Tennessee Titans players to keep an eye on in 2017

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Tajae Sharpe
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Tajae Sharpe /

Tennessee Titans players that you need to watch for in 2017.

The Tennessee Titans have greatly improved their roster over the last few years. Signing key free agents and hitting on draft picks have led to the turnaround in Tennessee. Whether good or bad, player contracts are soon to be expiring. Unlike years past for the Titans, the team has some young, talented players waiting in the wings. Here are some situational players that could take over as starters for the Tennessee Titans in 2018.

Austin Johnson

DaQuan Jones will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 NFL season. Johnson was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. His NFL career got off to a rocky start with the Titans, but as the season went on Johnson began to improve. Head coach Mike Mularkey says he likes what he’s seen from Johnson throughout training camp, citing he is quick off the ball and strong at the point of attack. If Johnson has a good season and continues to grow, he could start across from Jurrell Casey in 2018.

Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe

So far, Taylor has looked great through three preseason games. Taylor made some tough catches through the first three preseason games. He’s caught eight passes for 145 yards.

Sharpe, on the other hand, has been working his way back from a foot injury and saw the field for the first time in the Titans third preseason game against the Chicago Bears. As a rookie, Sharpe showed he is capable of competing in the NFL, but he had trouble making those contested catches.

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With the Titans’ two veteran receivers in Harry Douglas and Eric Decker set to be free agents in 2018, these two young receivers need to grow up fast.

Aaron Wallace and Jayon Brown

Running a 3-4 defense, the Titans have two starting inside linebackers in Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard. Williamson will hit the open market in 2018, if their not given a new deal. Aaron Wallace would be the likely candidate to replace Williamson if he were to leave. Head coach Mike Mularkey has praised Wallace for his football intelligence and his physical style of play.

Rookie Jayon Brown has already been making noise for his coverage abilities, and he’s getting time with the first team defense in sub packages. If he keeps this momentum up, he could push starter Wesley Woodyard for playing time down the stretch.

Adoree’ Jackson

While Logan Ryan is only in the first year of a three-year contract and LeShaun Sims is only in the second year of a four-year deal, Brice McCain, the team’s third cornerback, will hit free agency after this season. Jackson and McCain have similar size and build. If Jackson can clean his technique up, he would be the perfect replacement for McCain. One thing Jackson has that McCain could never match is athleticism and playmaking ability.

The Titans won’t let all of these guys walk in free agency. But, if that were to happen, the Titans have solid replacements already in place. One other upside to this: the Titans have solid depth at these positions If an injury were to occur.