Titans earn elite grade for offseason acquisitions

The Tennessee Titans upgraded their roster this offseason, and national pundits are taking notice
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Minicamp
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Minicamp / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages

In Ran Carthon's first offseason with real power and resources, the Tennessee Titans had a huge offseason.

ESPN is handing out their offseason grades for NFL teams, and the Titans got high marks for their moves. Seth Walder gave Carthon and Co. a "B" ranking. Only nine teams received higher grades than that, meaning the Titans secured a top-10 finish.

That grade could potentially be even higher. Walder does a terrific job explaining what the Titans did well and where they fell a little short.

Starting with the good, Walder is one of few national names that seem to understand the Titans' thought process behind the offseason. For months now, Titans fans have known that there has been one goal for this team in 2024, and it isn't to win a Super Bowl.

No, this team has to be laser-focused on finding out whether or not Will Levis can be a franchise quarterback. Nearly every move this offseason was made with that goal in mind, from upgrading the coaching staff to making sure that the supporting cast around Levis is as good as it could be.

There were some great moves that they made this offseason where Levis wasn't the primary consideration, like trading for L'Jarius Sneed or signing Chidobe Awuzie, but for the most part, Carthon's resources were aimed at the team's biggest question (Levis).

Walder opens his grading talking about that strategy saying,

"Even as a Will Levis skeptic, I believe the Titans did the right thing by strengthening their roster this offseason. In the event that Levis breaks out, there's no time to waste -- you have to take advantage of the rookie quarterback window."

The reason that Walder held back from giving the Titans an "A" or a "B+" is the same issue that many had two months ago. I remain skeptical over the value the Titans got themselves throughout the 2024 NFL Draft. Either way, the rookie class must prove the skeptics wrong.

I was heavily against the idea of taking J.C. Latham and T'Vondre Sweat without trading down, because Latham was widely viewed by the public as a mid-first-round pick (admittedly now misguided), and Sweat's projection was all over the map, with some agreeing he was picked roughly 30 spots too early.

That is exactly what Walder said when he talked about the negatives of this offseason for the Titans,

"...the Titans took defensive tackle T'Vondre Sweat in Round 2 at pick No. 38 -- one spot before the Rams gave up a fifth-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick to move from 52 to 39. That deal was likely also available to Tennessee."

Since the draft, I would put Latham up against any other rookie in this class when it comes to a player who has come into a building and looked like a star. Leadership, maturity, physicality, coachability, likeability, upside, and reliability. You name something you want to see from a rookie and Latham has shown it.

On the other hand, Sweat hasn't really been seen at all. Head coach Brian Callahan has said that he is dealing with a minor injury and that it is no big deal, but the Titans need Sweat to come in and be an above-average starter immediately. Can a guy with weight concerns and a questionable history of decision-making be trusted to do that after missing nearly a month's worth of practices?

Put all of that together and a "B" grade for this offseason seems fair.

The one thing I would say you can't ignore is how the Titans upgraded the coaching staff. Terrell Williams was the best assistant coach the Titans lost to Mike Vrabel's firing. Callahan upgraded the staff by hiring coaches such as Dennard Wilson and Bill Callahan.

Aside from the philosophical upgrade that the Titans get from going from Vrabel to Callahan, they are also getting a better offensive mind than they had at any point under Vrabel other than maybe Arthur Smith.

They also landed the hottest DC candidate in the NFL when they hired Wilson, and Carthon deserves kudos for that because it was his connection with Wilson that gave them the inside track to hire him.

Other assistants hired such as Tracy Rocker, Scott Fuchs, and Frank Bush helped round out a coaching staff that retained Chris Harris and Justin Outten.

That has to be taken into consideration when you are grading this offseason, and when you put it all together I would put the Titans' offseason up against anyone else's in the NFL.