Ranking Tennessee Titans' position groups: Which areas of roster are weakest and strongest?

Ben Arthur
Nashville Tennessean

Which area of the Tennessee Titans’ roster is the weakest approaching training camp? The strongest? 

Ranking the strength of the Titans’ position groups, from most impressive to most concerning: 

Wide receiver

The outlook dramatically changed with the Julio Jones trade a few weeks ago. Tennessee now has two No. 1 receivers who will not only create favorable one-on-one matchups for each other, but also open the field for their fellow pass catchers.   

TOP RECEIVERS:Julio Jones joins Tennessee Titans at 32. Here are elite receivers who made big impact at 31 and older.

Offensive line

Tennessee returns four of its five starters – including star left tackle Taylor Lewan, who missed 11 games last season after tearing his ACL. The Titans also signed veteran Kendall Lamm and added second-round rookie Dillon Radunz to replace right tackle Dennis Kelly, who was a cap casualty this offseason. Key reserve Ty Sambrailo was also re-signed. This group should have another strong season. 

Tennessee Titans guard Rodger Saffold III (76) warms up during a Mini-Camp practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Tuesday, June 15, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Long snapper

After having two last season – Beau Brinkley had miscues through seven games and was replaced by Matt Overton – the Titans signed arguably the best at the position. Former Baltimore Raven and four-time Pro Bowler Morgan Cox was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2020. Cox's presence could reap big rewards for the kicking and punting game. 


Brett Kern, a three-time Pro Bowler and 2019 first-team All-Pro selection, returns after missing three regular-season games last year on Injured Reserve. 

Running back/fullback

The Titans have stronger depth in the backfield behind star Derrick Henry with free-agent signee Brian Hill, the Falcons’ second-leading rusher last season with 100 carries for 465 yards, and a healthy Darrynton Evans, who appeared in just five games as a rookie. 

DERRICK HENRY:No days off for Titans' Derrick Henry as he works out on vacation in Mexico. See the video

Inside linebacker

The Titans return their top three inside linebackers (Jayon Brown, Rashaan Evans, David Long Jr.) and added third-round pick Monty Rice, who could become a starting-caliber player. 


Tennessee is certainly not alone in that it would struggle if its starting quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) were sidelined. But Logan Woodside has played just 21 snaps since being drafted in 2018, and DeShone Kizer went winless as the Browns’ QB1 in 2017. The Titans don’t have the most comforting backup quarterback situation. 

QUARTERBACK:Tennessee Titans have 'very good' quarterback situation. Here's why it's not elite

Outside linebacker

Assuming Bud Dupree takes pre-torn ACL form in Nashville, the Titans have a true No. 1 pass rusher and double-digit sack threat in the former Steelers standout, who should also open up opportunities for Harold Landry III on the opposite edge. Fourth-round pick Rashad Weaver – the highest-graded pass rusher in the ACC last season, according to Pro Football Focus – could add quality depth. 

ROSTER PROJECTION:Tennessee Titans roster projection 2021: Here's who makes the cut


The Titans could be better than they were last year in the long term, but uncertainty around Caleb Farley’s chances of playing to start the year because of his back throws a wrench in expectations.   

Titans defensive tackles Naquan Jones (69) and Woodrow Hamilton IV (78) work on pass rush drills during practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Thursday, May 27, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Defensive line

Jeffery Simmons and free-agent addition Denico Autry should form a dynamic interior tandem, but that doesn’t erase the uncertainty at nose tackle. The Titans lost veteran DaQuan Jones in free agency and appear content going the inexpensive route to fill the hole (Teair Tart, NaQuan Jones, Abry Jones).   


The Titans released Kenny Vaccaro as a cap casualty and are much weaker at the No. 3 safety spot, with Amani Hooker slated to start alongside Kevin Byard. 


It's Tucker McCann vs. Blake Habueil. Neither has kicked in the NFL. Banking on one or the other seems like a big gamble for a team that has experienced a roller coaster at the position the last two seasons. 

TITANS' DEPTH OPTIONS:Tight end? Kicker? 7 free agents Tennessee Titans could consider signing when training camp arrives

Tight end

With Jonnu Smith gone, the Titans don’t have a complete tight end. Anthony Firkser is a pass-catching specialist. Geoff Swaim is a blocking specialist. If you’re Tennessee, how do you not telegraph what you’re doing offensively with either on the field? If a versatile veteran isn’t added, it could pose a challenge from a play calling standpoint for new offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who has pressure to succeed with one of the most talented offenses in the NFL.

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.