Mike Herndon: Where the Titans will continue to churn the roster

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

The Titans released their initial 53-man roster for the 2022 season on Tuesday and there were a few mild surprises, but no true shockers included. Tre Avery and Kevin Strong over Chris Jackson and David Anenih aren’t exactly stunning. Keeping five running backs, while unexpected, ultimately isn’t that big of a deal.


The roster is relatively good overall. Weak spots remain offensive line, receiver depth, and inside linebacker depth. Starters and players with significant roles on both sides of the ball are pretty set at this point.

Here are my thoughts on each position group and where Jon Robinson may look to continue to churn for depth.

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Kuharsky broadcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans, for now, are loaded with defensive linemen and running backs.

They are thin at tight end and are about to get thinner at receiver -- Terry McCormick reports that Racey McMath is heading to IR.

Let's gather to chat about what the Titans' first version of their 53-man roster looks like and where they ought to head from here.

You can head to the private Facebook page or head below to rewatch a broadcast that was loaded with good questions.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The initial version of the Titans’ 53-man roster includes surprises Julius Chestnut and Tre Avery and looks to be heavy on the defensive line and running back and light at tight end.

Da’Shawn Hand and Kevin Strong survived Tuesday but at least one of them could be gone soon as the Titans have seven defensive linemen, more than two times as many as will be on the field in their base defense, which they use less than nickel when they feature two.

Amani Hooker and Josh Kalu

Amani Hooker and Josh Kalu/ Pool photo Donald Page, Titans

Meanwhile, they have just three tight ends when their base offense features two.

A run-through of a roster that is sure to evolve.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The problem with the Titans dealing for Carolina offensive lineman Dennis Daley isn't giving up a fifth-round pick in 2024 and getting a seventh back.

If they really want the guy and think he solves a roster issue, even if he was going to get cut, ensuring they land him is fine though a two-round drop feels steep. The Titans occasionally hit on a fifth-rounder and rarely hit on a seventh.

Dennis Daley

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to imagine a cut from a questionable line is so much better than the large group of offensive linemen who will come free by the end of the day. He was a Panthers sixth-rounder in 2019 out of South Carolina.

The problems with this development are three-fold:

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Stonehouse has beaten out Brett Kern for the Titans’ punter spot, per ESPN.

Here are my predictions for the other 52 spots with cuts due to be finalized by Tuesday afternoon. It's not a bad roster, but it's not easy to find the 51st, 52nd and 53rd players. I went heavy at defensive back.

David Anenih

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

QBs (2): Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis

It’s hard to find a rationale for keeping Logan Woodside on the 53-man roster. The Titans are in trouble if Tannehill goes down. Willis would run a safe, run-heavy offense that includes him as a run threat. Woodside as a practice squader can be insurance and do some scout team if needed. 

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Scouts' take: Review of final preseason game and a Titans' 53-man roster

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The third and final preseason game is designed to give organizations looking for those last four or five spots on the 53-man roster an opportunity to shine under the lights.

Most spots are solidified and starting positions are secure at this point. But who will make a team and contribute on special teams is still to be determined.

Dez Fitzpatrick

Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

The last piece of the third preseason game is to allow players that won’t make their current team or practice squad a chance to get enough film that they can have opportunities to hook on with another franchise.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Malik Willis continued to make gains in his third and final preseason start.

In the week leading up to it what turned out to be a 26-23 win, he said the media was too results-oriented. Certainly, he’s been in the midst of a developmental process, but he may be on the verge of becoming Ryan Tannehill’s backup, a twisted ankle away from his results being crucial to the Titans.

Malik Willis

© Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

During a game where few starters played and those who did were not on the field long, Willis played a particularly effective first half and had his best results yet.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brett Kern has called Nissan Stadium home since 2009, making him the senior member of the Titans by five years over Taylor Lewan.

Brett Kern

Saturday night while the team beat Arizona 26-23 in the preseason finale, Kern didn’t play.

He watched rookie Ryan Stonehouse belt seven punts 346 yards for an average of 49.4 and a net average of 41.6, pinning three inside the 20 with a long of 64.

Kern said he knew early on that Stonehouse was going to be a real threat.

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