NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With left tackle Ty Sambrailo presumably out for the season, it’s time for the Tennessee Titans to give their first-round draft pick, Isaiah Wilson, a chance to play.
Sambrailo, who started five games for the Titans and played well in relief of Taylor Lewan, left the Titans’ most recent game with an injury, and the team placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday.
The Titans chose David Quessenberry to replace Sambrailo when he departed Sunday’s game, but they need to let Wilson be the replacement moving forward.
Vrabel on competition at LT potentially without Ty Sambrailo: We just talked to Isaiah (Wilson) about stringing days together. Positive days. #Titans
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) November 23, 2020
There’s a reason the Titans picked Wilson with pick No. 29 in the 2020 draft. He’s a powerful run blocker with a big frame, though he does have some deficiencies in pass protection.
While Wilson may have been a bit of a reach at the end of the first round, he probably wouldn’t have lasted on the board much longer had the Titans picked someone else.
He figures to almost certainly be better than Quessenberry, someone who’s spent the last few seasons bouncing back and forth from the Titans’ practice squad over the last few seasons.
If the Titans were to give Wilson the nod over Quessenberry, though, some shuffling on the offensive line would probably follow.
Wilson is, by nature, a right tackle. Playing him would almost certainly require the Titans to switch starting right tackle Dennis Kelly to the left side so Wilson could play where he’s the most comfortable.
That would be the riskiest part of playing Wilson if the Titans were to do so. There’s no guarantee that Kelly would be able to seamlessly transition to left tackle, although he has plenty of experience playing there.
But, in contrast, there’s also no guarantee that Quessenberry would be any better, and the odds are overwhelmingly in Kelly’s favor when it comes to which of those two players would be better at left tackle.
Another fair argument against the idea of Wilson getting to start on Sunday is the fact that his off-the-field record since August has been really concerning.
He’s also had two stints on the COVID-19 list, one of which lasted over a month, and missed an October practice after showing up to the team facility late because of a “headache.”
Wilson’s off-the-field adventures don’t exactly scream “reliability,” but none of the Titans’ current options at left tackle are overly reliable.
CAN’T GET PICKY
With Lewan and Sambrailo gone, whoever starts at left tackle for the Titans against the Colts on Sunday will be the team’s third different starter at that spot in 2020.
When a team gets that far down the depth chart due to injury, they can’t afford to be picky.
If the Titans are serious about doing giving the team its best chance to win, they need to look past Wilson’s boneheaded behavior and look to what he would potentially give them on the field.
Presuming Wilson isn’t a complete disaster in practice and manages to “string good days together” as head coach Mike Vrabel admonished Wilson to do, he needs to be part of the Titans’ starting lineup.
An offensive line with Wilson at right tackle and Kelly at left is likely to be better than one with Quessenberry on the left side and Kelly on the right.
Cover image: George Walker IV / The Tennessean via pool