Titans fans, meet Anthony McKinney
When the Tennessee Titans drafted Isaiah Wilson, the idea was that he had rare size and that he could be molded into a starter on the offensive line by 2021.
Well, 2021 is here and I think we have all seen enough to realize where this road is headed. But, don’t worry because 2020 told us a few things about the roster that we didn’t know before.
First, Dennis Kelly is a good right tackle and he was a stalwart on an offensive line that blocked for Derrick Henry as he rushed for 2,000 yards and protected Ryan Tannehill as he helped lead the Titans to the best offense in team history.
Second, we learned that Keith Carter is much better than I gave him credit for initially. The job has done with Nate Davis and Aaron Brewer is nice, but what really impressed me was what he did with David Quessenberry and Ty Sambrailo.
When you combine those things, you can see why the Titans’ “need” for an offensive tackle is overexagerated. However, if they do want a young player with rare size who can develop behind the starters on this roster, they can still look towards their rookie class, just not the drafted guys.
You might not know Anthony McKinney’s name, he was an UDFA in the 2020 NFL Draft that signed with the Titans. He was the team’s lone opt-out for the season which is why you never heard him mentioned as a potential replacement on the offensive line.
McKinney is listed at 6’8 and 316 lb. and he was a two year starter at TCU. According to TCU’s website, McKinney is the perfect candidate to be a “sleeper” at the position:
-Made 20 starts at left tackle
-Didn’tplay football until his junior year of high school
-Was a wrestler in high school
-After junior college, he picked TCU over offers from other big schools like Oklahoma, Georgia, Iowa State and Michigan State.
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So you have a guy that quickly worked his way up from two years of high school football, to two years at JUCO, to two years with TCU, and now he is in his second year in the NFL. Seems like he might be on track to make some noise this year.
Now understand, the expectation for McKinney should be as a competitive backup that proves he deserves to be the OT3 or OT4. Taylor Lewan and Dennis Kelly are the starters on this team and anyone brought in will be to back up those two.
Still, keep your eyes on McKinney to see if the Titans keep him around through the offseason. Even if they release him at some point, remember that this is a coaching staff that craves continuity and familiarity, which why guys they have let go in the past (Darren Bates, Will Compton, David Quessenbery, etc.) often find their way back to Nashville.