The Titans released their first “unofficial” depth chart of 2019 today. As always, we should avoid reading too much into this document because A) it’s “unofficial” and B) it doesn’t really matter.
NOTE: Positions should be read from left to right, then go down a row and left to right again. For example, the Titans running back depth chart goes Henry, Lewis, Fluellen, McNichols, Dawkins, Barnes, in that order.
That being said, here are some things I found interesting about the depth chart as presented.
The Titans listed their offense based on 11-personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers)
This is a departure from the last few years when 12-personnel (one back, two tight ends, two receivers) was the “base” offense listed. Does that mean we are going to see a more spread out attack or did the Titans just not want to release a document that had their $9M per year receiver addition listed as a backup? I’m not sure, but this is realistically the “right” way to list the offense. The Titans used 11-personnel on 58% of their offensive snaps last year per Sharp Football and that number figures to be on the rise with the addition of Adam Humphries.
Taywan Taylor listed as a starting receiver
This runs counter to everything we’ve seen with regards to the rotations at camp — where Tajae Sharpe has very clearly been the third starter alongside Corey Davis and Adam Humphries — so I don’t know what to make of it, but as a long time Taywan > Tajae advocate, I’ll take what I can get these days.
Darius Jennings listed ahead of Kalif Raymond at both receiver and kick returner
The battle for the sixth receiver has seemed to be a contest between Jennings, Raymond, and Anthony Ratliff-Williams after Cameron Batson’s broken collarbone landed him on IR and this seems to indicate that Jennings is leading that race (though this could be a nod to his seniority as much as anything). I’d have Jennings on the 53-man roster as of today, but I think this battle will continue into preseason action.
Adam Humphries listed as the team’s primary punt returner
Humphries is listed over Adoree’ Jackson and Kalif Raymond as the top punt returner on the team. I think the preseason will give us some hints about where this competition might head, but Mike Vrabel has indicated that the job is wide open right now.
Amani Hooker being listed as a third team safety is weird
These initial depth charts are often overly deferential towards veterans and I think this is a clear example of that. Hooker has been running with the second team group — and sometimes with the ones — throughout camp and I’d be shocked if he didn’t get on the field before Dane Cruikshank and Joshua Kalu if one of the starting safeties was to go down.
First team right guard is Kevin Pamphile
The team’s most intriguing position battle has Pamphile at the top with Jamil Douglas listed as the second team right guard and third round pick Nate Davis behind him. Again, these early depth charts often start the rookies lower than they’ll end up by Week 1, but I will say that in this case it is reflective of what we’ve seen in practices. Douglas is being treated as not just a candidate for the 53-man roster, but a viable starting option. This is a very fluid situation right now with Pamphile, Douglas, Davis, Aaron Stinnie, and Corey Levin all effectively fighting for a starting job on the offensive line.
Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan listed over Adoree’ Jackson
I don’t think this matters a ton because the Titans are going to have all three of these guys on the field for 70-plus percent of the defensive snaps, but it’s interesting to me that Butler got the nod over Jackson. Again, not a huge deal, but semi-interesting.
Tyler Marz listed as second team right tackle over Austin Pasztor
This is another listing that doesn’t really seem to match with my observations and other practice reports as Pasztor has pretty consistently been the fourth tackle in after Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin, and Dennis Kelly.
Cody Hollister listed as a second team receiver
Hollister is a guy that we haven’t talked about a ton, but he has been working relatively high in the receiver pecking order. I think it’ll be tough for him to make the roster given the rest of the competition, but among the receivers that haven’t been talked about, he’s probably the most intriguing at the moment.