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Titans must consider benching Dennis Daley

Who can replace the Titans left tackle right now?

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans’ offensive line put forth their worst performance of the season in Sunday’s win over the Washington Commanders. Ryan Tannehill was under routine duress and pressure. Starting left tackle Dennis Daley, who is playing in place of the injured Taylor Lewan, was arguably the most culpable. Daley was credited with allowing one sack and four pressures en route to earning a pass blocking grade of 28.8 from Pro Football Focus. Daley now has two of four games with PFF pass blocking grades under 30.0. The Titans must consider benching Daley during the bye week.

Let’s explore the in-house options...

Titans fans are most likely to call for sophomore draft pick Dillon Radunz to replace Daley at left tackle. We’re unsure if the Titans would even consider the possibility. Radunz started at right guard in place of the injured Nate Davis against the Commanders on Sunday. The former North Dakota State standout scored a run blocking grade of 45.9, pass blocking grade of 50.5, and overall grade of 40.5, via PFF. It was a below-average performance for Radunz.

The tackle-turned-guard deserves another opportunity to play left tackle given Daley’s current struggles, however. Radunz was expected to claim Tennessee’s right tackle job this past offseason, but was dethroned by a better performing Nicholas Petit-Frere. It’s worth acknowledging that Radunz played left tackle in college. It remains the position he’s most comfortable with. He has one career start at left tackle. It can’t get worse than Daley.

A more realistic option may be Le’Raven Clark. Titans general manager Jon Robinson signed Clark to Tennessee’s 53-man roster off the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad on September 27. Clark has since been acclimating to Todd Downing’s offensive scheme. The No. 82 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, Clark is a seventh-year veteran journeyman.

Clark served as a backup for the Eagles last season. He earned 74 snaps at right tackle, scoring a pass blocking grade of 44.1, run blocking grade of 71.2, and overall grade of 61.1, via PFF. Clark last played extensively for the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. He played 310 snaps at left tackle, scoring a pass blocking grade of 68.6, run blocking grade of 59.9, and overall grade of 67.6, via PFF. Clark is a low-upside option, but he could potentially raise the floor of Tennessee’s left tackle play.

The third and final [distant] option is Jamarco Jones. A versatile guard/tackle that was expected to compete for the starting job at left guard, Jones was placed on IR on September 22 with an elbow injury. It meant Jones must miss a minimum of four contests before returning to play. Jones has missed three contests, and will, at minimum, also miss Tennessee’s Week 7 contest against the Colts. Jones probably isn’t a realistic option. Undrafted free agent tackle Andrew Rupcich is on the practice squad.

The bye week provides the Titans with a much-needed opportunity to complete some self-reflection. The tape indicates Daley has been a massive liability. The Titans must consider inserting Radunz or Clark into the lineup. Alternatively, they could continue searching for options via free agency, the trade market, or rival practice squads.