Tennessee Titans 53-man roster projection

Final cut day is fastly approaching, as every team must reduce their roster down to 53 players by August 30th. The bulk of the Titans’ roster is set. However, there is still a handful of depth positions up for grabs. Who will continue to dawn the two-tone blue once September begins? Lets break it down.

Quarterback (2)

  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Malik Willis

The quarterback position is pretty self-explanatory for the Titans. Ryan Tannehill is the clear starter, while Tennessee spent a 3rd round pick on exciting rookie Malik Willis, in hopes of developing him into a future starter.

Prior to training camp, it is likely that the team planned to carry 3 signal callers, but a rough summer for Logan Woodside, coupled with Malik Willis’ progression eliminates the need for Woodside on the active roster. The 27-year-old is a likely candidate for the practice squad.

Running back (4)

  • Derrick Henry
  • Hassan Haskins
  • Dontrell Hilliard
  • Tory Carter

Similarly to the quarterback position, the Titans running back room is pretty straightforward. Derrick Henry is one of the league’s best backs and hopes to enjoy a bounce-back season following an injury plagued 2021 campaign. The team drafted another physical back in Hassan Haskins, a guy who can come in and take some of the load off Henry’s shoulders.

Dontrell Hilliard will likely serve as the team’s change of pace back, and could also receive some opportunities in the return game. Tory Carter is one of few fullbacks in today’s NFL, following an impressive rookie campaign.

Wide receiver (6)

  • Robert Woods
  • Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
  • Kyle Philips
  • Treylon Burks
  • Racey McMath
  • Dez Fitzpatrick

The Titans basically underwent a complete overhaul at the wide receiver position this off-season. As A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, Marcus Johnson, Chester Rogers, and Cam Batson all departed to different teams. Meanwhile, Tennessee drafted 2 receivers, while trading for another. Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine project to be the team’s Week 1 starters, with Kyle Philips in the slot. 1st round rookie Treylon Burks will likely be more of a factor as the year progresses.

Racey McMath has shown flashes of tremendous upside and could become a useful offensive deep threat. The 23-year-old receiver possesses a 6’3, 220 LBS frame to go along with a 4.3 40-yard dash time. Dez Fitzpatrick is nothing special, but he appears to be the favorite for the WR6 job, even if the team should look in Reggie Roberson Jr.’s direction instead.

Tight end (3)

  • Austin Hooper
  • Chig Okonkwo
  • Geoff Swaim

Tennessee’s tight-end situation is substantially better than it was a season ago. The Titans relied on Geoff Swaim to be their number one, which just simply isn’t his game. The 28-year-old California native is much more suited for his current role as a blocking tight end.

As far as upgrades go, the team added two big-time pass catchers at the position. Austin Hooper has consistently been one of the better receiving tight ends in the league over the last 5 years, while Chig Okonkwo features a dynamic skillset, similar to ex-Titan Jonnu Smith. If the team carries 4 TEs, Tommy Hudson would be next in line. However, it seems more than likely he’ll be heading to the practice squad.

Offensive line (9)

  • Taylor Lewan
  • Aaron Brewer
  • Ben Jones
  • Nate Davis
  • Nick Petit-Frere
  • Jamarco Jones
  • Corey Levin
  • Xavier Newman
  • Dillon Radunz

The Titans came into camp with open competition at two starting positions across the offensive line (LG & RT). But as the season looms closer, those have seemingly been worked out, as Aaron Brewer and Nick Petit-Frere appear to have won the job at their respective positions.

As far as depth goes, struggling 2nd-year tackle Dillon Radunz, and versatile veterans Corey Levin, and Jamarco Jones appear to be locks. There is a chance the team carries just eight, but usually, teams carry nine offensive linemen, which opens up the door for impressive rookie guard Xavier Newman.

Defensive line (5)

  • Jeffery Simmons
  • Denico Autry
  • Demarcus Walker
  • Teair Tart
  • Naquan Jones

Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, and Teair Tart don’t need much of an introduction. The trio was a huge part of the Titans’ defensive turnaround a year ago, and all have locked down the starting role at their positions.

Meanwhile, Demarcus Walker has enjoyed a nice summer, he consistently flashed in OTAs and continued that trend throughout camp. As far as Naquan Jones is concerned, he’s had a bit of a disappointing summer. After showing flashes of greatness as a rookie, the Michigan State alum has had a quiet camp. With that being said, he’s still most likely headed to the 53-man roster. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Da’Shawn Hand or Kevin Strong takes his spot.

Outside linebacker (5)

  • Harold Landry
  • Bud Dupree
  • Rashad Weaver
  • Ola Adeniyi
  • David Anenih

The Titans feature two very highly paid players coming off the edge, Harold Landry and Bud Dupree. Landry enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2021, registering 13.5 sacks in 18 games, while Bud Dupree is hoping to bounce back from an injury-plagued season.

Rashad Weaver has had 2 back-to-back impressive pre-seasons and hopes to make an impact during the regular season after a fractured fibula ended his rookie campaign. The Titans brought in Ola Adeniyi to be a core special teamer, but the youngster showed he could more than hold his own on defense. Successfully filling the role of an injured Bud Dupree.

David Anenih arrived in Nashville as a priority free agent, after going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Houston alum had a tremendous training camp and paired it with a great pre-season. Anenih received the most guaranteed money of any Titans UDFA, which should give you an indication that the team thinks highly of him.

Inside linebacker (5)

  • David Long Jr.
  • Zach Cunningham
  • Dylan Cole
  • Chance Campbell
  • Joe Jones

The Titans starters are set and stone in the middle, as the green-dot-wearing David Long and veteran Zach Cunningham will serve as the team’s top backers. Monty Rice was penciled into the 3rd spot, but a lingering Achilles injury will cause him to miss at least the first three games of the regular season.

Dylan Cole, Chance Campbell, and Joe Jones are all capable of playing high-level special teams, but shouldn’t see much defensive action unless an unfortunate injury were to occur.

Cornerback (6)

  • Kristian Fulton
  • Roger McCreary
  • Caleb Farley
  • Elijah Molden
  • Chris Jackson
  • Ugo Amadi

The Tennessee Titans feature a young core of ultra-promising corners. Kristian Fulton is coming off a spectacular season, while Roger McCreary has earned a week 1 starting job as a rookie. Caleb Farley has all the tools to be elite, health has been the only thing suppressing him from fulfilling his potential.

The Titans have a trio of slot corners, highlighted by the 2nd year man out of Washington, Elijah Molden. The 23-year-old Louisiana native had a solid rookie campaign, showing huge improvement from start to finish. Chris Jackson and Ugo Amadi are likely to fill depth roles while playing a good chunk of special teams.

Safety (5)

  • Kevin Byard
  • Amani Hooker
  • Lonnie Johnson Jr.
  • Theo Jackson
  • A.J. Moore

The Titans starting safeties don’t require much of an explanation. Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker are firmly entrenched in the conversation for best safety duo in the NFL.

Tennessee has made a flurry of roster moves over the past few weeks, focusing heavily on depth safeties. The team traded for Tyree Gillespie, claimed Lonnie Johnson, and signed others like Adrian Colbert and Joshua Kalu. It’s obvious they were uncomfortable with their depth situation behind the aforementioned Byard and Hooker, but that seems to have been resolved with the new additions.

Special Teams (3)

  • Randy Bullock
  • Ryan Stonehouse
  • Morgan Cox

One of the more intriguing battles of Titans’ camp has been the punters. Rookie Ryan Stonehouse broke the NCAA record for career punt average, while veteran Brett Kern has called Nashville hole for 13 years. It seems like Kern’s Tennessee tenure is finally coming to an end, after an impressive pre-season showing from Stonehouse. Thank you for everything Brett, enjoy Buffalo!

Likely practice squad candidates: QB Logan Woodside, RB Julius Chestnut, WR Reggie Roberson Jr., WR Mason Kinsey, TE Tommy Hudson, G Jordan Roos, DE Da’Shawn Hand, LB Jack Gibbens, CB Greg Mabin, S Tyree Gillespie

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