1 Free agent the Tennessee Titans could sign and shake up the 2024 NFL Draft

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Since January, the Tennessee Titans have been methodically crushing the offseason. Just look at the timeline over the last few months.

On January 11, the Titans fired Mike Vrabel after losing 18 of his last 24 games.

Two weeks later on January 24, the Titans finally stepped into the modern era of football by hiring Brian Callahan, a coach whose biggest claim to fame didn't have anything to do with defense, special teams, or his playing career.

On March 13, newly empowered GM Ran Carthon made huge moves in free agency signing Calvin Ridley, Lloyd Cushenberry, and Chidobe Awuzie. They also locked up one of the best special teams combos in the NFL last year in Nick Folk and Morgan Cox.

Two weeks after that the Tennessee Titans made a splash again by trading for star cornerback L'Jarius Sneed.

It is hard to argue that any team has done more to help their team this offseason than the Tennessee Titans have. However, there is one thing that has been bothering me about this offseason and I wrote a little bit about that on Tuesday.

The Titans certainly weren't afraid to spend money in free agency this offseason, but throughout the entire process, they didn't even sniff around any offensive tackle options. Either through trade or free agency, guys like Michael Onwenu, Tyron Smith, Morgan Moses, Jonah Williams, Trent Brown, Jermaine Eluemenor, and Mekhi Becton were all available, but the Titans weren't publicly connected to any of them.

It just seems like a glaring oversight that Ran Carthon would just ignore such a glaring hole on the roster. That has pointed many people (myself included) toward thinking that this means that the team is planning on using a first-round pick at left tackle.

What if that isn't the plan? Or at least, what if that plan isn't set in stone?

How the Tennessee Titans become wild cards in the 2024 NFL Draft

There is one loose thread here that could be a game-changer for everyone in the NFL draft.

Earlier I said that the Titans didn't show any interest in the offensive tackle market this offseason, but that wasn't quite true. There was one tackle that they had in for a visit and that was 9-year veteran Andrus Peat.

Peat has spent the majority of his career at left guard (nearly 4,500 snaps), but some of his best seasons have come as the left tackle for the New Orleans Saints and it was a big sample size (nearly 2,000 snaps).

It should be noted that Peat isn't a guard because he was too small to play tackle. Peat is nearly 6'7, 320 lb. which puts him close to guys that Bill Callahan has recently worked with like Jack Conklin and Dawand Jones who were both about 6'6 or taller.

Right now the Titans have no one to start at left tackle if they ignore the position in the draft, but signing Peat would change all of that.

The presumption is that the team believes that Bill Callahan can get Nicholas Petit-Frere to perform at a much higher level than the last coaching staff, which could mean that they already have their right tackle. If they also believe that Callahan can get the most out of Andrus Peat, then it would give the Titans the wiggle room to do anything they want in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Let's say that they sign Peat and the draft goes like this:
1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams QB, USC
2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels QB, LSU
3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy
4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr. WR, Ohio State
5. L.A. Chargers: Joe Alt OT, Notre Dame
6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers WR, LSU

Without Peat, the Titans are in a terrible spot. My guess is that they would be forced to take Olu Fashanu, who is still a very good left tackle prospect, but who might not be quite the blue-chip level talent that they were hoping for.

But the addition of Peat opens up the possibility of a trade-down. In this scenario, one of the top-4 QBs is available at 7 and we know that teams like the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, and L.V. Raiders are all making offers to move up to upgrade at the position.

Let's say that the Raiders offer the Titans 13, 44, and a 2025 3rd. The Titans can trade down and add draft capital while also replacing the pick that they used in the L'Jarius Sneed trade.

A trade like that gives the Titans the chance to roll the dice on someone like Amarius Mims who could be an elite player if he can find a way to stay on the field. Meanwhile, in the second round, they could take one of the wide receivers in this deep class and add some help along the defensive line.

Let me be clear. Whether you are talking about short-term success or long-term success, I believe that the best option for the Tennessee Titans is to draft Joe Alt with the 7th pick in the draft. It doesn't matter if they have Peat on the roster or not.

However, if Joe Alt is drafted ahead of the Titans then it changes the plan. Guys like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers are both blue-chip talents who would be key pieces for the Titans for the next 6+ years, but if you don't have someone on the roster who can play left tackle, you are faced with the option of adding a blue-chip player and getting your QB killed or protecting your quarterback with a player that is very good but not in the same tier as Joe Alt.

Neither of those options is appealing, but you are almost forced into the second option when you consider how important this season is for Will Levis. Signing Andrus Peat would give the Titans more options and that would make the Titans a wild card in the 2024 NFL Draft.