Tennessee Titans: pre-camp power ranking by position


The Tennessee Titans will come together as a team for the first time this Tuesday, and for the first time in a long time, all eyes will be on the boys in Titan blue. A wild and wacky offseason that included 3 retirements, a shakeup in the front office, the infamous pre-draft trade debate, and Mariota’s arrival, is finally in the rearview mirror.

Now Titans fans are excited to see their new look team….on the field.

As we head into OTA’s this week, let’s take a look at the Titans roster, and rank them by position of strength.

1. Defensive Line

Key Departures: None

Key Additions: Angelo Blackson (rookie)

Led by 2013 Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey, the Titans’ defensive line ranks as it’s most deep and talented position at this point. Tennessee re-signed Casey, along with Karl Klug. Rookie Angelo Blackson will be thrown into the mix right away, giving the Titans seven quality bodies to platoon throughout the season. The acquisition of Dick LeBeau will make this unit even more potent.

2. Linebackers

Key Departures: Kamerion Wimbly (retirement)

Key Additions: Brian Orakpo (F/A) , Jonathan Massaquoi (waivers), Deiontrez Mount (rookie)

Coming into the offseason, the linebacker position was quickly identified as a position of need. Orakpo and Massaquoi bring veteran experience, and re-signing Derrick Morgan was also huge. Rookie Avery Williamson filled in admirably for injured Zach Brown last year. And prior to his injury, Brown had proven to be a promising young lb for Tennessee. If Brown is fully recovered, and can return to his 2012-13 form, then this unit can leapfrog the defensive line as #1.

3. Tight Ends:

Key Departures: None

Key Additions: Anthony Fasano (F/A)

Led by Delanie Walker, the tight end position checks in first on the offensive side of the ball. Third overall. Walker, and his Pro Bowl caliber season, carried the offense last year. The addition of Anthony Fasano (21tds the past four seasons) should make that unit even more valuable this season. Especially to a rookie qb.

4. Wide Receivers:

Key Departures: Nate Washington

Key Additions: Harry Douglas (F/A), Hakeem Nicks (F/A), Dorial Green-Beckham (rookie)

While Tennessee struggled to throw the ball last season, when it worked..it really worked. The Titans averaged 12.5 yards per reception, good for third in the league…so the potential for big plays is there for this group. Douglas, and Nicks bring veteran leadership and playoff experience. DGB brings the speed and athleticism. Will be interesting to see how the depth chart develops in the coming weeks.

5. Safety:

Key Departure: Bernard Pollard

Key Additions: Da’Norris Searcy

Bernard Pollard was ferocious and all, but quite frankly, he made too many bone-head plays. Backbreaking personal foul penalties…one after another. Searcy, while less vocal, should be an upgrade at the position (4 sacks, 4ints, 1td the past 2 seasons) over Pollard. Paired with Michael Griffin, Tennessee is solid here…but not very deep.

6. Cornerbacks:

Key Departures: None

Key Additions: Perrish Cox (F/A)

With the exception of Jason McCourty, this unit was absolutely dreadful last season. Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson struggled mightily, and will once again be counted on to perform this season. The addition of Cox is huge (5 int’s last season). Tennessee should be set in their base defense with McCourty and Cox, but Sensabaugh and/or Wreh- Wilson must step up this year.

7. Offensive Line:

Key Departures: Tackle Michael Roos (retirement)

Key Additions: Tackle Byron Bell (F/A), Tackle Jeremiah Poutasi (rookie), Center Andy Gallik (rookie)

The Titans’ offensive line struggles in 2014 can be summed up in one stat…50 sacks allowed last season. Injuries decimated the position last year, so the addition of Bell, Poutasi, and Gallik will help there. But everyone not named Taylor Lewan or Chance Warmack should take the field Tuesday like they’re fighting for a job…because they should be. If Mariota has any hope to succeed this season, then this unit must move up this list.

8. Running Backs:

Key Departures: None (yet)

Key Additions: David Cobb (rookie), Jalston Fowler (rookie fb)

This unit was arguably the worst of all for Tennessee last season. Shonn Greene was hurt and ineffective again, leading to the “yet” mentioned in key departures. Bishop Sankey and Dexter McCluster both underwhelmed in their Titans debut. Cobb will get every opportunity to start, and Fowler’s versatility makes him an intriguing person to follow throughout camp.

9. Quarterback

Key Departure: Jake Locker (retirement)

Key Addition: Marcus Mariota (rookie)

I know what you’re thinking, this is a knock on Mariota. I assure you…it is not. Coming into camp, Tennessee’s top two qb’s have a career record of 0-6. There is really no reference to draw from at this point, as Mariota heads into camp as the starter. And because of this, there is a buzz of excitiement in the Nashville air.

Because of this, all eyes will be on Tennessee’s OTA’s on Tuesday.

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