Step 2: Changing of the guard in free agency
Last year there was a mass exodus on defense as several players were cut. The Titans somewhat surprisingly moved on from all of the following: Malcolm Butler, Adoree Jackson, Desmond King, Kenny Vaccaro, Jack Crawford, and DaQuan Jones.
Somewhat less surprisingly they moved on from Jadeveon Clowney.
That meant that the defense went into free agency with seven positions open for competition.
Some of those were replaced by in-house candidates who didn’t initially look like great draft picks but grew into being good players because the draft isn’t all about which players can start the fastest.
Kristian Fulton replaced Adoree Jackson, Teair Tart replaced DaQuan Jones, and Amani Hooker replaced Kenny Vaccaro.
In free agency, they filled three more positions by adding Bud Dupree to replace Jadeveon Clowney, Denico Autry to replace Jack Crawford, and Jackrabbit Jenkins to replace Malcolm Butler.
Similarly this offseason, the Titans had to find replacements for Julio Jones, Rodger Saffold, David Quessenberry, Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, D’Onta Foreman, Kendall Lamm, and Anthony Firkser.
In-house candidates should once again take over for some of these players. Rodger Saffold should be replaced by Aaron Brewer (though Jamarco Jones was added in free agency) and Dillon Radunz should replace David Quessenberry.
Once again, in free agency, the Titans found ways to fill a lot of these holes without breaking the bank. Robert Woods (trade) replaced Julio Jones while Austin Hooper should be an upgrade over Geoff Swaim who is still on the roster but who will probably be pushed down the depth chart a few spots.