Titans 53-man roster projection after 2024 minicamp

Minicamp helped provide clarity for some of the biggest depth-chart battles on the Titans' impending 53-man roster
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) warms up before a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) warms up before a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. / Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

The Tennessee Titans are on a midsummer break after completing mandatory minicamp and organized team activities (OTAs). Those workout phases offered new head coach Brian Callahan his first opportunity to evaluate his 90-man roster on the field. His next chance won't arrive until training camp arrives in late July.

The strengths and weaknesses of the roster became clearer to Callahan and his assistant coaches following the string of voluntary and mandatory practices. Projecting a 53-man roster is difficult in June, but it's a worthy exercise with camp approximately five weeks away. Here goes our debut 53-man roster projection with additional iterations coming throughout the offseason.

Quarterbacks (3)

- Will Levis
- Mason Rudolph
- Malik Willis

The Titans signed Mason Rudolph to be Will Levis' backup. Callahan claims the QB2 spot is legitimately up for grabs, but it's difficult to envision Malik Willis defeating Rudolph in that "battle." For now, I'm projecting Willis to make the 53 given the emergency QB rule that allows the No. 3 quarterback to enter the game should the two preferred signal callers leave the game with injury. Willis is clearly entering camp on thin ice though.

Running Backs (3)

- Tony Pollard
- Tyjae Spears
- Hassan Haskins

Cut: Julius Chestnut, Dillon Johnson, Jabari Small

Tony Pollard and Tyjae Spears will be interchangeable talents as the "1A" and "1B" in Tennessee's new-look backfield. The RB3 battle should be a legitimate competition with Julius Chestnut, Hassan Haskins, and undrafted player Dillon Johnson all having a chance. The Titans stuck with Haskins through his alleged off-field situation, and his special teams experience could give him an upper hand.

Wide Receivers (6)

- DeAndre Hopkins
- Calvin Ridley
- Tyler Boyd
- Treylon Burks
- Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
- Jha'Quan Jackson
- Colton Dowell* (projected to begin the season on PUP)

Cut: Kyle Philips, Kearis Jackson, Mason Kinsey, Tre'shaun Harrison, Bryce Oliver, Sam Schnee

The Titans will live in 11 personnel (three receiver sets) with DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, and Tyler Boyd dominating reps. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Treylon Burks are the clear backups with the versatility to play multiple positions. Sixth-round rookie Jha'Quan Jackson projects as an excellent special teams player.

Kyle Philips is the biggest surprise release here, but he's now considered surplus as a slot-only player that hasn't been very good on special teams. Mason Kinsey and Kearis Jackson have a chance to make the roster if they win the kickoff or punt return job. The Titans possess depth at receiver.

Tight Ends (3)

- Chig Okonkwo
- Josh Whyle
- Nick Vannett

Cut: Thomas Odukoya, Steven Stilianos, David Martin-Robinson

Josh Whyle possesses a legitimate opportunity to take over the starting job this season. Chig Okonkwo should maintain a role as the most athletic pass catcher on the roster. Veteran Nick Vannett was signed as the blocking tight end, but he should feel threatened by Thomas Odukoya and the two undrafted players.

Offensive Linemen (10)

- JC Latham
- Peter Skoronski
- Lloyd Cushenberry
- Saahdiq Charles
- Nicholas Petit-Frere
- Daniel Brunskill
- Dillon Radunz
- Jaelyn Duncan
- John Ojukwu
- Cole Spencer

Cut: Geron Christian, Leroy Watson, Andrew Rupcich, Lachavious Simmons, Brian Dooley

I expect the Titans to go heavy here with plenty of potential groupings and versatility. JC Latham, Peter Skoronski, and Lloyd Cushenberry are settled as your starters from left tackle to center. Saahdiq Charles and Nicholas Petit-Frere are favorites to be the right-sided tandem. Daniel Brunskill and Dillon Radunz are still usable players as backups with the capability to play multiple positions.

John Ojukwu improved his chances with increased reps at minicamp, so I have him beating out Leroy Watson and Geron Christian for now despite their familiarity with offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Jaelyn Duncan also remains in the mix at tackle. Cole Spencer was the highest-paid UDFA, so he's currently well-positioned to compete for a spot.

Total players on offense: 25

Defensive Line (5)

- Jeffery Simmons
- T'Vondre Sweat
- Sebastian Joseph-Day
- Marlon Davidson
- T.K. McLendon Jr.

Cut: Keondre Coburn, Isaiah Iton, Quinton Bohanna

Second-round pick T'Vondre Sweat should be the primary player next to Jeffery Simmons once he gets healthy at training camp. Sebastian Joseph-Day is capable of backing up the nose tackle spot, potentially making Keondre Coburn and Quinton Bohanna expendable. Marlon Davidson has some inside-outside versatility. Both he and T.K. McLendon Jr. made some plays in limited action last year, hence why they're on my initial 53.

Outside Linebackers (5)

- Harold Landry
- Arden Key
- Rashad Weaver
- Caleb Murphy
- Jaylen Harrell

Cut: Thomas Rush, Khalil Duke

The Titans could really use a veteran addition here. Rashad Weaver is the No. 3 behind Harold Landry and Arden Key. Second-year UDFA Caleb Murphy will attempt to showcase improved strength at training camp. Perhaps Thomas Rush or Khalid Duke will push him for a roster spot. Seventh-round pick Jaylen Harrell is an intriguing developmental piece.

Inside Linebackers (5)

- Kenneth Murray Jr.
- Jack Gibbens
- Cedric Gray
- Otis Reese IV
- James Williams

Cut: Garret Wallow, Jojo Domann, Chance Campbell, Luke Gifford

Jack Gibbens, Cedric Gray, and Otis Reese IV will all jockey for position next to Kenneth Murray. Rookie safety-turned-linebacker James Williams projects as an excellent special teams player and possibly sub-package developmental defender. Luke Gifford made the roster last year, but the emergence of Reese, paired with the drafting of Williams, makes him surplus.

Cornerbacks (6)

- L'Jarius Sneed
- Chido Awuzie
- Roger McCreary
- Jarvis Brownlee Jr.
- Tre Avery
- Gabe Jeudy-Lally

Cut: Eric Garror, Caleb Farley, Tay Gowan, Anthony Kendall, Robert Javier

L'Jarius Sneed, Roger McCreary, and Chido Awuzie make-up an exciting top three group of cornerbacks. Rookie fifth-round pick Jarvis Brownlee Jr. should be the favorite to claim CB4 duties. With Brownlee Jr. and McCreary being on the smaller side, I like Tre Avery, who has played plenty of boundary reps, to be the fifth corner. Standout UDFA signing Gabe Jeudy-Lally pushes out Eric Garror and former first-round pick Caleb Farley on my first projection. I nearly kept Anthony Kendall ahead of Jeudy-Lally due to his special teams prowess.

Safeties (4)

- Amani Hooker
- Elijah Molden
- Matthew Jackson
- Shyteim Carter*

Cut: Mike Brown, Keaton Ellis

I have Shyheim Carter* as a placeholder for a veteran addition. The Titans saw Marcus Maye, a safety they previously showed interest in, sign with the Miami Dolphins last week. That could kickstart Tennessee's efforts to bring in Justin Simmons or another available veteran. I have Matthew Jackson as a special teams menace rounding out the back-end with the versatile Elijah Molden.

Total players on defense: 25

Specialists (3)

- Nick Folk
- Ryan Stonehouse
- Morgan Cox

Cut: Ty Zentner, Brayden Narveson

Will Ryan Stonehouse be healthy to begin the campaign after suffering a devastating season-ending leg injury? The latest update was positive, but Ty Zentner would be an applicable fill-in after taking advantage of his opportunity last year. Morgan Cox and Nick Folk should feel secure heading into camp.