Reviewing the Titans 'rolling the dice' draft: Gained athleticism, pinned hopes on Will Levis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans needed to come out of the draft with three players who could push for full-time starting roles, a big ask made necessary by their thin roster.

They come out of it assured of only 17 starts if they are healthy, games that will come from technically sound first-round offensive lineman Peter Skoronski at left tackle or left guard.

Colton Dowell
Colton Dowell/ Courtesy UT Martin Athletics

Fifth-rounder Josh Whyle could earn some starts as an athletic tight end, as the roster shape suggests the team will go back to more two-tight and he can be an in-line guy who starts plays as a blocker. 

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Titans WR avoidance reaches new heights

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Friday night, I crossed over to a few places I’ve not been before.

One where I feel like the Titans, a team that’s been a horrific judge of wide receiver talent for its entire time under its current moniker, actually have not just a lack of understanding for what wide receivers mean to modern NFL offenses, but almost a disdain for the position.

Oct 9, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders cornerback Rachad Wildgoose (37) breaks up a pass for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) during the first half at FedExField.
Kyle Philips/ Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

One where I believe they are OK with losing a lot of games in 2023 with at least one blatant, outright positional hole in their roster.

And most importantly, one where my faith in Mike Vrabel is dented.

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Lots of questions follow Will Levis to Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a trade-up in the second round for Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, the Titans have aimed a giant spotlight at new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and new quarterback coach and passing game coordinator Charles London.

Nov 5, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) passes before being hit by Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Isaiah McGuire (9) during the first quarter at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium.
Will Levis/ William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Levis has a big arm, can stand in versus the blitz, can run, fits the traditional quarterback mold at nearly 6-foot-4 and 230 and has shown quality leadership skills.

But he comes into the league facing fair questions about instincts, decisions and accuracy. And I’m in the camp where decision-making and accuracy are giant attributes already baked into the quarterback cake to a high degree when a signal-caller enters the league.

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Titans didn't get played in missing out on C.J. Stroud

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There is an idea floating around that the Titans got played Thursday night in the first round, that letting it get out that they wanted to move up for C.J. Stroud backfired and resulted in the QB they desired landing with division rival Houston.

I think they probably did want Stroud.

C.J. Stroud
C.J. Stroud/ Courtesy Ohio State

But I don’t really understand how a team with the 11th pick gets played by the team with the second pick and the team with the third pick. The Texans and Cardinals had all the control as the first round unfolded.

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Titans hope for another Michael Roos story with short-armed tackle in Peter Skoronski

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In 2005 the Titans were looking for a successor for Brad Hopkins at left tackle. He was heading into his 13th season and Floyd Reese and the scouting staff were looking to be ready for the following season.

It came down to a second-round pick, 41st overall. Blake Beddingfield -- special contributor to this site now, southeast regional scout for the Titans then -- remembers the team narrowing the conversation to Khalif Barnes of Washington (who ultimately went 51st to Jacksonville) and Michael Roos of Eastern Washington.

Peter Skoronski
Peter Skoronski/ courtesy Northwestern Athletics

Mike Munchak, the franchise’s Hall of Fame guard and the Titans' offensive line coach at the time had huge input.

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Titans expect Peter Skoronski to help fix one big issue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – So there is your No. 1 question during Titans' training camp.

Who’s the left tackle and who’s the left guard? Who’s the left guard and who’s the left tackle?

Peter Skoronski
Peter Skoronski/ Courtesy Northwestern Athletics

The Titans signed Andre Dillard, a former Philadelphia Eagles No. 1 pick, in free agency. Dillard said the team told him it was looking for fast, athletic linemen who could work in space. Now, they’ve drafted Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski at No. 11 in the first round.

The two will sort things out in training camp. 

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