Updated team needs
A peek behind the curtain here, I have been keeping track of the changes to the AFC South in a spreadsheet since the 2020 season was over. With so much movement expected from all these teams, I thought it would be a good idea to track how many starters each team needs, how much money they have to spend, how many top-100 draft picks they have, and if they have any potential breakout starters already on the roster.
In this list I have already baked in that I think Anthony Firkser is going to ease the pain of potentially losing Jonnu Smith and definitely losing Adam Humphries.
I also have Kristian Fulton taking over the starting boundary spot (where he played his best ball in college) and David Long as the starting inside linebacker over a likely-departed Jayon Brown.
Here is the updated list of team needs heading into the offseason:
1. EDGE (major need)
-I think EDGE and WR are very similar. Both positions have one clear starting quality player and an empty depth chart.
2. WR (major need)
-Assuming that the Titans make the mistake of not bringing back Corey Davis, the depth chart is barren outside of A.J. Brown. The only reason this isn’t #1 is because Harold Landry is really good, but A.J. Brown is a superstar.
3. DL (moderate need)
-Right now I am semi-comfortable with the idea of Teair Tart starting next to Jeffery Simmons, but I would feel much better if he was just a great rotational player for the defense this year.
4. SCB (moderate need)
-I can squint and see how Chris Jackson’s development can help the Titans feel better about their depth at cornerback behind the starting three. When I say starting three, I am tentatively penciling in Breon Borders as the starter outside with either Kristian Fulton or Adoree Jackson kicking inside. I don’t like it, but I have seen these players actually do this at the NFL level.
5. TE (moderate need)
-The Titans have been manufacturing production from mid-round picks and scraps for a while now. Jonnu Smith was a 3rd round pick, Anthony Firkser was undrafted, Geoff Swaim was a street free agent in August, and MyCole Pruitt was on a practice squad. With that in mind, Firkser and a group of scrappy guys (Jared Pinkney, Parker Hesse, and Tommy Hudson) are enough for me to push this down the list.
6. LB (minor need)
-I like David Long as a starter and I think he is probably their best linebacker heading into the season. Rashaan Evans is going to get the nod on the other side and the only real need I see is a need for depth and special teams help (bring back Will Compton).
7. OL (minor need)
-The starting 5 should be locked in, and I am optimistic about Aaron Brewer and David Quessenberry as the emergency starters at iOL or OT respectively. Maybe they need some more depth if they are looking 2+ years down the road for future starters, but there is no immediate need.