The Tennessee Titans are a bit of an NFL enigma, never really knowing what to expect. Here is how the NFL Draft can help them push back into the playoffs in 2019.
Entering the 2018 season hopes were high in Tennessee. Mike Vrabel was named the new head coach and the team was expected to open up what was an archaic offense in 2017. They added two big defensive pieces in the draft and were ready to push for an AFC South crown.
Injuries and inconsistency had other ideas. Quarterback Marcus Mariota, again, was injured during the season. Mariota has yet to finish a full season in his career. The team went 9-7 and missed the playoffs by one game.
The 2019 team should not look vastly different. Tennessee will lose Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan as pass-rushers, elevating what was already a need for the team. Will Compton and Quinton Spain will be free agents offensively as well.
In terms of salary cap space, the Titans are about average. They could free up some space by letting some of Logan Ryan, Johnathan Cyprien, Ben Jones, Dion Lewis, or Wesley Woodyard go. Tennesse has over $46 million in cap space which should keep them away from big name free agents but enough to make incremental improvements.
Some growth will come internally with what is still a young team. Adoree Jackson at corner, Harold Landry on the edge, Rashaan Evans at linebacker and Corey Davis at receiver all have bright futures. At running back the combination of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis should give Tennessee a place to build from.
Statistically the Titans need to fix an offense that figured in the bottom five in the league in scoring offense. Replacing offensive coordinator Matt LeFleur, who left for Green Bay, will be unknown Arthur Smith. He will need to figure out the best offense around Mariota. Tennessee finished in the top 10 in rushing and bottom ten in passing. Better balance, especially with a former first round quarterback needs to be achieved.
Defensively Tennessee was one of the best scoring defenses in the league, finishing in the top-three in that category. Their passing defense was borderline elite which complimented a league average rushing offense. That unit will need upgrades with some offseason losses. The most growth from this team should come from within.
The key will be to keep moving forward with a good 2019 NFL Draft. Tennessee owns the 19th pick in the first round. Here is how the NFL Draft can help the Titans next season.
This mock draft was done using Fanspeak’s On the Clock tool.