With the 2015 NFL Draft now over, it is time to get a look at what the roster looks like heading into the 2015 NFL season. Today we will look at one of the stronger positions on the Tennessee Titans roster: left guard.
The Tennessee Titans have the third highest paid left guard in the league in Andy Levitre. Early in his career Andy Levitre was a brick wall in pass protection and constantly opened up running lanes with his good angles, decent speed and solid technique. However, his first year in Tennessee was…well trash. He sucked. There aren’t many nice things you can say, and many people including myself were calling for the Tennessee Titans to find some way out of their loft contract.
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However, after re-watching the Tennessee Titans games from the second half of the 2014 NFL season (a really tough thing to do) the much maligned guard actually looked good. Andy Levitre was actually an above average guard during the second half of the season (18th out of 40 left guards during that stretch according to Pro Football Focus).
We will talk more about Chance Warmack in a later post, but honestly the Tennessee Titans guard position is much more encouraging now than it has been in the past eight years.
While a glance at the roster doesn’t speak to much talent behind Andy Levitre, one name stands out as someone to watch: Josue Matias. The UDFA offensive lineman from Florida State is actually a fairly dominant player and should have been drafted in the top-60 picks. If you aren’t sure about just how good he is, check out his performance against Notre Dame here.
However, a medical red flag apparently threatened his ability long-term and teams passed on him. If he can stay healthy the he could be a very good backup behind Andy Levitre.
In case the aforementioned clip was too long to watch in its entirety, fast forward to the 3:17 mark and watch Matias identifying the blitz and stonewalling the blitzing linebacker.
With a solid guard in place until 2019, it is hard to say the future is anything less than alright here. Andy Levitre is coming into his first season where he is actually healthy, which should mean quite a bit to his ability in the season. Behind him the Tennessee Titans have a capable backup that should insure that Marcus Mariota isn’t scared for his life if Andy Levitre has to miss any time.
All in all, this is the second position on the offensive line that has looked pretty solid as an individual piece. Hopefully that is a trend that continues as we look at every other position.