Ranking the Tennessee Titans’ remaining offseason needs

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This week, I was asked to participate in NFL Outsider’s “Offseason Roadmap” series. Along with fellow bloggers representing the other three AFC South teams, our 200-word (roughly) assignment was to rank the remaining offseason needs of the franchises we write about.

After the jump, here are my thoughts regarding the roadmap the Tennessee Titans should follow as they continue to fine-tune their roster in preparation for the 2009 NFL season.

Drexel of Total Titans counts down the team needs for the Titans:

3. Cornerback. Feisty Cortland Finnegan has become one of the league’s premier corners. Opposite of Finny is the rapidly aging Nick Harper, who will turn 35 later this year. The Titans would be wise to invest a high draft selection on Harper’s heir apparent. A future CB tandem consisting of Finnegan and perhaps a D.J. Moore or Alphonso Smith is an intriguing thought.

2. Wide receiver.
Heading into free agency, signing a vertical threat was high on the Titans’ offseason priority list. The acquisition of Nate Washington should provide Kerry Collins with a dangerous player on the outside who is more than capable of being a source of recurring headaches for opposing defenders. If Nate isn’t enough, players such as Hakeem Nicks and Percy Harvin could be around at pick #30 in next month’s draft.

1. Defensive tackle. Thanks to the free-spending Washington Redskins, the Tennessee Titans are faced with the enormous task of replacing all-world defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Signing Jovan Haye was a step in the right direction, but at 285 lbs, the Titans are still in need of a guy who can clog the middle on running downs. I’d love to see them draft Boston College’s Ron Brace, a 330 pounder who could be available in the second or third round.

For those of you interested in what the writers for the other AFC South teams had to say, here’s the link to the entire article.  

How would you rank the Titans’ remaining offseason needs?  

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6 Responses to “Ranking the Tennessee Titans’ remaining offseason needs”

  1. Andrew K Says:

    I usually agree with your analysis, but I think you have the order reversed. Corner is the biggest need for the Titans. As it stands right now we have 4 corners on the roster, which is not nearly enough and probably need 2 more players. I think we will eventually resign Reynaldo hill, becuase who else wants him and/or Carr or Miller. I believe that we will address this very early in the draft, most likely rounds 1 or 2, but after Nick Harper retires/off the roster we have nobody to fill the his position.
    Defensive tackle on the other hand, I believe that we have 4 quality defensive tackles that can play. I understand where you were coming from trying to replace Haynsworth, but filling his shoes are almost impossible to do. I think right now we are probably fine with the players we have on our roster, but I think they might take a shot at some player that can play DE/DT in the draft. I would list this as a 4th or maybe even 5th need.
    Wide Receiver is also a decent need, but I would almost, with the addition of Nate Washington and the other young WR on our roster, there almost is not room. I would probably rank this as the 2nd most crucial need. I would love to see us get Ramses Barden, he would be a great red zone guy and a safety net for a quarterback.
    I would rank the need of quality backup O lineman the 3rd need on our team. If Looper goes elsewhere we are left with Mike Otto, who personally I have no confidence in, and to backup center and guard we have Leroy Harris who, if anyone remembered the playoff game vs the Ravens, was a key reason for why we lost that game with his horrendous snapping.
    Going beyond number 3, we should probably address the OLB position becuase all we have there is Stanford Kegler. I’m not saying hes a bad player, its just that’s all we have behind Bullock and Thornton, plus Bullock is a free agent after next year and its highly doubtful they resign him.
    To Recap:
    1. CB
    2. WR
    3. OL
    4. OLB
    5. DT

  2. Dave Says:

    Andrew K, I think you are 100% dead on. I truly believe that the Titans should take the “best” available player/s in this years draft. If an OL is the best, take him…cb, wr…etc We don’t have any real glaring needs in our starting line-up, but we could certainly use depth in a few different areas.

  3. fireballfan32 Says:

    Andrew, I also agree with most of what you say. However blaming Harris for the Ravens game is a bit much I think. I do remember one bad snap and one good snap that was I guess at the wrong time as Collins wasnt ready for it. The two fumbles and not much else lost that game.
    I have been on Ramses Barden’s bandwagon for a while now. He was a freak in college. Yes it was DII, or whatever its called now, but the man broke several receiving records that were held by the best WR in history ie Jerry Rice.
    While I agree with several other posts lately that TO’s bad far outways his good, and would be more than happy to never see him in a Titans uniform, he and his agent were in Nashville yesterday for some reason. I don’t know why they would bring him in but who knows??

  4. Drexel Perry Says:

    Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts, guys. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s always a pleasure to engage in football talk with you.
    Loper became the latest Titan to follow Jim Schwartz to Motown, so replacing him has definitely become more of a pressing need.
    As for the draft, I’m thinking CB in the first round and DT in the second, with Alphonso Smith and Ron Brace the two guys I’d like to see as Titans.
    Barden could also be an intriguing option if he’s available in the middle rounds.

  5. Brad Says:

    1. CB
    2. WR
    3. DT
    4. OLB
    5. C
    6. QB
    7a. DE
    7b. OT

  6. Scott Says:

    I agree that the positions noted – DT, WR and CB – are positions of need, but I wonder if the Titans might go in a different direction in the first round of the draft now that we don’t have a 330 pound run stuffing DT in the middle of the defensive line. I think it is possible that the Titans draft a middle linebacker in the first round to help plug up the middle. There could be a good one available. James Laurinaitis is slipping and Jason Phillips should be availble (especially now that he has an injury).
    I know that middle linebacker is only a two down position for the Titans (although that might change a bit under Cecil), but defensive linemen on the Titans don’t play much more than two-thirds of the snaps in a game either. Without a large run stopping DT on the team, is it possible that the Titans look to upgrade at middle linebacker early in the draft?

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