Titans’ playoff return subsequent 12 months depends upon their defensive enhancements

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The Titans had been nearly the Cinderella story of the 2019 NFL season. Marcus Mariota was supplanted because the beginning quarterback after a 2-Four begin, clearing the way in which for Ryan Tannehill to imagine the throne in Nashville. Tannehill responded by main the league in passer score, and alongside Derrick Henry, received Tennessee again to the playoffs.

The Titans eradicated the defending champion Patriots and the top-seeded Ravens to advance to the AFC title sport, however their magical run ended one win from the Tremendous Bowl because the Chiefs dispatched them en path to the Lombardi Trophy. That set a excessive bar for 2020, and it will likely be robust to enhance on final 12 months’s thrilling end.

Tennessee Titans (9-7), misplaced in AFC Championship Recreation

Tennessee re-signed Tannehill and franchise tagged Henry earlier than both may change into a free agent. These aren’t the one positions that want consideration, although.

Earlier than free company:

  1. Cornerback: Malcolm Butler has did not dwell as much as his All-Professional type since coming to Nashville as a high-profile free agent. Former first-round choose Adoree Jackson hasn’t but stepped into the group’s circle of belief. Logan Ryan is a free agent. Tennessee wants each beginning expertise and depth on the place — particularly if a playoff rematch with the Chiefs is within the works.
  2. Edge: Harold Landry led the group in each sacks and QB hits in 2019, however the second-year participant wants some further assist to blossom as a move rusher. That assist isn’t presently on the roster. Cameron Wake is 38 and was launched in March, whereas Kamalei Correa, who had solely 10 QB hits in 29 video games as a Titan, is a free agent.
  3. Offensive lineman: Jack Conklin will probably be a valued prize in free company this offseason. Rodger Saffold and Ben Jones, every strong if unspectacular final fall, are each on the incorrect facet of 30. Further depth may assist persuade the group’s subsequent star RB — whether or not that’s Henry or another person — Tennessee is a spot he can thrive.

What Music Metropolis Miracles desires most this offseason: The 2 issues all Titans followers are wishing for proper now are the return of Henry, the league’s speeding chief, and a decision to the quarterback scenario. The Titans appeared prime to make a run at Tom Brady this offseason as late as October. Issues received a bit extra difficult, in a great way, when Tannehill got here in and set the league on hearth. Titans followers appear to be break up on Brady vs. Tannehill, however everybody agrees they higher have one or the opposite. — Jimmy Morris

After free company:

Not many strikes had been made by the Titans after they locked down Tannehill and Henry. The largest was a commerce that despatched Jurrell Casey to the Broncos.

  1. Defensive position: Casey is gone now and the Titans’ addition of Vic Beasley doesn’t fill the void. The group nonetheless wants extra assistance on the sting, however it actually wants assist alongside your entire defensive entrance after shedding a five-time Professional Bowler. Drafting a defensive finish or a defensive sort out on the tail finish of the primary spherical would make sense.
  2. Offensive line: Conklin left in free company, as anticipated, and signed a pricy take care of the Browns. Now Dennis Kelly and Ty Sambrailo are the perfect choices at proper sort out, until Tennessee can discover an alternate within the draft.
  3. Cornerback: This place was a necessity previous to free company and nonetheless is with Ryan’s departure. If the Titans can discover a cornerback who can instantly contribute within the slot, it could be a big boon to the Tennessee protection.

After the draft:

The Titans prioritized offense — particularly the speeding assault — early within the draft. Their No. 29 choose was used on Georgia sort out Isaiah Wilson, a attainable alternative for Jack Conklin. Speedy working again Darrynton Evans, a third-round pick of Appalachian State, may very well be a pleasant complement to Henry.

They snagged LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton, a once-projected first-rounder, within the second spherical. He has the potential to begin instantly. The Titans didn’t do a lot to enhance their line of defense, solely including NC State DT Larrell Murchison within the fifth spherical and skipping over the sting place fully.

Dan Kadar’s draft grade: B+

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