Tennessee Titans

Ranking Tennessee Titans' Top 5 Sleepers to Watch in Training Camp

Chad MintonCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2014

Ranking Tennessee Titans' Top 5 Sleepers to Watch in Training Camp

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    No one is really giving the Tennessee Titans much of a shot to make it to the playoffs in 2014, and that means this team currently has several sleepers to watch in training camp.

    The Titans roster has gone through a lot of change this offseason. Many of these changes will include starting roles.

    Training camp for the Titans will be fun to watch with many position battles. Starting roles are available to be won all over the depth chart.

    Here are the top five sleepers to keep tabs on when training camp opens up on July 26.

5. Daimion Stafford

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    USA TODAY Sports

    There hasn't been much talk surrounding who's going to provide quality depth at strong safety behind Bernard Pollard in 2014.

    The Titans do have veteran George Wilson, but it's very thin after that. This is where second-year player Daimion Stafford could come into play.

    Stafford didn't see the field very often in his rookie season outside of being special teams. The work he did do on special teams was promising.

    The main value that Stafford brings is his versatility, according to Lauren Moore of The Tennessean

    Another great quality that Stafford brings is his hard-hitting nature, which is always a good trait to have at the safety position.

    Stafford might end up emerging as a future star of this secondary during this year's training camp. The Titans certainly need him to become a reliable backup.

4. Marqueston Huff

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    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    There isn't much buzz surrounding Marqueston Huff at the moment, which is surprising considering the Titans are in search of a replacement for Alterraun Verner.

    The Titans will most likely have a two-player race between Coty Sensabaugh and Blidi Wreh-Wilson. For that reason, Huff is flying under the radar as training camp approaches.

    I love Huff as an immediate special teams contributor, but can he get himself to the brink of consideration for a starting role? Probably not, but he can make it very interesting.

    The Titans are ranked No. 30 in the preseason power rankings from Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk. One of his main reasons for this horrible ranking is the inexperience in the secondary.

    The fact is that none of these cornerbacks outside of Jason McCourty has really proved that much at the NFL level. Sensabaugh has had a few respectable performances in the nickel package, but that's about it.

    Huff should be getting more attention. At the very worst, he will be one injury away from being a starter very soon.

3. Taylor Thompson

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    It's been an absolute failure for the Titans to try to develop Taylor Thompson into a serviceable tight end—not a Pro Bowl-caliber tight but just one who occasionally shows his face in the box score.

    No one seems to be paying any attention to Thompson this offseason—and rightfully so. However, that might allow Thompson to fly under the radar and really impress coaches to become the second option behind Delanie Walker.

    The Titans really need another tight end to emerge on this roster, and it would be perfect if that tight end could end up being Thompson. Thompson emerging as a reliable receiving threat in special situations would do wonders for this offense.

    This training camp could be Thompson's last chance to prove he's still of value to this roster, per Jimmy Morris of Music City Miracles. There's no debating that statement as the Titans also have Craig Stevens still on the roster, who struggled in 2013.

2. Derek Hagan

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    The Titans are set at wide receiver with their top three players, but they're in need of more depth after the losses of Kenny Britt and Damian Williams.

    We'll see several players battling for one or two receiver spots to round out the depth chart, and veteran Derek Hagan deserves some attention.

    Hagan failed to make an NFL roster in 2013 after hauling in 20 receptions in 2012 for the Oakland Raiders. He may be the perfect candidate to round out a receiving corps that is very young and inexperienced.

    Other inexperienced receivers will be battling Hagan for a roster spot, including Michael Preston and Marc Mariani.

    Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean wrote about how Hagan was impressive in Titans minicamp back in June. Experience is certainly Hagan's primary selling point in training camp. 

    A really strong showing in training camp from Hagan will make it hard for the Titans coaching staff to turn down his veteran experience in favor of a receiver with little to no NFL experience.

1. Avery Williamson

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    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    I wasn't a huge fan of this draft pick at first, but it's grown on me since then. Avery Williamson was a tackling machine in the SEC, and he brings great intangibles as well.

    Williamson is going to make an immediate impact on special teams, but no one seems to be talking about his decent chances at earning a starting job in training camp.

    If he wins the job, he would have to beat out the likes of Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy, Zaviar Gooden and Moise Fokou. That's a lot of competition, which will be intriguing to watch.

    Wesley Woodyard is already pretty much locked in as one of the starters.

    It will be tough for Williamson to overtake Brown, but don't be too surprised if he does. Williamson has great work ethic that may end up getting him a starting gig in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    This is easily the biggest sleeper heading into training camp to see if he can shatter expectations of just being a special teams guy in his rookie season.

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