The Tennessee Titans have watched a resurgence from their quarterback Ryan Tannehill since he came over from the Miami Dolphins and took over for Marcus Mariota in 2019. They have the best running back in the world in Derrick Henry. They already had one of the game’s best young wide receivers in A.J. Brown, but then, on June 6th, they upped the ante. They upgraded their wide receiver corps by adding a future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in Julio Jones.
On defense, they’ve added studs in Denico Autry, Janoris Jenkins, and Bud Dupree to a unit that already included standouts like Jeffery Simmons, Kevin Byard, and Harold Landry. Then, they got guys like Caleb Farley and Monty Rice to fill out the roster. Just like that, the Tennessee Titans had one of the best rosters in the entire NFL. Some would even say it’s in that top-ten range right?
What’s that? Some of you disagree?
Two trusted names disagree on whether the Tennessee Titans have a top-ten roster.
With training camp approaching, several of the sources that we trust for NFL information have been taking some time to step back, reflect, and put a few lists together. You know we love those lists. Anytime someone’s talking about the best player countdowns, a list of the top offenses, or dare we say power rankings fans are all in.
Here’s something that you might find interesting. In CBS Sports’ recent ranking of the top ten rosters in the NFL, one that was pieced together by Jordan Dajani, Tennessee landed at ten. Dajani defends his stance by stating the following.
"The addition of Julio Jones is obviously a reason the Titans come in at No. 10 on this list, but this roster also doesn’t get the kind of credit it deserves… The Titans also have a good offensive line when healthy… They also drafted North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz, who will battle for the right tackle spot. The defensive side of the ball is where the worries lie for the Titans, but it really has to do with the secondary. Denico Autry, Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, Rashaan Evans, Jayon Brown, and Bud Dupree actually make up a very solid front, but the Titans did part ways with three out of their four starters in the secondary this offseason…"
Pro Football Focus placed them in the top half of the league, but out of the top ten at number 13. Here’s what Ben Linsey, the writer of this one, had to say on the subject.
"The physicality that Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones play with will make Tennessee’s offense uniquely difficult to defend this season… Despite the offseason additions of Bud Dupree and Denico Autry, there are still questions surrounding this defensive front… Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley was the top cornerback on PFF’s draft board, edging out Pat Surtain II and Jaycee Horn, prior to the news that he underwent another back surgery leading up to the 2021 draft. Those medical concerns, coupled with the fact that he opted out of the 2020 season, opened the door for Tennessee to select him with the 22nd overall pick. If healthy, Farley could be one of the steals of the first round. He allowed just 18 of the 50 passes thrown into his coverage to be completed in 2019."
Rankings and analysis aside, here’s what common sense and the eyeball test should be telling us. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a few years away from being a factor in the AFC South. The Houston Texans don’t have any good players, and they don’t have enough draft picks to fix the issue. The Indianapolis Colts should be the only obstacle the Tennessee Titans have to repeat as AFC South Champions.
In the end, the Titans, like every other team in the NFL, have made some adjustments but they still have holes. That’s life in pro football though. Every team needs something. This is a team that faces a good Buffalo Bills team and the Kansas City Chiefs during the regular season. Those games along with their four contests versus the members of the NFC West will determine if this team is playing at home or on the road in the postseason.
Here’s what’s very comforting if you’re a fan of Tennessee’s though. Thanks to having a ton of talent on this roster, the Titans are good enough to be in and win those games. Period.