The Titans' 2015 campaign came to a merciful end last weekend as the Titans fell to 3-13. Before we shift into total draft mode, it's important to identify what needs the new Titans' General Manager will have to fill. The Titans certainly have no shortage of holes on the roster, but at least they've solidified the most important position of all with Marcus Mariota. Time to build around him.
1. Right Tackle
Enough with the band-aid signings. Time to fix this thing for good. The free agent pool looks promising with names like Russell Okung, Andre Smith, Mitchell Schwartz, Bobbie Massie and Kelechi Osemele, just to name a few. Laremy Tunsil will play into this too. Drafting the Ole Miss product would shift Lewan to the right side and hopefully solve everyone's issues. I'm fascinated to see which direction they go. We should know what the draft plans are for the first pick by how aggressive they are in acquiring a tackle in free agency.
Jason McCourty's lost 2015 season really killed the secondary. Perrish Cox was up and down and Coty Sensabaugh was a disaster. Blidi Wreh-Wilson looks like his time is up. I would expect the Titans to be aggressive in free agency in this area with Leon Hall, Sean Smith and a host of others potentially hitting the market. This position is one of the deepest in the draft and should offer a lot of options at pick 33.
3. Wide Receiver
Tennessee's lack of depth at receiver was on display this season when Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter went down. Hunter's lack of development and injury history could have him looking for work this offseason. Dorial Green-Beckham came along nicely throughout the season and appears to be a real building block for the future. I think the Titans need to add at least one more play-maker on the outside, if nothing more for depth. When you're trotting out Andrew Turzilli and Rico Richardson to play meaningful snaps, you have an issue.
4. Free Safety
We'll see what happens with Michael Griffin, but he currently is signed through next season. Logic would tell us that he's a cut candidate, as he would count over eight million dollars on the cap for 2016. He also tweeted that Sunday "one last trip with the fam," but maybe I'm reading too much into that. Either way, the free agent market looks enticing with Eric Weddle, Eric Berry and Tashaun Gipson potentially hitting the market.
5. Running Back
No back was really able to lay claim to the starting job this season. It was a committee approach that didn't yield great results. With a new staff coming in, who knows what conclusions they'll draw about the backs currently on the roster. You know what you're getting in Antonio Andrews, Dexter McCluster and maybe even Bishop Sankey. David Cobb flashed week 17, but that's really all we have to go off of.
I'll go deeper on this later, but the Titans should probably just punt on the 2016 running back class. The group lacks elite talent, but is pretty loaded with depth. However, 2017 is bringing a bundle of big time first round backs -- potentially five to six to be exact. If they need to add one, I'd rather see it happen with a one year deal in free agency.
Center is a tough spot to figure out. Brian Schwenke has been up and down and can't seem to shake the injuries. Andy Gallik didn't exactly lock up the gig for the future, either. The center free agent market isn't very deep and I doubt that this team is luring Alex Mack. Nothing may change here, but the center play must improve.
Other Potential Needs
With a staff change coming, a scheme change on defense could follow. If that happens more needs could be created. Here is what to look for.
A move back to a 4-3 would create a new need. Derrick Morgan would shift back to his traditional end role, but Brian Orakpo would likely be forced into a "SAM" linebacker role. Orakpo would likely still rush the passer on passing downs. This would open up the door for a Joey Bosa at pick number one.
Both Al Woods and Sammie Hill are set to hit the market this offseason. If this happens and the Titans stick with a 3-4 base look, expect nose tackle to be a top need.
Zach Brown's contract with the Titans is up and it's unclear whether or not he wants to return. It seemed like he was ready to leave after sending a mid-season tweet bashing the organization. However, a move back to the 4-3 would be the best move for his career and the Titans may just do that. If Brown exits, the Titans will have to add another linebacker to complete their front seven.