Jon Robinson is off to an excellent start in his inaugural season as the Tennessee Titans general manager, filling several holes in the roster during free agency.
He addressed Tennessee’s need for a bell cow running back by acquiring DeMarco Murray from the Philadelphia Eagles. He filled a gaping hole at center by signing Ben Jones, who started all 16 games for the Texans last season.
Robinson filled the Titans’ need for a quality veteran wide receiver by signing Rishard Matthews, who posted career numbers in his first feature role in Miami last year.
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While we unilaterally recognize the shot in the arm that Robinson has provided the Titans and their fan base, the reality is…there’s still work to do if Tennessee wants to avoid a third straight top 2 pick next season.
And that work continues on April 28th, when the NFL draft opens with the Titans on the clock.
With that being said, lets now take a look at the Titans up-to-date team needs.
Left Tackle / Cornerback
I list these two together because they are the only two positions that the Titans are coveting with the number one overall pick. If they go left tackle, then Laremy Tunsil out of Ole Miss is the clear cut choice. If the Titans elect to go corner, then Florida State’s (and Nashville’s very own) Jalen Ramsey is the no-brainer. Tunsil and Ramsey have emerged as the top two prospects in the country, so Tennessee has their pick of the litter. If Tunsil is selected, then Taylor Lewan would be moved to the right side, thus, addressing both needs. If Ramsey is selected, then right tackle will be high on the list.
The Titans have one “quality” guard on the roster, and that is Chance Warmack, who plays on the right side. As it stands today, the left guard situation is a mess with Quinton Spain (2015 undrafted rookie free agent), and Jeremiah Poutasi (3rd round bust at tackle and guard last season), currently listed one and two on the depth chart.
Tennessee re-signed Al Woods last month, and now they have a total of one on the roster heading into the draft.
While the Titans appear to have solid depth here on paper, we must account for the overall health of the unit. Derrick Morgan finished the season on IR last year, as did Deiontrez Mount. 2015 was a bounce back season (health wise) for Brian Orakpo, but can the Titans afford to test fate again this season…given Orakpo’s injury history throughout his career? It would behoove Tennessee to grab one in the mid to late rounds.
What Tennessee needs most on offense is a dynamic playmaker, and if we’re not talking number one overall, then they have to abandon their draft board if one falls into their lap. In 2008 the Titans selected running back Chris Johnson with the 24th overall pick, even though they already had LenDale White on the roster, who they took 45th overall two years earlier. Johnson’s unbelievable playmaking ability was the catalyst for Tennessee’s 13-3 record that year. Playmakers aren’t developed, they’re born. The Titans, and qb Marcus Mariota specifically, desperately need one.