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Evaluating the Top Tackle Options for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft

Evaluating the Top Tackle Options for the Titans in the 2024 NFL Draft

By MIKE HERNDON, COLUMNIST

The Titans' desperate need for help at tackle is no secret. It’s been a point of discussion since it became obvious that Andre Dillard was not going to be the answer early on last season. Given the two-year disaster that the position has been in Tennessee, it’s somewhat surprising that nothing has been done to this point in free agency to offer even a temporary fix.

Amarius Mims
Amarius Mims (65) and Branson Robinson/ © Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There are still some options out there, like David Bakhtiari, Mekhi Becton, and Cam Fleming that could be on the radar for Ran Carthon depending on what happens in the draft, but as things stand today, that position remains the flashing red light on the roster that you just can’t take your eyes off.

I have touched on my thoughts on this position group briefly in several previous columns but figured it would be worth a deep dive at this point as it seems exceedingly likely that the Titans will be taking a tackle within the top 38 picks in the draft. I’m going to break these guys down into three categories. Tier One is the group that would be viable picks at No. 7 overall or after a small trade back within the top 10, Tier Two are potential targets after a larger trade back to somewhere between 11 through 20, and Tier Three are options that I’d be comfortable with at or around pick 38.

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With Too Many Spots to Fill, Titans Should Not Draft a Safety

Marcus Maye
  Marcus Maye

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Even after a nice haul of free agents, the Titans have a long list of needs heading toward the draft.

Let’s put them in desperation order. In other words, given what they have on the roster, how much trouble would they be in if they don't get one? The worst of those comes first.

Left tackle – No one on the roster now is capable of holding the position down. It's clearly something they will address with one of their first two picks.

Edge – They have one and a half in Harold Landry and Arden Key, who’s been identified by the new regime as a situational pass rusher. They are not looking at Rashad Weaver or Caleb Murphy as dependable third-pass rushers or edge-setters.

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As Titans Start Draft Meetings, They See Need for Conflict

Brian Callahan
  Brian Callahan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans are 18 days from the first round of the NFL draft and start meeting this week to make their final judgments on players and set their board.

As they do, they need something that has not been mentioned as they’ve hired a new coach, put together a new coaching staff, begun to operate under a new power structure and signed an impressive haul of free agents: Some disagreement.

The team’s buzzword has been collaboration, but big draft decisions are best reached through vigorous debate and the sorting through of different opinions on players, not uniform thinking.

“I think it’s probably been overstated, about the whole getting along part,” Ran Carthon said.

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The Titans' free-agent haul in context

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Free agency has settled down with limited players left to sift through and teams moving into full draft preparation mode.

While they may circle back to Marcus Maye or Justin Simmons and could find others after the draft and dive on a player or two who’s cut later on, it’s a good time to put what the Titans have done in context.

Delanie Walker
Delanie Walker

In the franchise’s Tennessee history, through five general managers, it has strived to be a draft-based organization. Free agent classes, therefore, have generally been meant to serve as supplemental even as drafts have come up short. Big-ticket-free agents have been mixed in, but there haven’t been classes like 2024’s in terms of star power and money spent.

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How the Titans' Decision-Makers Likely Regard the Top Three OTs in the Draft

By ZACH LYONS, STACKING THE INBOX

The Tennessee Titans are in a unique situation with the seventh overall pick. They could essentially have their pick from one or two of the top three wide receivers, the number-one-rated tackle, or even the possibility to trade back. The world is their oyster at the moment. They all present their unique advantages for the Titans that can help this team with their immediate needs and solve long-term issues that have plagued the franchise.

Last week, I talked through the top three wide receivers in the 2024 class -- how they fit with what the franchise wants to do and why Malik Nabers could be the top receiver based on his skill set. Now let's  I walk through the top three offensive tackles who best fit what the Titans' decision-makers on offense like to do on the field. 

Olu Fashanu vs. Joe Alt

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Best Options WIth Titans' Top Two Picks and Why a Trade is So Vital

Best Options WIth Titans' Top Two Picks and Why a Trade is So Vital

By MIKE HERNDON, COLUMNIST

Free agency isn’t over, but with the calendar turning to April and the NFL Draft just over three weeks away, we have reached the point where teams are zeroing in on draft strategies, hosting visits with players of interest, and fine-tuning their draft boards. For the Tennessee Titans, that means figuring out what to do with the eight picks at their disposal, most critically picks No. 7 and 38.

Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American offensive lineman Patrick Paul of Houston (76) faces off against American defensive lineman Jordan Jefferson of LSU (99) during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Paul/ © Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

A thought that I can’t escape as we get closer to the draft is that Tennessee cannot exit this draft having only picked twice in the top-100 selections. Whether that means trading back in the first round or the second, Ran Carthon has to find a way to add another Day Two pick or two.

I’ve laid out my reasoning for this belief previously, but I’ll hit it again here. The cupboards are bare when it comes to young, up-and-coming talent on this roster at virtually every position group. It’s far too early to make definitive statements about any of the 2023 draft class, but the only other player currently contributing at a high level on a rookie contract is third-year cornerback Roger McCreary. You could make an argument for Chig Okonkwo as well, but his hot-and-cold 2023 season at least raises some questions about his trajectory and ceiling as the team’s top tight end.

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Titans' L'Jarius Snead Hopes to Force Teams to 'Rearrange Their Offense'

L'Jarius SneedNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have rarely sent a cornerback to track a top receiver around the field.

Samari Rolle, Pacman Jones and Cortland Finnegan did so occasionally for specific matchups, Finnegan most notably with Andre Johnson with whom he ended up in a highlight-reel fight.

Finnegan’s Titans’ career ended in 2011. 

Since then, it’s been almost always left, right and nickel.

So the arrival of L’Jarius Sneed gives the Titans a chance to do what the Chiefs did in 2024 when he drew matchups against some of the NFL’s top wideouts and had great success against them weekly. No matter where they lined up.

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Fanatics as Titans' Merchandise Operator Doesn't Mean Only Fanatic Products

FanaticsNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While Fanatics is taking over the Titans' merchandise operation, it does not mean the much-maligned manufacturer's products will dominate the marketplace.

The team announced Monday that Fanatics is its new "omnichannel retail partner." I felt like that complicated things as omnichannel is an unfamiliar word and concept.

"Under the new deal, Fanatics assumes operations of the full suite of on-site merchandise and fan gear touchpoints at Nissan Stadium, and launches a new, advanced e-commerce platform for the team," the announcement said.

Many fans are understandably wary of Fanatics products which have a terrible reputation.

But it's important to note that Fantatics as operators does not mean their product will be the overwhelming merchandise choice at titansteamstore.com.

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