The Tennessee Titans
made the playoffs last season, and despite losing former head coach Mike Mularkey, they are expected to be contenders this season, thanks to what is being considered one of their best draft classes.
The Tennessee Titans
draft players include Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry and Dane Cruikshank, who are all expected to contribute to the team’s success this season.
Evans, a linebacker selected out of Alabama with the 22nd pick in the first round, is expected to be a starter this season.
Due to the talent at Alabama, Evans started only one season with the Crimson Tide. When he was on the field, Evans showed a great speed and strength for a linebacker. He was also very relentless and didn’t give up on plays.
Evans’ versatility in coverage and pass rushing means he will likely play both inside and outside linebacker position for the Titans.
With new head coach Mike Vrabel, who was a linebacker for the New England Patriots
, being a defensive minded coach, expect Evans to blossom in his new role.
Landry was selected with the 41st pick in the second round out of Boston College. Unlike Evans, he isn’t expected to be a starter this season, but he should get a lot of playing time as a role player.
The Titans selected Landry to help give them some depth at the defensive end position. The team already has a solid pass rushing duo in Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, who finished with a combined 14.5 sacks last season.
However, the duo are getting older and the team will need some fresh legs to spell them, which is where Landry comes in.
As a junior, Landry had 16.5 sacks, leading the Eagles. However, his production dropped in his senior season, due to injuries, and he finished the season with five sacks. The Titans are hoping he will return to his dominant form and help improve their pass rush.
With the Titans signing former New England Patriots cornerback Malcom Butler, former Arizona cornerback Dane Cruikshank likely won’t start this season. But he will provide the team with some much needed depth at the cornerback position.
Since he played both the corner and safety positions in college, the Titans might plug him in to help spell tired players or when they are in the nickel back defense. Thanks to his athleticism, he will likely also see some action on special teams.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is the undisputed starter for the Titans, but they lack depth at the position, with Blaine Gabbert expected to back Mariota up this season. However, the Titans used their 199th pick in the sixth round to select quarterback Luke Falk from Washington State.
Falk will likely compete with Gabbert for the backup role in the preseason, and if he progresses quickly, will start the season as the team’s backup quarterback. If he doesn’t look ready, the team will likely keep Gabbert as the backup and keep Falk on the practice squad.
After the draft, the Titans added a few undrafted free agents to give them some more depth.
Running back Akrum Wadley, who played at Iowa, is expected to be a backup running back next season. Wide receiver Deontay Burnett, will provide some depth at the receiver position, and former Ohio State safety Damon Webb will give them additional depth in the secondary.