Tennessee Titans rookie sleeper may have a chance to start this season

Maryland v Penn State
Maryland v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans had a solid draft class on paper, but it really didn't make them any better in the short term.

At worst, it is a draft class that should fill out the depth chart in 2023 with some athletic players who fit what the Tennessee Titans are trying to do.

Guys like Will Levis, Josh Whyle, and Colton Dowell aren't in any position to start barring a major injury, but there are some players who should see significant time this season. One player that people can't stop talking about is Tyjae Spears.

When he was selected, Spears was a guy that didn't do anything for me because Mike Vrabel's teams lacked creativity on offense for the majority of his time on the staff. Even though there is still plenty of time to get conservative and go back to the run-run-pass offense, it sounds like new OC Tim Kelly is being allowed to think outside of the box.

Peter Skoronski is absolutely going to start somewhere on the offensive line in Week 1, and the people who know are saying that the team sees him as a left guard. Despite the issue at right tackle, it still seems like the best fit for Skoronski short-term and long-term, is at left guard.

Speaking of right tackle and what the Tennessee Titans need to do, that brings me to my new sleeper from the 2023 NFL Draft class.

Should Duncan compete for the Tennessee Titans right tackle job

When I was reading Jim Wyatt's training camp preview series, I thought it was interesting that his player to "keep an eye on" was sixth-round rookie tackle Jaylen Duncan. Here is what he said about Duncan:

"The Titans picked Duncan several rounds later, and threw him into the competition earlier this offseason. The 6-foot-6, 306-pound Duncan is a physically gifted player, with great athleticism. There's no doubt he looks the part, and he's already developed a reputation for being a smart young man as well. The questions surrounding Duncan at Maryland centered on just how bad he wants it. The Titans will push Duncan to be the best he can be, and his development will be worth watching."

Jim Wyatt

The problem with having a hole at right tackle so late in the offseason is that there really isn't a great way to fix it.

Moving Daniel Brunskill is still the smartest option in my opinion, but it does mean that the offensive line will have to work through some kinks when NPF comes back from his suspension. Allowing Jaylen Duncan (a bigger, more athletic tackle) to take over the position would allow the offensive line to develop chemistry that wouldn't be changed when NPF came back.

Even if he isn't perfect, he has a massive frame and he is quick enough to at least make defensive players work to beat him, unlike Dennis Daley. If it doesn't work out well, that is tough but you will have your starting offensive line back together before November rolls around.

On the other hand, if it does work out, your offensive line is actually improved from where you thought it was heading into the season. Going beyond the short-term, you would have a cheap offensive tackle for the next four years and depth at a position where you sorely need three or more players.

Keep in mind that this name was brought up for a reason. There were plenty of free agent signings and UDFAs that could have warranted a reference in that section, or even guys like Daniel Brunskill, Dillon Radunz, or Jamarco Jones who could all start at right tackle early in the year this year.

In Jim Wyatt's own words, keep an eye on it and hope that this is going to be a happy accident where the Tennessee Titans accidentally get better.