Last week, the Tennessee Titans cut a 90-man training camp roster down to their 53-man version. Over the last two seasons, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more roster movement than ever before, and even if prospects land on the active roster, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be on the team by the time gameday approaches.
With rosters constantly in flux, teams aren’t committing to the development of prospects for years on end. Even the best and most patient GMs are pulling the plug earlier than they once did.
Tennessee’s GM Jon Robinson has really only had one bad offseason during his time in Nashville, and that came before the 2020 season. Lack of face-to-face contact and hands-on evaluation meant more guesswork, and the Titans guessed wrong on players like Jadeveon Clowney, Isaiah Wilson, and Vic Beasley.
There is a glimmer of hope that Titans fans will be able to look back on the 2020 offseason and see a few positives. Tennessee’s head coach, Mike Vrabel, name-dropped some players during a recent chat with the media, and based on what he said, we can assume that some young guys are going to get playing time in the season opener.
Which second-year players will play for the Tennessee Titans
Geoff Swaim and Ty Sambrailo should get a mention here because there is a good chance that Titans fans will see both players in Week 1, but the focus here is on the 2020 Titans draft class, so who might we assume will see the field on Sunday?
Kristian Fulton, CB
Don’t read this as criticism for Caleb Farley who is progressing well considering that he hasn’t played football since 2019 and he is fully cleared from his back issues. The real takeaway here is that Kristian Fulton is developing into a very nice player and he has earned the starting job on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Teair Tart, DL
Teair Tart had some splash plays in 2020 but by all accounts, he has transformed his body and is set to play a massive role for the Titans as their primary A-gap player. Whether he is playing as a nose tackle in some version of a three or five-man front or a one-technique in four-man fronts, Tart has shown that he has the size and power necessary to be a problem for opposing offensive linemen.
The step he took forward this offseason is that he showed off better hands and much better conditioning in the preseason than he did at the end of last season and that is great news for Tennessee Titans fans.
Larrell Murchison, DL
Something that went under the radar because the Titans kept him in bubble wrap towards the end of the preseason, was the development of Larrell Murchison.
Getting anything out of a fifth round pick as a rookie is a nice surprise, but the real value is in what they bring to a team in their second, third, and fourth seasons. The key to that is development, and in the preseason it certainly looked like Murchison had developed into someone worth a look as a rotational tackle.
Keep an eye on Darrynton Evans once he heals up because he was looking like an exciting backup running back for the Tennessee Titans in training camp, but his biggest issue isn’t talent or effort, it is availability.