It is going to get a lot darker before it gets better for the Tennessee Titans, but the 2024 NFL Draft has a few prospects that could make fans much more optimistic about the future.
Frankly, as it stands right now, I'm not sure that the Tennessee Titans will win more than five or six games next year. Let's take a quick look at which teams they play (even though we don't know the order yet):
-New Orleans Saints
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-Houston Texans (twice)
-Indianapolis Colts (twice)
-Jacksonville Jaguars (twice)
Out of that list, the Tennessee Titans will probably only be favored against the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and maybe the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts at home. Other than that, I just don't know.
The most likely outcome is that the Tennessee Titans are stuck in purgatory after not committing to a rebuild this offseason, and Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry will drag the Titans to another 7-10 record.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, let's focus on the good news.
Other than a training staff and coaching staff that decided to put the most injured team in the NFL (for two seasons in a row) on artificial turf, the Tennessee Titans' Achilles' heel is their pass catchers. Outside of Chig Okonkwo and Treylon Burks, no one was been able to consistently make plays in the passing game last year.
If that is the team's biggest problem this season, then it does look like it is something that can be fixed before the 2024 season, specifically in the draft. The Athletic recently put together a consensus big board for the 2024 NFL Draft, and they have several pass catchers that could be potential fits for the Tennessee Titans.
Everyone knows that the best non-QB prospect in the draft is Marvin Harrison Jr. the Ohio State receiver. If the Titans are bad enough that they end up with a top-3 pick, it is hard to imagine a world where they don't draft him.
If they pick later, in the 6-12 range, that is perfect territory for Brock Bowers the Georgia tight end. The rule is that you don't draft a tight end this early unless they are a freak, and luckily for the team that lands Bowers, he is a freak. As a true freshman, he had 882 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, and he followed that campaign up with 942 receiving yards, over 100 rushing yards, and 10 touchdowns as a true sophomore. That will do.
A little bit lower in the draft, the Tennessee Titans could target Emeka Egbuka, who is the wide receiver opposite of Marvin Harrison in Ohio State's offense. He is the ninth-ranked player on the consensus big board.
If the unbelievable happens and the Tennessee Titans are competitive in the AFC South or if they make the playoffs, Xavier Worthy from Texas checks in at #22 on the big board. Worthy is another guy that spent his true freshman and sophomore seasons as a real contributor against high levels of competition (261 yards against Oklahoma, 97 against Alabama, 115 against Baylor, 152 and 3 touchdowns against Kansas).
While he didn't make the top-25, the article goes on to say that LSU's Malik Nabers will almost certainly be a top 20 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Not only did Nabers have a great season last year, but he really hit a new gear in the last four games. Over that four-game stretch that included Georgia, Texas A&M, UAB, and Purdue, Nabers had 28 catches and 489 yards, and he also threw a touchdown pass.
Help isn't here for the Tennessee Titans, but they are going to have their chance to fix that next offseason.