Tennessee Titans 53-Man Roster Projection After Preseason Week 1
It's pretty hard to judge who should stay and who should be cut after just one preseason game. However, it's never too early to make a projection for who will make the final 53-man roster come September.
Take a look at my projection for the Titans' opening-day roster.
QB: Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, Rusty Smith (3)
Unfortunately for Nick Stephens, very few teams ever keep more than three quarterbacks, some even sticking with two, but the Titans probably have enough faith in Rusty Smith's upside to keep him as an emergency QB, unless Stephens goes off in the next three games.
RB: Chris Johnson, Javon Ringer, Jamie Harper, Darius Reynaud, Quinn Johnson (FB) (5)
Reynaud went off against the Seahawks on Saturday, possibly earning his way onto the roster, especially given that he can also play receiver.
The Titans wanted Harper to be their power back, but I think that's more of Ringer's calling. What will save Harper is the fact that Kenny Britt could be suspended for the whole season.
WR: Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams, Lavelle Hawkins, Marc Mariani (5)
I have a very hard time believing that Kenny Britt won't be suspended for the season, and nobody really sticks out other than these five receivers. Mariani might even be cut if Reynaud continues to impress as a return man.
TE: Jared Cook, Craig Stevens, Taylor Thompson (3)
I think Taylor Thompson will turn into a good tight end in the league, but he obviously still has a lot of learning to do. Hopefully Cook is more consistent this season.
OL: Michael Roos, Steve Hutchinson, Fernando Velasco, Leroy Harris, David Stewart, Mike Otto, Ryan Durand, Kevin Matthews, Byron Stingily (9)
Even with Eugene Amano gone, this group improved a lot with the addition of Hutchinson. Velasco should be fine as the starter in the middle, but Harris needs a big year to stick around.
DE: Derrick Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley, Pannel Egboh, Leger Douzable (4)
Dave Ball probably will be cut or will retire due to concussion issues. The Titans may end up having to sign another veteran at defensive end as a reserve.
DT: Sen'Derrick Marks, Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug, Zach Clayton, Mike Martin (5)
I don't see Shaun Smith sticking with the team after a pedestrian season last year and having been put with the third team on Saturday against Seattle. Even without him, this is a good group of defensive tackles.
Klug can play end or tackle for the team, so he'll probably be put in a utility role once again, especially with the lack of depth at end.
LB: Akeem Ayers, Colin McCarthy, Will Witherspoon, Patrick Bailey, Tim Shaw, Zach Brown, Zac Diles (7)
Do not expect Gerald McRath to return after two disappointing seasons. Brown is the future on the weak side, and along with McCarthy and Ayers, the Titans will soon have a deadly linebacking corps. Diles could stick around as a reserve and special teams player.
CB: Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Tommie Campbell, Coty Sensabaugh, Chris Hawkins (5)
Campbell is not at all a lock at nickel after getting burned by Braylon Edwards on Saturday, meaning Mouton, Sensabaugh and Hawkins are still in the running for the slot position. McCourty and Verner are still the starters, though.
S: Michael Griffin, Jordan Babineaux, Markelle Martin, Aaron Francisco (4)
Griffin needs a huge year after two disappointing seasons. Babineaux played well enough last year to get an extension. Martin could be placed on IR if his knee is still hurt, but he isn't a lock regardless.
Special Teams: Rob Bironas (K), Brett Kern (P), Beau Brinkley (LS) (3)
Brinkley is the only new addition to their special teams group, replacing longtime long snapper Ken Amato.
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