At the start of training camp, the Tennessee Titans had to deal with the surprise retirement of Buster Skrine. While he didn’t spend a lot of time in Tennessee, he looked perfect for the veteran, backup cornerback role during his time in Nashville.
Every closed door leads to an open window, and it looks like that retirement could open up an opportunity for former USFL DB Shakur Brown to make the roster.
Last year the Tennessee Titans had 9 or10 defensive backs on the roster at most points, and they have an exceptionally talented group this year so that range seems right.
If you count the starters and key backups, that leaves you with four roster spots up for grabs. A.J. Moore and Theo Jackson seem like solid bets to win the backup safety roles and both players can contribute on special teams as well.
With an entire preseason left to judge, I would guess that Chris Jackson and Skaur Brown are the guys with the best chance to make the roster as the depth corners behind Kristian Fulton, Caleb Farley, Elijah Molden, and Roger McCreary.
How did we get here after just a handful of practices?
Why the Tennessee Titans will like Shakur Brown
Coming out of college, Shakur Brown was highly rated by draft experts like Dane Brugler. In fact, after the 2021 NFL Draft was over, Brown was the second-highest ranked player available according to Brugler.
Here is his analysis from that article:
"“Brown is one of the most confident and physical defensive backs in this class, trusting his reads and not second-guessing himself vs. the pass or run. He is the type of competitor who takes it personally when a pass is completed, but his lack of discipline and size lead to negative reps. Overall, Brown lacks ideal game experience and it shows with his inconsistent technique, but his foot quickness, ball skills and decisive reactor are promising traits worth developing as an inside or outside NFL cornerback.”"
There are several Mike Vrabel/Jon Robinson buzz words in that short summary.
Inside or outside NFL cornerback.
Brown didn’t find a way to break through and make an NFL roster in his first season, but he didn’t sit back and wait for things to come to him either. Instead, he went to the USFL and got to work for the Pittsburgh Maulers.
After the season, he became one of the dozens of USFL players to earn another chance to compete for a roster spot in the NFL when he signed with the Tennessee Titans. There wasn’t much fanfare around him early, but he has been showing up more and more frequently in training camp write-ups.
Easton Freeze had a tweet today that prompted me to look into Shakur Brown’s roster chances, and it reminded me of another tweet that I had seen on Friday night:
I’m not ready to call him a roster lock yet, but Mike Vrabel is going to respect a guy like Brown who has fought for everything in his short NFL career. That won’t guarantee him a spot, but it does guarantee that he is going to get every chance to go out there and earn it during the preseason.
The ball is in Brown’s court now and he has the inside track on a job, now all he has to do is continue to fight and claw for a chance to make his dreams come true. Tennessee Titans fans will get a front-row seat to watch in less than 100 hours when the team takes on the Baltimore Ravens in their first game of the preseason on Thursday night.