Resetting the Tennessee Titans list of needs after free agency

A.J. BrownTitans Ravens 071
A.J. BrownTitans Ravens 071 /

Updated needs for Titans

The Tennessee Titans have had a wild free agency up to this point, but the chips are starting to settle and it is time to refocus on what the team actually needs at this point.

Before the Titans signed anyone or cut Dennis Kelly and Adoree Jackson, this is what I estimated that the team’s biggest needs were.

1. Wide receiver (2 starters, 1 backup needed)

2. EDGE (1 starter, 1 backup needed)

3. Defensive line (1 starter, 1 backup needed)

4. Tight end (1 starter needed, 1 backup needed)

5. Cornerback (1 starter needed)

6. Linebacker (2 backups needed)

7. Safety (1 backup needed)

If you want to read exactly why I thought those were the needs before free agency including the math behind some of those decisions, you can check the article I pulled that from.

Since then the Titans have lost a starting right tackle and a boundary cornerback, while also adding Bud Dupree, Denico Autry, Janoris Jenkins, Kendall Lamm, Geoff Swaim (re-sign), Jayon Brown (re-sign), and Morgan Cox (long snapper).

Taking all of that into account, here is my updated need list:

1. Wide receiver (2 starters, 1 backup needed)

-Nothing has changed here and the gap between this and every other position of need has widened.

2. Cornerback (1 starter needed)

-Janoris Jenkins is going to be more Malcolm Butler than Adoree Jackson, meaning that he is someone who likes to talk and mix it up with physical receivers on the other team. His tape from last year (and all reports from Saints fans) makes me think he has more left in the tank than his age might suggest. Tennessee still needs a slot cornerback though.

3. EDGE (1 backup needed)

-Bud Dupree is huge and it means that the Titans can enter the draft with their starters locked in and only looking to add a developmental or rotational player to the depth chart via the draft. Another veteran EDGE like Ryan Kerrigan or Melvin Ingram makes sense if they want to add even more firepower to the pass rush.

4. Tight End (1 backup needed)

-The Titans have their two “athletic blockers” in Geoff Swaim and Khari Blasingame, and as a receiving threat, they have Anthony Firkser who only had 60 fewer receiving yards than Jonnu Smith. Is it perfect? No, but this is a team that has mass-produced production from tight ends for nearly a decade now and I trust them to do the same with this group.

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5. Defensive line (1 backup needed)

-Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons are a stellar combination for the Titans and Teair Tart is an exciting rookie with upside. Maybe Larrell Murchison develops into something interesting or maybe Tennessee can find another defensive tackle somewhere in the draft or free agency. Depth aside, the starters look great here and this is almost certainly a Day 3 need now instead of a potential 1st round need.

6. Safety (1 backup needed)

-Same situation here as before, the Titans will likely promote from within and move Amani Hooker into a starting role while Dane Cruikshank comes off of the I.R. list and is the Titans 3rd safety.

7. Linebacker (1 backup needed)

-Will Compton time? With Jayon Brown and David Long, Tennessee has two starting-caliber safeties that can play all three downs. Rashaan Evans needs to do some work to prove that he deserves to be mentioned in that group, but as a two-down rotational linebacker, his job can get a lot easier.