive end, then Dawson or Solomon become expendable. Versatility from Pitoitua could also play into that decision. While Klug should make the team, he is a candidate for someone who could get a surprise cut.
Tim Shaw vs. Patrick Bailey
For linebackers, the biggest question is whether Shaw or Bailey are kept for their special-teams contributions. It’s possible that both make the team.
In 2011, Campbell completed his journey from airport janitor to NFL draft pick. Two years later, he finds himself in a huge offseason battle that could determine whether he wins the outside cornerback job or he pursues life after professional football.
Markelle Martin vs. Daimion Stafford
With Wooten as a tweener defensive back, don’t expect the Titans to keep both Martin and Stafford. One of them will make the team as a backup safety. The loser could find his way on the practice squad.
Maybe—just maybe—an impressive training camp could save Robert Johnson. Al Afalava is good as gone.
Special Teams (3-53)
That’s 53 players. This doesn’t include UDFAs who could steal roster spots from unsuspecting players. How do you think the roster will look when September rolls around?