Free agency has changed the Tennessee Titans biggest draft need

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Ran Carthon’s first free agency period with the Tennessee Titans hasn’t included many big swings, but there is nothing wrong with consistently hitting doubles.

By Wednesday morning, there have been five free agent signings (really only four that matter) that have filled positions of need. Like everyone, there are some deals that I like more than others, but I don’t know if there have been any reason for fans to be anything other than pleased.

If the 2023 season started tomorrow Andre Dillard would be the Tennessee Titans starting left tackle and fans should be optimistic about that.

While he isn’t perfect, Dillard is an athletic freak who should thrive in a zone-blocking scheme like the one that the Titans will use. Also, signing a guy that was coached by one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL isn’t a bad thing considering that we don’t know how much help the Tennessee Titans’ new OL coach will be to any prospect.

Staying on the offensive line, Daniel Brunskill is an incredibly interesting guy. Over the last 4 years, he has played nearly 3,500 snaps and he has started at all 5 offensive line positions. I’m not sure that I can remember a player doing that in the modern NFL.

While he has that versatility, he is going to be most comfortable at right guard (or maybe center), so the expectation should be that he is going to come in and replace Nate Davis or Ben Jones.

That means that we can pencil in starters at left tackle, right guard, and right tackle, though positions are subject to change at this point. Behind those three, you have Dillon Radunz, Aaron Brewer (RFA), and Jamarco Jones who have all started games in the NFL at multiple positions.

Moving to defense, the Tennessee Titans still haven’t announced what Azeez Al-Shaair’s contract is yet, but it is a multi-year deal and everything indicates that he will be the linebacker that replaces David Long.

The fourth and most recent addition to the Tennessee Titans is Arden Key, who fans might know as one of the many EDGEs that embarrassed Dennis Daley en route to a sack. Key is a great piece to add because he can give you snaps at EDGE and he can kick inside to play as a pass-rushing defensive tackle.

Have those moves done enough to move the needle and change what the Tennessee Titans do at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft? Actually, yes.

Change of draft plans for the Tennessee Titans

For months when anyone talked about the Tennessee Titans’ draft plans with the 11th pick, offensive tackle has been highlighted, circled, and written in all caps. Now it is probably something that should be written in pencil and you should have an eraser handy.

Don’t get me wrong, drafting a tackle and moving Andre Dillard inside to guard (where he has started before in the NFL), isn’t a bad idea if you love that rookie tackle. However, if you aren’t completely sold on a prospect, you don’t have to force a fit.

For example, let’s say that the 2023 NFL Draft falls as Mike Renner suggested after the Carolina Panthers trade:

According to their own rankings, that means that there are two top-10 talents still on the board for the Tennessee Titans with the 11th pick: Devon Witherspoon CB, Illinois; Quentin Johnston WR, TCU.

While Ran Carthon has said that the Titans are not collecting talent, they are building a team, it is easy to see why Witherspoon and Johnson would be appealing to Tennessee when you look at the market value of cornerbacks and receivers and the potential need at both positions.

At the very least, Tennessee has options now and that can go a long way in the rebuilding process.