Terry Lambert is one of my favorite young writers right now. He focuses on the Tennessee Titans and does a very good job over at Music City Miracles of SBNation.
Today, Lambert put up a post detailing the top three needs for the Tennessee Titans at the start of this offseason. I urge you to read the full article here.
Lambert’s #1 need: Nose Tackle
His reasoning in my words: With Sammie Hill set to be a free agent this year, there is no clear incumbent at one of the most important defenses in a 3-4. Angelo Blackson and DaQuan Jones are square pegs in round holes.
My thoughts: Nose tackle is a fair position for the top of the list. Hill has done a good job, but where is the guy who is going to come in and spell him? Is it skinny Mike Martin? Is it Angelo Blackson? I don’t know, but either way it isn’t a great option.
The Titans need to add a starter caliber player here behind Hill even if they bring him back next year. Now it is fair to say that 3-4 NT is one of the easiest positions to fill and teach, but as the roster is now it is still a hole.
The best option to fill this hole in 2016 is Sheldon Day from Notre Dame, but like Lambert says in his article, he doesn’t scream elite nose tackle.
Lambert’s #2 need: Edge Rusher
His reasoning in my words: This season hinges on Brian Orakpo and his pectoral. If he isn’t healthy the depth and top-end talent here are huge problems.
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My thoughts: Again, hard to argue with him here. We haven’t seen Orakpo as a long term starter in a while, but pec injuries aren’t terrible if I remember correctly.
This team needs more talent to rush the passer, even if it is bringing in an old veteran like Dwight Freeney or Osi Umenyiora. They aren’t ideal options, but this team needs players to take snaps and relieve the two starters.
Lambert’s #3 need: Inside Linebacker
His reasoning in my words: If Zach Brown doesn’t play up to his talent, the Tennessee Titans will need to upgrade. Also, if the Titans do well, the inside linebacker position in the 2016 NFL Draft class should be loaded.
My thoughts: Lambert is on the money again. I do not feel comfortable with Wesley Woodyard on the field for the Titans, and neither should you. He isn’t the leader he was made out to be and his contributions last year were negligible on his best days.
Avery Williamson is great, but he needs a speed-demon blitzer next to him if this system is going to mirror what made Pittsburgh so successful during Dick LeBeau’s run.
Positions I would have included: RT/C
I think both of those positions are extremely weak right now for the Titans. Now, you could argue that Jeremiah Poutasi and Andy Gallik could come in and make those areas look a whole lot better and you wouldn’t be wrong.
I hope that both of those players live up to their good film, but mid-late round offensive linemen rarely come without question marks. If both of those players step up, or if Byron Bell overachieves then this list is pretty hard to argue with.
Even if they don’t, Lambert’s points are well thought out, and he did a good job ignoring positions of strength like cornerback where the Titans have quality talent despite a down year in 2014. This is a very good list, and it might be one you want to bookmark when you are looking at need lists for the Titans after the 2015 NFL season.