Breaking Down the Tennessee Titans' Depth Chart After the Peak of Free Agency
With the Tennessee Titans roster going through dramatic changes over the last few weeks of free agency, there will be huge effects on the team's depth chart.
There will also be plenty of training camp battles to keep an eye on during the dog days of summer.
Here is how the depth chart should look heading into a make-or-break year for head coach Mike Munchak.
Quarterback: Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rusty Smith
The signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick definitely was an unexpected move by the Titans in free agency, but it was necessary after the departure of Matt Hasselbeck.
Fitzpatrick will start off as the team's backup quarterback, and Jake Locker will get at least an early opportunity to prove that he's this team's long-term answer at quarterback.
However, Locker will not have a firm grasp on the starting role. Fitzpatrick has proven he can play in the NFL, as he's eclipsed 20-plus touchdowns for each of the last three seasons.
With those lofty numbers come plenty of interceptions, and this team can't afford a bunch of turnovers next season.
It's Locker's job for now, but his leash isn't extremely long either.
Rusty Smith will remain the third option at quarterback, which is pretty much where he belongs with what he's shown in his limited action.
Running Back: Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene, Jamie Harper, Darius Reynaud
Chris Johnson seems a little worried about the addition of Shonn Greene in free agency, but it's still completely his job to lose.
If Johnson performs as one of the best players at his position, then he'll have no problem getting the majority of the snaps.
Greene is a guy who should get around 10 touches a game, and he will be very valuable in short-yardage situations.
Jamie Harper will probably see about the same amount of snaps as he did last season, and Darius Reynaud is more of a special teams guy who will see very little time as a running back.
The Titans look very solid at running back, and how this unit performs will have a major impact on Jake Locker's second full year as a starter.
Wide Receiver: Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams
This is one of the more baffling units on the entire team.
On paper it seems pretty strong. You have a quality veteran in Nate Washington who has been a valuable piece of the offense since his arrival.
Then you have Kenny Britt, a guy who has all the talent in the world but just hasn't made the most of it.
If Britt decides to buckle down and maximize his talent, then this unit could really shine. For that reason, he's still the starting receiver along with Washington.
Lining up behind them will be Kendall Wright, who should have a strong campaign in his second season. He had some crucial drops over his rookie season, but he also showed a lot of promise.
Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins will continue to play in limited roles, and don't be surprised if Michael Preston makes some noise in 2013.
Fullback: Quinn Johnson, Collin Mooney
Quinn Johnson will remain the fullback for next season, and he had a decent year for the Titans in 2012. He's a bulky guy who needs to continue to get better to open up those big holes for Chris Johnson.
Collin Mooney made some nice plays toward the end of the season, and there is reason to be excited about this guy. He probably won't see a lot of action in the regular season, but he's a safe option to turn to if needed.
Tight End: Delanie Walker, Craig Stevens, Taylor Thompson
The Titans had to find a replacement for Jared Cook, and they did so by adding Delanie Walker from the San Francisco 49ers.
Walker will end up being the first option at tight end, but Craig Stevens will see plenty of looks as well. Stevens is a strong blocker and has good hands as well.
Taylor Thompson will continue to see limited looks in the passing game unless injuries occur, which is always a strong possibility.
It will be tough for Brandon Barden to find a spot on this team after being cited for a DUI in late February.
The Titans are looking good at this position, but they may look to add another tight end in the draft. It's still uncertain if Thompson will become a reliable option.
Offensive Guard: Andy Levitre, Robert Turner
The Titans made a huge splash in free agency by getting Andy Levitre from the Buffalo Bills, and Levitre will instantly make the pass protection better for Jake Locker.
Levitre isn't the only free-agent guard who will start for the Titans next season. Robert Turner, from the St. Louis Rams, will be the starter at right guard. He's another solid addition for this extremely thin unit, and Titans general manager Ruston Webster is very excited about this addition.
Kasey Studdard will be the primary backup at guard, but the Titans still need to add another guard in the draft.
Offensive Tackle: Mike Otto, David Stewart, Byron Stingily, Daniel Baldridge
Here is a unit for the Titans that really didn't need any major changes. Both Michael Otto and David Stewart are locked in solidly to their starting roles.
Byron Stingily is a strong backup if an unfortunate injury comes up, but after that, this position gets pretty thin.
If Chris Johnson is ever going to sniff 2,000 yards again, then these guys have to play well and stay healthy.
Center: Fernando Velasco
Fernando Velasco was tendered as a restricted free agent, so he'll be the center in 2013. He'll get the job done and is not a bad choice at center, and suddenly the Titans have an offensive line that should put up some good results.
A bigger question mark lies with Eugene Amano and what his situation is with the team right now. He remains on the roster, but it's unclear if he'll make it to Week 1.
Amano will most likely not stay with the Titans, according to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. He's just too expensive for a guy who really hasn't performed that well, and Velasco has in return played much better.
Center is a position that needs to be addressed toward the back end of the draft. If Velasco goes down, there could be some serious problems once again with the Titans offensive line.
Defensive End: Kamerion Wimbley, Derrick Morgan, Scott Solomon
Kamerion Wimbley remains the Titans' best pass-rusher as of now, but Derrick Morgan needs to continue to improve as the starter on the other side.
Both Wimbley and Morgan will bring a moderate pass rush as they did last season.
However, there's not much to turn to after those two. Scott Solomon is the next best option, but he saw limited action in his rookie season.
The Titans also have veteran Keyunta Dawson, who has very little production to show for his six years in the NFL.
Once again, the Titans pass rush will be in trouble if a strong pass-rusher is not added through the draft.
Defensive Tackle: Karl Klug, Sammie Lee Hill, Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin
Sammie Lee Hill is a great addition at defensive tackle for the Titans. He'll definitely help against run, where the Titans ranked 24th in the NFL last season.
Both Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey will continue to see plenty of snaps, but Klug is the better player. He should be the starter along with Hill in Week 1.
Mike Martin will round out what looks to be a good defensive tackle rotation for the Titans that will continue to grow.
Linebacker: Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers, Moise Fokou, Tim Shaw
Colin McCarthy missed over half the season in his second year in the NFL, but he's still the team's front-runner at middle linebacker. He should have a strong bounce-back year in 2013.
Lining up opposite each other will be Akeem Ayers at strong side and Zach Brown at weak side. Both guys have bright futures in the NFL and round out what could be argued one of the best units on the entire roster.
Tim Shaw surprised a lot of people by playing so well in place of Colin McCarthy, and he's a safe backup. He'll continue to be a very reliable special teams contributor as well.
The Titans added Moise Fokou in free agency, and he's a strong addition to the special teams unit. He'll see some action at linebacker, but he won't leapfrog anyone on the depth chart.
Cornerback: Alterraun Verner, Jason McCourty, Tommie Campbell, Coty Sensabaugh
Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty are starters for now, but they're not locks for being there at Week 1.
The young Tommie Campbell is coming on strong and will put up a battle in training camp to gain a starting role. He brings an element of athleticism that the Titans really need on defense.
With that said, expect Verner and McCourty to retain their starting roles to start the regular season.
Coty Sensabaugh is also somewhere in the mix, but he'll remain a backup unless some serious injuries occur.
This is another position that the Titans need to show some attention to in the draft.
Safety: Michael Griffin, Bernard Pollard, George Wilson, Robert Johnson
The Titans showed everyone they weren't done just yet in free agency by grabbing Bernard Pollard from the Baltimore Ravens.
This pickup was a little bit puzzling after the Titans had already signed one safety in free agency with George Wilson, but expect Pollard to be the starter.
Michale Griffin will remain the primary option at free safety, which is his more natural position.
The Titans have a logjam at safety right now with guys like Robert Johnson, Tracy Wilson, Al Afalava and Markelle Martin all on the depth chart.
Johnson is a good bet to be the primary backup at free safety behind Griffin, as he started three games last season and played well.
Kick Returner/Punt Returner: Darius Reynaud, Marc Mariani, Tommie Campbell
It's unfortunate for Marc Mariani that he most likely lost his kick returning duties to Darius Reynaud, who played very well last season.
Everyone remembers the performance that Reynaud put on against the Detroit Lions.
However, Mariani still has an opportunity to claw his way back into being the team's main option on returning kicks.
Tommie Campbell's amazing athleticism also puts him in the mix of maybe seeing some action in the return game.