7. Alex Barnes RB, Kansas State
Snaps: 115 (30 offense, 85 special teams)
I think there will be a healthy competition, but Barnes needs to be the Tennessee Titans RB3 by the time the season rolls around.
Barnes is an athletic freak that should have been drafted, but like so many other running backs before him he is a victim to the decreasing value put on the position during the draft process.
Where he fits:
Barnes is a back that can do it all. He is a tough runner who will carry guys once he gets to the second level even though he does need some runway to really make an impact.
In the passing game he has the size to be a blocker and has the skills to catch the ball at/behind the line as well as down the field. In fact, he probably enters the Titans backfield as the best pass catching back they have based on natural skill.
The reason that he needs to be make this team is because I would guess that neither of the two running backs on the roster right now are going to be on the roster in 2020.
If Derrick Henry has a great year, he is probably going to be too expensive to bring back especially when you consider how he really isn’t a great fit for the zone scheme that they want to run. If he has a bad year, then really that will be his fourth middling year of his career where he has huge runs spliced in with weeks of average play.
Dion Lewis will be nearly 30 and he is making too much money as it is. With the Titans in a cap crunch, keeping Lewis on the team at his current salary just won’t be an option.
So the best plan is to keep an ultra cheap option who can be your RB3 and a special teams player in year one and then supplement him with a rookie RB in a stacked class (Travis Etienne, D’Andre Swift, J.K. Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers, Najee Harris, and Big A.J. Dillon to name a few).