Is the Tennessee Titans defense already (essentially) set?

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Are the Titans poised to add offensive weapons in the draft?

With the addition of Sean Phillips the whole draft dynamic shifts whether fans want to admit it or not. While Phillips isn't going to be a cornerstone of this defense for years to come, he is exactly what the Titans needed: a stopgap.

Currently the Tennessee Titans defense has lost a few starters, but there aren't many question marks. Using Pro Football Focus to I have judged the transitions and who the likely starters are, and it isn't nearly as bad as some would imagine.

1. Alterraun Verner will be replaced by Blidi Wreh-Wilson or Coty Sensabaugh.

Both Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Sensabaugh had positive grades according to PFF and there shouldn't be a huge drop off. Verner is a talented corner, but many don't realize that by the end of the season Jason McCourty was actually the higher rated of the two and he will continue to lock down wide receivers.

2. Defensive line shuffle. (Essentially the Shaun Phillips addition forces Derrick Morgan and Ropati Pitoitua to rotate)

This is a weird replacement considering how much the Titans will shift from 3-4 to 4-3, but the majority of snaps at edge rusher will go to Shaun Phillips and Akeem Ayers if I had to guess. This switch will make Derrick Morgan the default #2 edge rusher during 4-3 downs and Ropati Pitoitua the #2 5-tech on 3-4 downs. All of this to say that I think the front five on 4-3 downs will be RDE Phillips, 3-tech Jurrell Casey, 1-tech Sammie Lee Hill, LDE Derrick Morgan, with Akeem Ayers (SLB) walked down. On 3-4 downs, I think the front five will be ROLB Phillips, 5-tech Hill, NT Jurrell Casey, 5-tech Ropati Pitoitua, LOLB Akeem Ayers.

3. ILB competition opposite Woodyard.

This is the only real question mark, but I believe the personnel is already on the roster. With Woodyard playing one inside linebacker spot, I would assume that there will be a healthy competition between Colin McCarthy, Moise Fokou, Zaviar Gooden, and Zach Brown for the other position.

With that pretty much summing up the defensive changes, the argument can be made that the Titans should take the best offensive player available in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Whether that means adding a dynamic tight end like Eric Ebron, a true number one receiver like Mike Evans, Jake Matthews if he falls (though with Michael Oher this is unlikely), or even Teddy Bridgewater in a dream come true situation (perfect for Whisenhunt's offense).

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