Titans: 3 Jonnu Smith replacements in 2021 NFL Draft

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Former Titans TE Jonnu Smith. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans run more 12 personnel than any team making tight end depth a priority after Jonnu Smith quickly departed in free agency for the New England Patriots, signing a 4-year, 50-million dollar deal with a hefty 15-million dollar signing bonus. This comes just days before losing out on re-signing Corey Davis as well.

The 12.5-million annual average is tied with teammate Hunter Henry for third highest in the NFL. Is the price a little high? Maybe, but that is the type of player the Titans are losing out on and he needs to be replaced.

The Titans front office did a solid job of making sure Geoff Swaim stayed in Nashville and managed to do the same with Anthony Firkser. Swaim is a high-level blocking tight end and that comes at a premium with this power-heavy run scheme that runs through Derrick Henry. On the other hand, Firkser is somewhat of a tweener, profiling as a solid H-back providing the offense with versatility.

Titans run too much 12 personnel for Smith not to be replaced

You will not find one team in the NFL that operates their offense out of 12 personnel more than the Titans did in 2020. 12 personnel consists of one running back and two tight ends. Ideally, when teams operate out of 12 personnel, they typically look for a block first tight end that they can pair with a high-level move tight end. The receiving tight end is imperative when defenses are in base coverage.

It forces a linebacker to shift out and guard a bigger and superior athlete. If you remain in the personnel and move quickly enough, the defense may get stuck in their base personnel causing coordinators a major headache.  Even with Firkser and Swaim on the roster, this organization should be hyper-focused on finding a receiving threat in the 2021 NFL Draft to open up this power-heavy running game.

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