The loss of SS Johnathan Cyprien for the season stings. In addition, the loss of CB Tye Smith is a blow to the depth of the secondary.
With defensive backs Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, Ladarius Webb and Mike Mitchell all slated to visit, the Titans should ink two to replenish DB Coach Kerry Coombs arsenal of pass defenders.
Which two, exactly?
If GM Jon Robinson can sign both Reid and Vaccaro, the defensive back group becomes even more deadly than before. Each possess the versatility, physicality and starter experience that would be a boost to the roster.
Both Reid and Vaccaro are first round selections of their former team. Each has put in solid work and the numbers reflect that. Both want to prove they are still able to have the impact of a first round pick.
Reid and Vaccaro offer the physicality and ability to play in the box, which make either an ideal replacement for Cyprien. Both Reid and Vaccaro have struggled playing single-high due to over pursuit or bad angles. However, Kevin Byard’s reputation as a ballhawk will help ease the pressure as he will be the guy in the majority of single-high looks.
Coombs made a habit out of transforming Ohio State defensive backs into first round selections. Imagine the work he could do with three (counting Adoree’ Jackson) first round defensive backs - assuming the unlikely event that both Reid and Vaccaro are signed - plus the duo of Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler?
One word - scary.
In fact, one could argue that Robinson wouldn’t have to sell either free agent on the Titans. A team that is on the rise, fresh off of a playoff appearance, an updated coaching staff and the talent that exists on the secondary alone is intriguing in and of itself.
The corner-turned-safety, Webb, has the advantage of working in DC Dean Pees’s system, making him a strong candidate for a roster spot. Webb would replace Smith, but could also compete with LeShaun Sims for the fourth cornerback spot.
Webb helps the secondary improve depth and could benefit under a change in scenery with a familiar face leading the charge. His familiarity with Pees gives him an edge and a chance to get out of the unemployment line.
The quality of defensive backs available this late into the offseason is shocking. The Titans are in a fortunate position following the unfortunate situation.
My guess is shortly after the interviews are over, either Reid or Vaccaro is signed, as well as Webb.