Jack Conklin, RT
The Titans have multiple players in prove-it years, and right tackle Jack Conklin is no different. During the offseason, the Titans decided to decline his fifth-year option, leaving Conklin as a candidate to hit the open market next offseason.
Conklin earned a starting spot on the Titans’ offensive line after being drafted in the first round (No. 8 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. He made every start in his first two seasons and was good to great for most of it—but injuries certainly slowed him last year.
After tearing his ACL in a playoff loss to the New England Patriots in January 2018 (2017 season), Conklin missed the first three games of the 2018 campaign while still recovering from the same injury. He later suffered a concussion to miss another contest, then suffered another knee injury that landed him on injured reserve to finish his 2018 campaign with just nine games played.
A once-promising tackle, Conklin now comes with health concerns as he enters his fourth season. Not only does he have to up his game overall, but Conklin must prove he can stay on the field if the Titans are even going to consider bringing him back.
To make matters worse for Conklin, he could be pushed by fellow right tackle Dennis Kelly in training camp. Kelly played well in Conklin’s absence last season, so it stands to reason he has a legitimate shot to earn a starting role over Conklin, whether that be sooner or later.
Kelly could be the preferred choice to Conklin once both become free agents in 2020. Conklin has the deck stacked against him for returning to Tennessee beyond 2019 already, and Kelly’s presence on the roster certainly doesn’t help.