The Tennessee Titans had a very interesting offseason. It was clear at the end of the 2021 season that they were going to have to cut some veterans to clear salary cap room. Rodger Saffold and Julio Jones were the two biggest salary cap casualties. Saffold was really good for them in 2021, but he was just too expensive to bring back. He signed with the Buffalo Bills. Injuries kept Jones off the field for the majority of the one season he was in Tennessee. He has now joined Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Once Jones was cut, it left a big hole in the receiver room. The Titans filled that hole when they traded a sixth-round pick for Robert Woods. The former Los Angeles Rams receiver is coming off of a torn ACL but has been a full participant in training camp. Woods fits perfectly with the Titans because he can create yards after the catch and is a great blocker in the run game.
They also bolstered their pass-catching group by signing former Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper to a one-year deal. The Titans really needed a tight end who could block and catch the football. They had that in Jonnu Smith, but he left for the New England Patriots before the 2021 season. Hooper gives them that.
Night 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft proved to be a roller coaster for the Titans. They surprisingly traded receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles after negotiations for a contract extension broke down. They used the first-round pick they received in the deal to draft Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks.
It was a rocky start for Burks with the Titans. He was out of shape in OTAs, but he put in the work and showed up to training camp ready to battle for a spot with the starters.
They used their second-round pick on Auburn corner Roger McCreary. The former Auburn corner slid in the draft because his arms are shorter than most NFL teams want on a corner. It has not deterred McCreary from being one of the best players in training camp. There is a very good chance he is a starter for this team in 2022.
The biggest surprise of the draft was when they traded up in the third round to select quarterback Malik Willis. It was a surprise to most that Willis was still on the board in the third round. The Titans found themselves in a really good spot because they have an established starting quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. That gave them the latitude to draft a quarterback who has all the tools but needs some time to refine his game like Willis does.
Willis has already shown that he will put in the work. He came to camp with a good command of the offense and ready to operate under center — something he has never done in his career. There are still some things that he needs to improve on, but once he does, the sky is the limit for him. The Titans hope he is the team’s quarterback of the future.
It was clear after the 2021 season that the Titans needed to upgrade around Tannehill. They took a step back in the goal when they had to trade Brown. The hope is that they can replace Brown’s production with all of the new faces they acquired.
It will not be on one person to put up 1,000 yards, although it would be nice if someone did. The pass-catching group is better as a whole heading into 2022 than it ended in 2021. Hopefully, that will be enough to power the Titans to a third consecutive AFC South Championship.