The Tennessee Titans have had a tide-shifting offseason, to say the least.
They’ve lost a handful of starters. TE Jonnu Smith and WR Corey Davis both walked in free agency. Dennis Kelly, Malcolm Butler, Adoree Jackson, and Kenny Vaccaro were all released.
Despite the losses, ESPN’s Dianna Russini with Buck Reising on 104.5 The Zone said she believes the Titans will be better than they were last year.
“The Tennessee Titans are making smart roster decisions during free agency to get more money to turnover players that needed to move on,” Russini said, “This team through the draft is going to be able to come back and be better than they were last year.”
That is a riveting take by Russini. The Titans went 11-5 and won the AFC South last year despite having one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL.
The Titans finished the season with just 19 sacks, which is the third-worst total in the league. That consequently led to other glaring issues, most famously third-down defense efficiency, which ranked last in the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans went out and got defensive tackle Denico Autry and outside linebacker Bud Dupree to try and solve the matter. These two players’ 2021 combined sack number nearly totals the amount the Titans had as a unit.
The team also signed defensive backs Janoris Jenkins and Kevin Johnson and wide receiver Josh Reynolds, among other minor signings.
The key part of Russini’s statement, though, is “through the draft,” because their free agency losses and gains alone won’t get them back to 11-5 or past it.
Autry and Dupree should help the Titans generate more pressure on the quarterback, but the secondary and wide receiver positions still have much to be desired.
Russini believes that so far, the Titans have made the right decisions.
“The Titans have done a pretty good job of finding the right time to move on from guys,” Russini said, “I have confidence they are making the right decisions here. The pressures on Jon Robinson though come this draft.”
It seems the Titans, who have yet to truly replace Corey Davis and Adoree Jackson, will want to do so in the NFL Draft. The Titans have the 22nd overall pick and a total of nine draft picks in 2021.
After losing quality starters, it will be crucial for Jon Robinson to find a difference-maker or two in the draft. It could keep his seat cool for a few more years.
Featured image by George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC