Tennessee Titans 2020 Training Camp Preview
Coming off of their most successful season in 17 years, the Tennessee Titans don’t intend to fall back to the mediocre ways of the past. Even with another 9-7 record under their belt, a playoff run ending just short of the Super Bowl leaves this franchise much to desire. While they have retained the duo of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry with fancy new contracts, the lack of Free Agency activity leaves a bit of tension at the team arrives back to Saint Thomas Sports Park.
3 Position Battles to Watch:
Slot Corner: Johnathan Joseph vs. Kristian Fulton vs. Amani Hooker
With Titans GM Jon Robinson deciding to not re-sign free agent Logan Ryan, Tennessee has been tasked with replacing a veteran corner who has stuffed the stat sheet for the entirety of his contract. Bringing in 36-year-old Johnathon Joseph and 2nd-round pick Kristian Fulton, Mike Vrabel has a decision to make when it comes to their nickel package. If neither pans out the way he likes, the second-year safety out of Iowa Amani Hooker has proven his ability to drop down closer to the line of scrimmage in the past.
Pass Rusher: Vic Beasley, Harold Landry, and a Mystery Free Agent
Vic Beasley finally reported with the Titans yesterday after a 10-day hiatus. Being the largest free agent acquisition to date for Tennessee, the team can finally focus on where he stands among the leading pass rushers for the defense. With Harold Landry set to be his edge-rushing partner on the other side of the front seven, the idea of Robinson bringing in another pass rusher looms large. While Tennessee’s interest in Jadaveon Clowney is more than public, a name like Everson Griffin has caught the eye of many teams still wanting to bring in a veteran pass rusher. Landing either of those names would surely shake up the rotation at outside linebacker.
Right Tackle: Dennis Kelly vs. Isaiah Wilson
As Jack Conklin moves to Cleveland to start a new chapter of his career, the Titans have prepared to fill the whole at Right Tackle. Signing Dennis Kelly to a three-year deal and using their first-round pick on Isaiah Wilson, they have created the necessary depth to handle the position going forward. Kelly will start Week 1 in Denver, with no real training camp and no time to acclimate to the team Wilson will get to watch from the sideline for the first time in his life. Wilson may be on the bench at first, but there is a good chance that he won’t be there for the entire season. Being the physical specimen that he is, the former Bulldog has all of the intangibles to take over as the starter once he gets the experience to be Tannehill’s right bookend.
Ready to Breakout: Jeffery Simmons, DT
Falling to the Titans as the 19th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jeffery Simmons was quick to make a difference on the defensive line after he was able to recover from ACL surgery eight weeks into the 2019 season. Wreaking havoc game after game, one has to think that he’ll be in a better position to put the league on notice this year. With team captain Jurell Casey being traded to Denver, “Big Jeff” will get more chances to blow up the A and B gap. If the Tennessee front office can gather another elite edge rusher, it’ll be that much easier for Simmons to make tackles for loss.
Rookie to Watch: Darrynton Evans, RB
Derrick Henry is the backbone of this team. Derrick Henry is the face of this team. Derrick Henry had a postseason that will have Titans fans clamoring for years to come. Derrick Henry needs help. While Dion Lewis departs from Tennessee after an underwhelming stint in the two-tone blue, the rookie prospect out of Appalachian State has an opportunity to be Henry’s robin. Coming off of a season where he was the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, Evans has the potential to not only catch the ball out of the backfield but to carry the rock when Henry is getting his rest. While Lewis brought little value to the offense while on the field, Evans has the youth and diversity of a back to make a real difference. Especially when the Titans fall behind multiple scores, and they can’t run the ball. (Check notes on AFC Championship game against the Chiefs.)
Fantasy Sleeper: Corey Davis, WR
Ever since Corey Davis came into the league as the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, people have debated if he’s had either a disappointing start to a promising career or if he’s a flat out bust. Knowing what Davis is capable of when he is clicking, it’s safe to say that the verdict is still out on the young receiver. Having games where he’s completely outplayed Stephen Gilmore or single-handedly burnt every member of an opposing secondary, fantasy owners shouldn’t hesitate with taking a flier on the kid out of Western Michigan. With Tennessee now having another legitimate mouth to feed at the receiver position in AJ Brown, Davis could be the guy to sneak up and take over a game or two for the Titans in 2020.