The Tennessee Titans can take their offense to the next level by signing two offensive players who aren’t being talked about enough.
Tennessee Titans LT Taylor Lewan said it best at the season ticket holder ceremony this past weekend. He stated that the Titans are a few moves away from being true Super Bowl contenders. I think all Titans fans would agree with his statement.
As the combine or, as most call it, the “Underwear Olympics” nears, future stars will give it their all to reach their dream. As much as I will be keeping an eye on all the players I want the Titans to draft, we must not forget that free agency is right around the corner and comes before the draft. I believe that there are two players the Titans must sign who won’t break the bank and will help them get one step closer to holding the Lombardi Trophy.
WR Jordan Matthews, Buffalo Bills
The former Vandy wide receiver was drafted in 2014 by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round. After being traded to the Bills, even though he was second on the Eagles in wide receiver snaps, his production fell, generating only 282 receiving yards in 2017. In his last two seasons with the Eagles, Matthews found production as the primary slot receiver. For the Bills, he was forced to play on the outside due to a depleted receiving corps, which was a major factor in his lack of production. According to Pro Football Focus, Matthews was averaging 67 receptions from the slot for the Eagles in the past two seasons and only recorded 17 receptions from the slot in 2017. Not only was his production down, but he also recorded his lowest PFF grade in 2017.
The Titans’ slot production was down even with the acquisitions of a veteran Eric Decker and a third round selection in Taywan Taylor. It seems that Decker and the Titans will mutually part ways, and the organization can only hope Taylor can produce a bounce back year. To me, it only seems evident that the Titans will bring in another receiver to fill this role. The Titans have a great opportunity to bring Matthews back to Nashville for a bargain price. Titan Sized’s Kyle Zwiazek wrote a great piece on why Nashville is the perfect place for Matthews and I couldn’t agree more with him.
RB Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
The dynamic do-it-all running back is a free agent that most experts are sleeping on. Could it be because of his injury history or his age? I would say most likely, but Lewis was one of the best running backs no one talked about in 2017. Lewis finished with the third-highest PFF grade for any running back with an 89.4 overall grade last season, According to PFF, Lewis was a signature stat All-Star, leading the league in elusive rating and tying for the best pass blocking efficiency in the entire NFL.
Lewis was drafted in 2011 by the Eagles then bounced to the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns before finding a home in New England. Lewis had 180 carries this year, which is the most he has had in his career and more carries than he has had in all of his first five seasons combined. I understand that he has had numerous knee injuries, but as the numbers show, he is better than ever!
Most fans want Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon, as he is two years younger and had a breakout year. My question to Titans fans out there: Do you want the Titans want to pay a premium for a guy who will be a complementary running back?
We all expect the Titans to part ways with DeMarco Murray, and we thank him for his services. That will give Henry a shot at being the lead back. It is obvious that a change of pace back is much needed, and Lewis can provide these services. He can not only be a great third down pass protector, but also a safety valve option for Marcus Mariota and produce yards after the catch.
Do I expect the Titans to draft another change of pace runner and wide receiver? Absolutely, but being able to bring in premium players who also have experience in the league for discounted prices can only help this team take the next step in the right direction.