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Is Titans OL Dillon Radunz playing himself into 2024 role?

Dillon Radunz is currently enjoying the best stretch of his professional career

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Seattle Seahawks v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans right tackle Dillon Radunz has quietly been playing solid football as of late. Radunz was one of very few standout performers against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Radunz’s latest form begs the question. Is the former North Dakota State standout playing himself into a 2024 starting role?

Radunz has started a career-high 10 games this season, including eight straight starts. That represents the longest stretch of consecutive starts throughout Radunz’s three-year career. Now more than 12-plus months removed from last year’s season-ending ACL, Radunz’s results have been encouraging as of late.

In his last six starts, Radunz has allowed just 13 total combined pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Radunz allowed two pressures versus the Texans on Sunday, and pitched a shutout versus the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, allowing zero pressures. PFF hasn’t credited Radunz with allowing a sack in four straight games.

Radunz has scored a 62-or-greater score in pass protection from PFF in five straight contests. That’s significantly better from Radunz’s early-season performances that saw him score pass-blocking grades of 41.7, 27.4, 36.7, 42.9, and 46.8 between Weeks 2 and 11. Radunz’s pass-pro score of 77.0 versus the Seahawks represented a season-best mark.

Radunz has also made strides as a run blocker. He scored an elite 92.2 run-blocking grade against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13. This past weekend versus the Texans, Radunz had a solid 70.7. score as a run blocker. Radunz has settled into the right tackle position.

It’s worth acknowledging that Radunz has been whistled for a league-leading eight false start penalties. That’s unacceptable given Radunz has started just 10 games. But it’s also worth mentioning that Radunz has been penalty-free for three consecutive weeks. Perhaps offensive line coach Jason Houghtaling deserves credit for helping Radunz overcome his false-start issues.

Radunz remains under contract through the 2024 campaign at a base salary of $1.5 million, according to Spotrac. Even if reduced to a valuable swing backup, that’s a team-friendly number that should guarantee Radunz makes the 2024 team. There’s no denying the Titans require multiple upgrades across their offensive line this offseason, however.

The Titans will mostly focus on improving the left tackle position after Andre Dillard and Jaelyn Duncan have been a weekly liability. The Titans should look to improve the right tackle position as well, but perhaps Radunz offers Ran Carthon a low-cost solution at right tackle assuming every other position (sans left guard) has been upgraded. I’d personally be most comfortable with Radunz at right tackle only if the right guard position has been upgraded. Or perhaps Radunz will be in the mix at right guard, sandwiched in-between a better center and right tackle.

The Titans need to aggressively pursue offensive line upgrades this offseason. That means not settling for average to below-average players. Question marks still surround Radunz’s long-term outlook, but he’s currently playing like a projected quality starter on an offensive line that features multiple upgrades next to him.