2023 NFL Draft: Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans streak of three straight playoff appearances has come to an end and this looks to be a franchise that could be in transition. Make no mistake; this is still a roster loaded with talent, led by running back Derrick Henry. Rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks oozes potential, and Jeffrey Simmons is one of the top defensive tackles in football.
But can Ryan Tannehill still be the guy? That’s the biggest question in Tennessee, as Tannehill will be 35 years old in Week 1 and has regressed in each of the last two seasons. The Titans drafted Malik Willis last year in the third round of the NFL Draft and some considered it a steal. Leading up to draft night, Willis had been viewed in some circles as a Top 10 pick. This season made clear that Willis is not ready to be an NFL quarterback.
Perhaps the Titans feel confident that Willis can develop into one, starting this offseason. But I tend to believe the Titans already know they need another answer. Maybe that’s a free agent to compete with Tannehill. Maybe they run it back one more time before tearing it down. Or maybe they look for a second-tier quarterback on draft night.
Top Draft Needs: OT, IOL, WR
That said, my guess is the Titans will bring in a veteran to compete for the starting job with Malik Willis and Josh Dobbs. Dobbs showed enough in the final two weeks to at least warrant consideration. No, he isn’t Patrick Mahomes, but he is good enough to compete for a job. I could see someone like Derek Carr in that quarterback room too.
In order to set any Tennessee QB up for success, the Titans need to improve their offensive line. The Titans could look at tackle, guard, or someone with the versatility to play both. They need improved offensive line play across the board. Taylor Lewan is rumored to be considering retirement and Ben Jones may even consider that too, given his age (33) and two concussions suffered this season.
Wide receiver is another major need. When the Titans traded A.J. Brown to Philadelphia, they gave up their only real downfield threat. To their credit, they selected Treylon Burks with the 18th overall pick, to help fill the void. In 11 games this season, Burks had 33 receptions, 444 yards, and a touchdown. Free agent acquisition Robert Woods added 527 receiving yards on 53 catches, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine contributed a whopping 397 on 25 grabs. That production at the receiver position is just not going to keep you very competitive. Burks is going to be a great pro but needs help.
The Titans defense is solid, boasting the top run defense in football. If the Titans brought in someone like Carr and improved their line and receiver room through the draft, they could potentially return to the playoffs as early as 2023.