The Tennessee Titans have a handful of roster needs that the organization will need to address before the 2021 season begins.
Because the Titans’ 2020 offseason was so lackluster, it will be imperative for general manager Jon Robinson to make several good moves this time around.
Five needs, in particular, will need to be filled.
EDGE Pass Rusher/Outside Linebacker
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This is the Titans’ biggest need, and it’s one of the biggest needs that the franchise has had in some time.
The 2020 Titans were dreadful at getting after the quarterback. The defense notched just 19 sacks during the regular season, shattering the previous franchise-low mark of 31.
The ineptitude mostly stemmed from a horrific personnel situation at outside linebacker. By the end of the season, the Titans were relying heavily on the likes of Brooks Reed, Derick Roberson and Tuzar Skipper at edge pass rusher.
No matter who you’re defensive coordinator is, you won’t have much success with personnel like that.
It will be crucial for the Titans to combat that problem by adding multiple quality outside linebackers to the roster, preferably through both free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Luckily for them, several intriguing options should be available in free agency. Adding a player like Ryan Kerrigan, Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Houston or Haason Reddick would give the Titans a major boost.
The reality of the NFL is that most teams cannot survive a long-term injury to the starting quarterback. The Titans, in their current state, wouldn’t even be able to survive if Ryan Tannehill dealt with a short-term ailment.
Logan Woodside, the Titans’ current backup QB, is a good story. He worked his way up from the practice squad after a stint in the Alliance of American Football in 2019.
He’s not, however, a good QB.
He’s small, has a weak arm, and he’s not very accurate. He probably wouldn’t be able to win if the Titans ever were to need him to make a spot start.
Plenty of good, veteran backup QB options become available every offseason, and the Titans need to grab one of them in 2021.
A lot of uncertainty surrounds the Titans’ WR position entering the offseason. Corey Davis is set to be a free agent, and Adam Humphries has yet to prove that he can be a consistent threat in the slot.
It would make sense, therefore, for the Titans to add a starting-caliber receiver at some point over the next few months.
Re-signing Davis would make this need a bit less pressing, but Humphries’ unreliability is a big problem.
Humphries has played well for the Titans when available, but, because of various injuries, he’s appeared in just 19 games since signing a four-year contract in 2019.
Adding a quality receiver through either free agency or the draft would greatly increase the stability of the Titans’ offense under a new play-caller in 2021.
In addition to needing another receiver who can start, the Titans also need to improve the backend of their wide-receiver depth chart.
Behind starters A.J. Brown, Davis and Humphries in 2021, the Titans trotted out the trio of Kalif Raymond, Cameron Batson and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.
All three of those players are practice-squad quality and incapable of being reliable if needed to step into a starting spot because of injury.
The Titans need to spend some of their resources, particularly in the draft, to find a capable depth option at WR like what Tajaé Sharpe used to be.
Inside linebacker was one of many problematic positions for the Titans’ defense in 2020, with starters Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown both taking a step back.
Since Brown is an impending free agent and Evans’ future beyond 2021 is uncertain, it would behoove the Titans to add a capable inside linebacker during the offseason.
Whether it’s a big-ticket free agent like Lavonte David, a depth piece in free agency or a rookie through the draft, adding an ILB would be a boost for the Titans in 2021.
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