Tennessee Titans Players Ready to Break Out in 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25: Derrick Henry /

Tennessee Titans players ready to have a breakout year In 2017.

Each year in the NFL, players who are at the end of their careers begin to disappoint their fan bases. Something else also happens; some players hit the prime of their careers and start to produce big numbers. A few players who have broken out over the past few years include Marcus Peters, Landon Collins, Jay Ajayi, Terrance West, and Terrelle Pryor. Excluding rookies, here are some Tennessee Titans ready for a breakout year.

Kevin Byard

Second-year pro Kevin Byard has set a personal goal of making the Pro Bowl this year. Drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft, Byard was known as a ball-hawking safety at MTSU. Byard was held without an interception in 2016, but he did register a sack. In the Titans’ first preseason game against the New York Jets, Byard was around the ball early and often in his time on the field. Byard registered two tackles for loss in the first series.

Derrick Henry

DeMarco Murray is still the lead back for the Titans. However, Henry could be ready to carve out a bigger role for himself in the offense. With Henry’s improved catching ability, he would make a great option as a third-down back. On third-and-short, he is a powerful runner that is hard to take down. On third-and-long Henry can catch or be a strong blocker. Goal line duties would also suit Henry’s style of play. With Murray playing the lead-back role, Henry can play as a change-of-pace, third-down and goal-line back.

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans /

Tennessee Titans

Antwaun Woods

Much like former Titans running back Antonio Andrews, Woods is a feel-good story for fans. Coming to the Titans in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of USC, Woods is now competing with newly signed free agent Sylvester Williams for the starting nose tackle position. While defensive linemen rarely get much credit in the NFL, Woods has the body to consistently eat double teams, allowing the linebackers to run free.

LeShaun Sims

Sims has now cemented himself as a starter opposite Logan Ryan. Drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL draft, some would argue Sims was the Titans’ best cornerback in 2016 once he got his opportunity. With great size and sticky coverage, Sims will be hard to get a completion on once he gets more consistent at looking for the ball.

Rishard Matthews

Some will argue that Matthews has already broken out, but I’m not so sure. With Marcus Mariota having more mouths to feed, Matthews may not see as many targets. However, according to the Titans coaching staff, Matthews is expected to be the Titans’ number on receiver. Matthews also has something the other two of the top three receivers (Corey Davis and Eric Decker) don’t have, and that a year’s worth of chemistry with Mariota and a year of being in the system. Adding Davis and Decker to the mix should open more things up for Matthews, and vice versa.