the Tennessee Titans trimmed their roster down to 53 on Tuesday afternoon. The biggest surprises included a pair of undrafted rookies making the initial roster in cornerback Tre Avery and running back Julius Chestnut. Let’s examine the current state of Tennessee’s team.
Quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis
The Titans showed faith in rookie quarterback Malik Willis by releasing presumed backup Logan Woodside. We’d expect Titans General Manager Jon Robinson to attempt to add Woodside to the practice squad. Willis showed consistent improvement throughout the preseason and the Titans believe in his natural playmaking abilities.
Running Back: Derrick Henry, Hassan Haskins, Dontrell Hilliard, Julius Chestnut and Tory Carter
The Titans went heavy on running backs. The aforementioned Chestnut was arguably the biggest surprise. It’s a heartwarming story for a prospect that played low-level football at Sacred Heart. The rookie Haskins wasn’t sacrificed for Chestnut. Hilliard is a third-down running back with kickoff return ability.
Wide Receiver: Robert Woods, Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook, Kyle Philips and Racey McMath
The Titans pulled a slight surprise by going light here. They released four WR6 contenders in Dez Fitzpatrick, Mason Kinsey, Cody Hollister and Reggie Roberson. At least two of these receivers should land on the practice squad. There’s additional concern because an injury may momentarily sideline McMath. A corresponding move could be made.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Racey McMath is expected to be placed on injured reserve with a hip injury on Wednesday, league sources said. https://t.co/cS8VRMoKd8
— Terry McCormick (@terrymc13) August 30, 2022
Tight End: Austin Hooper, Geoff Swaim and Chigoziem Okonkwo
Tommy Hudson was waived-injured. David Wells was released. Hooper, Swaim and Okonkwo are versatile enough to allow the Titans to keep just three tight ends. Okonkwo could contribute immediately.
Offensive Lineman: Taylor Lewan, Aaron Brewer, Ben Jones, Nate Davis, Nicholas Petit-Frere, JaMarco Jones, Dillon Radunz, Corey Levin and Dennis Daley
ja. Jones, Radunz and the recent acquisition Daley can play multiple positions at both tackle and guard. It gives the Titans versatility on the bench. Levin should stick as Ben Jones’ backup at center. I expect multiple released offensive linemen to land on the practice squad. That group could include Christian DiLauro, Xavier Newman-Johnson and Jordan Roos.
Defensive Line: Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Teair Tart, Naquan Jones, DeMarcus Walker, Da’Shawn Hand and Kevin Strong
The Titans went extremely heavy with seven initial defensive linemen. Da’Shawn Hand and Kevin Strong are the two stunners. Hand didn’t feature in Tennessee’s preseason finals. It was an indication he was safe. Should the Titans add a player that was released elsewhere, they could trim from this overall group. Hopefully seven D-linemen isn’t a telling sign Denico Autry’s regarding injury status.
Outside Linebacker/EDGE: Harold Landry, Bud Dupree, Ola Adeniyi and Rashad Weaver
I expected undrafted free agent David Anenih to make the 53-man roster after he led the Titans in preseason sacks with 3.0 quarterback takedowns. I’d imagine the Titans will attempt to get Anenih on their practice squad. The Titans went light with just Rashad Weaver and Ola Adeniyi as backups.
Inside Linebacker: David Long Jr, Zach Cunningham, Chance Campbell and Dylan Cole
The Titans went surprisingly light at inside linebacker. Monty Rice is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. They released both Joe Jones and Jack Gibbens. Both defenders are strong candidates for the practice squad.
Cornerback: Kristian Fulton, Caleb Farley, Elijah Molden, Roger McCreary, Ugo Amadi & Tre Avery
Chris Jackson qualified as a surprise release. The Titans have been high on his toughness and versatility, but an injury prevented Jackson from gaining steam. Jackson is a prime candidate to be brought back. Tre Avery is a feel-good story out of Rutgers. Avery impressed throughout the training camp and the preseason. Amadi will play special teams and the nickel position at times.
Safeties: Kevin Byard, Amani Hooker, AJ Moore, Lonnie Johnson and Joshua Kalu
Sixth-round rookie Theo Jackson was a surprise release, but he’d been nursing an undisclosed injury. I imagine if/when healthy, Jackson will land on the practice squad. Joshua Kalu is an excellent special teams player and offers backend versatility. Lonnie Johnson is a tight end eraser.
Specialists: Randy Bullock, Ryan Stonehouse and Morgan Cox
The Brett Kern news on Monday confirmed Stonehouse made the roster. Morgan Cox is arguably the best long-snapper in football. Randy Bullock has enjoyed an extremely consistent summer.
This isn’t the Titans’ final 53-man roster. Robinson will search the waiver wire for potential improvements. The current makeup indicates changes are coming.