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Three players to watch: offense

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Which players have the most to gain from a good performance?

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With the first preseason game just hours away, it is time to look at which offensive players could benefit most from a good night.

Taylor Thompson TE

Thompson is a good special teams player that has plenty of experience both blocking and tackling, however he has yet to really find his niche on the offensive side of the ball. Thompson has been having some good performances in practice, but it is time to translate that to the field.

Craig Stevens has been the most consistent pass catching TE in practice this year according to Whisenhunt, so he and Delanie will likely see a lot of time with the ones. However, Thompson should get plenty of time with Zach Mettenberger and if those two could play in sync then it would show that Mettenberger can be methodical and Thompson can be reliable.

Taylor Lewan OT

Lewan isn't expected to come in and make a splash this year, barring an injury from an offensive tackle. However, he has been playing a lot of snaps in practice and if he could bully some defenders it could prompt the Titans to find a way to get him on the field.

With two (possibly three) viable tight ends, and a lack of depth at receiver, goal line packages could end up being one wide receiver (Hunter), one running back, and three tight ends. However, if Lewan can show that he is nimble and physical on the edge, he may be one of those "tight ends" (really a swing tackle).

I'm not sure how Lewan will be used this season, but I think we will know a lot more after tonight's game.

Derek Hagan WR

While there was early buzz on Marc Mariani, it seems like Hagan has been more consistent than any other (non-top-three) wide receivers in camp. Hagan should get plenty of time throughout the night, and I would guess that he will be the leading receiver for the Titans tonight.

Hagan is in competition for the fourth wide receiver spot for the Titans, and he has gone from dark-horse to front-runner in my opinion. If Hagan can have a big night tonight it would set him up for more snaps in the future.