No matter how well you know the Tennessee Titans and how they like to build their roster, there are always surprises when the final cuts roll in after the final preseason game.
Rarely does a single eye-popping performance lead to a spot on the 53-man roster, but if a player is on the fringe of being cut and they stand out at the end of August then they have a chance to find themselves on the main roster in September.
With the final preseason game just hours away Tennessee Titans fans should be asking themselves which players have stood out through the preseason but haven’t been able to really solidify their role or prove that they are worth rolling the dice on.
With those criteria in mind, there are two names that stick out like a sore thumb.
One is someone that has been quietly whispered about for months now and the other is someone who hasn’t done anything except wreak havoc when they are on the field. What makes them even more exciting is that both players are rookies.
Which UDFAs have earned a chance to make the Tennessee Titans’ 53-man roster?
It is hard to find a punter that can draw attention from fans when the team is actually fun to watch on offense and defense. That is why Ryan Stonehouse seems to be such an interesting find for the Tennessee Titans.
On Friday I wrote about how Stonehouse casually broke the punting record in the NCAA and how he had already shown off his punting skills in the preseason. Still, it seems worth reiterating that Stonehouse has the rare ability to punt balls over the heads of returners in a way that makes them very hard to return (Kyle Philips dropped three in the Titans’ most recent practice and Tampa Bay had a returner fumble one through the endzone).
There is something to be said about a punter whose floor is flipping the field and who can occasionally help create turnovers for your team.
The other player that has been making waves is UDFA EDGE David Anenih (pronounced uh-niny FYI).
It was head-scratching when the Titans made him their highest-paid UDFA after the draft when there were offensive linemen and receivers that looked like they had a better chance to make the roster. However, Anenih has been nothing short of impressive in both his preseason games.
On 30 pass rush snaps, he has 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles thanks to an Ola Adeniyi-like burst and bend off of the edge.
He has the size and athleticism to be a special teams player as well as a situational pass rusher, again very similar to Ola Adeniyi who was also someone that finished the preseason strong (credited with half a sack in the preseason finale).
The question right now is whether or not there are enough open spots on the roster for Ola Adeniyi and Anenih whose roles are redundant. There are ways to open up “extra” spots on the roster like letting go of Logan Woodside, trusting Tory Carter to be the FB1 and TE4, putting Jamarco Jones on I.R., trusting Rashad Weaver and DeMarcus Walker to take some snaps at defensive tackle, etc.
It is up to Anenih to make himself look as good as possible on special teams and as a pass rusher so that the Tennessee Titans are convinced that he is too good to let go and that it is less risky to try to create one of those “extra” spots mentioned above.