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Comparing Titans’ Roster Needs to Others: Offense

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Which teams share the same offensive draft and free agency needs as the Titans?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue to draw closer to the start of free agency and, ultimately, the NFL draft, it is important to consider that other teams will be vying for many of the same free agent and high-profile prospects as Jon Robinson and the Titans.

Here, let’s take a look at the teams with similar offensive needs.

Desperate Needs

There are no needs on the offensive side of the ball for the Titans as glaring as right tackle was this time last year, but the roster could certainly use an infusion of speed and talent at certain positions.

Overall though, the offense was above average by league standards. Another year in the system and another in the NFL for Marcus Mariota, and we should see an improvement on offense, so the “desperate needs” section remains empty for now.

High Priorities

There is only one true “high priority” for the Titans offense...

Wide Receiver

The Titans have stated a few times that they will be focusing on improving the wide receiver position. Though last offseason’s additions of Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe improved the unit, it is still not up to par with other wide receiver groups in the league, and especially in the division.

With Kendall Wright departing in free agency and Harry Douglas entering his age-33 season, the Titans will no doubt be adding multiple receivers this offseason.

In fact, the Titans could use multiple different types of wide receivers added, as Matthews and Sharpe offer fairly similar skill sets.

The Titans need a threat on the outside that defenses actually have to account for on each and every snap. In addition, they could use a quick and shifty player to fill the spot. They could even benefit from adding a 5-10 play-per-game “gadget” player, as well.

Other Teams with Wide Receiver Needs...

Despite a recent infusion of talent into the NFL at the wide receiver position, many teams will be looking to add another threat to their passing games this offseason.

Even fan bases of teams that have “Number One” receivers are clamoring for upgrades... Some teams are so spoiled...

Although the Bengals have arguably a top-five wide receiver in A.J. Green, apparently that’s not enough, as PFF selected Corey Davis for Cincinnati in a recent mock draft. Bengals fans seem to agree that wide receiver is a position they need to address.

Draft picks: #9, #41, #73, #113, #142 (projected), #143 (projected), #154, #195, #220 (projected), #221 (projected), #232. Estimated cap space: $45M

Head Coach Dirk Koetter said in a post-season press conference that Tampa Bay needs "guys that can catch a 10-yard pass, break one tackle and turn it into a 30-yard gain. Our run after the catch is not where it needs to be." Expect to see Tampa Bay target a wide receiver to play opposite Mike Evans, someone who can provide a run-after-catch threat (hmm... sounds like they might like Corey Davis).

Draft picks: #19, #51, #83, #123, #164, #205, #242. Estimated cap space: $73M

Despite the presence of Antonio Brown, ESPN’s Steelers beat reporter Jeremy Fowler believes wide receiver is Pittsburgh’s biggest 2017 draft need.

Draft picks: #30, #62, #94, #133, #175, #185 (projected), #216, #253. Estimated cap space: $37M

ESPN’s Cardinals’ beat reporter Josh Weinfuss listed Arizona’s top draft need as wide receiver. Whether or not Larry Fitzgerald retires, Arizona will need someone to play across from him and then to step into the number one role when he eventually hangs up the cleats. Matt Miller projected Corey Davis to Arizona in his recent 7-round mock.

Draft picks: #13, #45, #77, #117, #158, #179 (projected), #199, #236. Estimated cap space: $35M

All season, excuses were made for Carson Wentz, with claims like “The Eagles need to surround their rookie quarterback with more talent” made frequently. Expect the Eagles to be competitors of the Titans in both free agency and the draft at the wide receiver position (and others). Rumors are swirling about a possible reunion with DeSean Jackson, and Matt Miller picked a 3rd-round receiver for Philly in his recent mock.

Draft picks: #14, #44, #76, #116, #136 (projected), #157, #198, #235. Estimated cap space: $11.6M

WR was listed as a need by NFL.com in their “2017 NFL Draft order and needs for every team” article. Mike Williams is a common pick for the Chargers in mock drafts.

Draft picks: #7, #39, #71, #111, #152, #193, #230. Estimated cap space: $22M

Sammy Watkins has had trouble staying healthy, and the Bills have had trouble finding a consistent threat to pair with him anyway. The Bills will be another team looking to upgrade the wide receiver position, as mock drafts with Buffalo selecting Mike Williams have indicated.

Draft picks: #10, #42, #74, #155, #196. Estimated cap space: $26M

The Ravens are yet another team that will be interested in adding youth and talent to their wide receiver corps.

Draft picks: #16, #48, #80, #102 (projected), #120, #161, #202, #239. Estimated cap space: $15M

Kenny Britt is a free agent, and Tavon Austin has not shown the ability to win on the outside lining up as a traditional wide receiver. Matt Miller picked three receivers for the Rams in his recent 7-round mock draft.

Draft picks: #37, #98 (projected), #109, #140 (projected), #150, #191, #219 (projected), #228. Estimated cap space: $39M

Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are both free agents, and Cole Beasley is not much more than a complimentary piece. The Cowboys may look at add someone to take some pressure off of Dez Bryant.

Draft picks: #28, #60, #92, #131, #173, #214, #251. Estimated cap space: $-10M

The overwhelming number of teams that will likely be trying to improve their wide receiver group will no doubt cause the Titans to form multiple contingency plans for upgrading the position this offseason.

Consider Addressing

There are multiple positions that don’t stand out as “needs” for the Titans but could still be addressed if the right situation presented itself.

Tight End

When Craig Stevens retired, it left a bit of a hole in the Titans roster. Anthony Fasano filled the role admirably in 2016, but he is now a free agent. Whether or not the Titans bring him back, he will be turning 33 in April, and Delanie Walker will be joining him in August.

Walker is still playing at a Pro Bowl level, and the combination of Fasano and Phillip Supernaw could get the job done. However, the 2017 tight end class is deep and talented. It may be a good time for the Titans to address a position that will no doubt be a need in the not-too-distant future.

Other Teams with Tight End Needs...

  • Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers tried to replace Heath Miller with Ladarius Green, but Green battled concussions all season and thus struggled to make an impact. Jesse James showed some potential, but a threatening tight end could take pressure off Antonio Brown and add to an already hard-to-contain offensive attack.

Draft picks: #30, #62, #94, #133, #175, #185 (projected), #216, #253. Estimated cap space: $37M

With Rob Gronkowski often injured and Martellus Bennett set to become a free agent again, NFL.com lists tight end as one of New England’s offseason needs.

Draft picks: #32, #64, #96, #135, #177, #186 (projected), #218, #255. Estimated cap space: $63M

  • Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten turns 35 in May. Although he’s been as reliable as they come for the duration of his career, Witten will not last forever. Gavin Escobar is a free agent, and though a second round pick, he never really panned out as Witten’s heir.

Draft picks: #28, #60, #92, #131, #173, #214, #251. Estimated cap space: $-10M

Ever since Julius Thomas left, the Broncos have been searching for a replacement playmaking tight end. If Denver sticks with former head coach Gary Kubiak’s zone-running scheme, they could use a tight end who is also good at blocking.

Draft picks: #20, #52, #84, #100 (projected), #124, #145 (projected), #165, #243. Estimated cap space: $33M

Sports Illustrated believes that tight end is the number one need for the Miami Dolphins this offseason, based on Adam Gase’s offense that relies on a threatening pass-catcher at the tight end position.

Draft picks: #22, #54, #103 (projected), #156, #167, #182 (projected), #183 (projected), #208, #245. Estimated cap space: $29M

Some teams may attempt to snag a tight end in the mold of Jordan Reed even if it is not necessarily a “need”. It is becoming more and more common for tight ends to line up wide and dominate smaller or slower defenders, so more and more teams will be looking to add this dimension. Teams like the Arizona Cardinals or the San Francisco 49ers could be candidates to add a tight end of this caliber.

As I said, the 2017 tight end class is deep, so we could see teams attempting to take advantage of that in in this draft.

Offensive Guard

The Titans don’t need to add anything to the offensive line. Byron Bell might be re-signed as a swing guard/tackle backup, though Dennis Kelly might already have that job. Sebastian Tretola should get the chance to show what he can do in year two, and Josh Kline was solid if unspectacular as the starter for most of 2016.

Chance Warmack is as good as gone, and I expect Brian Schwenke will be offered more money by someone else than we’re willing to pay him. The Titans do want to focus on being that power running team, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them add a mid-tier free agent or mid-round guard in the draft to compete for a starting job over Quinton Spain or Kline.

Other Teams with Offensive Guard Needs...

The Browns have a lot of roster holes, but among the biggest is interior offensive linemen. They will likely be adding multiple this offseason.

Draft picks: #1, #12, #33, #65, #105, #137 (projected), #146, #178 (projected), #187. Estimated cap space: $109M

  • Denver Broncos

The Broncos struggled to run the ball for much of the season, and many of those problems began upfront.

Draft picks: #20, #52, #84, #100 (projected), #124, #145 (projected), #165, #243. Estimated cap space: $33M

  • Miami Dolphins

If Laremy Tunsil moves outside to tackle, the Dolphins will need to add a starting-caliber guard to take his place.

Draft picks: #22, #54, #103 (projected), #156, #167, #182 (projected), #183 (projected), #208, #245. Estimated cap space: $29M

  • Los Angeles Rams

The Rams do not have any capable guards currently on the roster. One of the reasons Todd Gurley struggled to find running room was the lack of a passing threat. The other reason was that the guards didn’t block very well.

Draft picks: #37, #98 (projected), #109, #140 (projected), #150, #191, #219 (projected), #228. Estimated cap space: $39M

Sports Illustrated has guard as the top offseason need for the Texans. Hopefully they ignore the position completely.

Draft picks: #25, #57, #89, #128, #170, #248. Estimated cap space: $27M

Same goes for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Draft picks: #4, #36, #68, #108, #149, #190, #227. Estimated cap space: $65M

  • Arizona Cardinals

What do you know, the same applies for the Arizona Cardinals, as well.

Draft picks: #13, #45, #77, #117, #158, #179 (projected), #199, #236. Estimated cap space: $35M

Back-Up Quarterback

Matt Cassell might re-sign with the Titans, and if he doesn’t Alex Tanney could fill the back-up role. Even so, the Titans could bring someone in to compete in camp.

Back-up quarterback is a position that most teams could stand to improve in. If it was so easy to find a capable back-up, it wouldn’t be so hard for teams to find their franchise starter.

For that reason, I won’t list all the teams that need a back-up quarterback. It will be essentially every team by the time free agency comes and goes (as players like Tony Romo and Jimmy Garappolo will likely have moved on to other teams).

Come back tomorrow for a look at the defensive side...