Titans 53-man roster projection ahead of final cuts

·5 min read

The Tennessee Titans closed out their exhibition slate on Saturday night by topping the Arizona Cardinals in preseason Week 3 at Nissan Stadium, 26-23.

With the preseason now in the books, the Titans will turn their attention to final cuts. The deadline for teams to trim their rosters down to the final 53 comes on Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT, but there’s a good chance we’ll get some moves beforehand.

Following the reveal of the initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, the Titans will then work on putting together their 16-man practice squad on Wednesday.

With the preseason over, we’re taking one final crack at a 53-man roster projection for the Titans based on what we’ve seen this offseason.

Take a look.

Quarterbacks (2)

Syndication: Arizona Republic

Quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis

I’m hesitant to leave Willis as the sole backup here because I think there’s still a very good chance the Titans keep Woodside to avoid the rookie being an injury away from seeing the field in 2022.

That’s really the only reason to keep Woodside, as Willis has earned the No. 2 job, but the Titans also have the option of keeping Woodside on the practice squad, as he’d likely clear waivers upon being cut.

Running backs (4)

Syndication: Arizona Republic

Running backs: Derrick Henry, Dontrell Hilliard, Hassan Haskins, Tory Carter (FB)

Trenton Cannon has not done much this offseason, and while Julius Chestnut has been better, I’m not sure either of these players have done enough to force Tennessee to keep an extra back. Special teams is Cannon’s only hope.

Wide receivers (7)

Syndication: The Tennessean

Wide receivers: Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Philips, Treylon Burks, Racey McMath, Dez Fitzpatrick, Reggie Roberson

I’m sticking with seven here and giving Roberson the nod over Mason Kinsey because he can bring a potential deep-threat element that only McMath can deliver if the 2022 UDFA doesn’t make the cut.

I’m not in love with keeping Dez at all after another lackluster showing this offseason, but the Titans are going to give him one more chance, mostly because he’s a recent mid-round draft pick.

Tight ends (3)

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Tight ends: Austin Hooper, Geoff Swaim, Chigoziem Okonkwo

The Titans could very well decide to keep four, especially if they plan on running more two tight-end sets. If that’s the case, it’ll likely be Tommy Hudson, but the 2020 UDFA has had issues staying healthy.

Offensive linemen (8)

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Offensive linemen: LT Taylor Lewan, LG Aaron Brewer, C Ben Jones, RG Nate Davis, RT Nicholas Petit-Frere, G/T Dillon Radunz, G/T Jamarco Jones, G/C Corey Levin

After the first seven it’s a total toss-up, as Tennessee’s depth options have been very disappointing this offseason. We’ll give the edge to Levin for his experience, but I’m not sure I’d use a roster spot on anyone else.

Defensive linemen (5)

AP Photo/John Amis

Defensive line: Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Teair Tart, Naquan Jones, DeMarcus Walker

Based on this, Larrell Murchison’s time in Nashville comes to an end, unless he can clear waivers and be kept on the practice squad, which is possible. Tennessee’s signing of Walker was the death knell.

Inside linebackers (5)

Andrew Nelles – USA TODAY Sports

Inside linebackers: Zach Cunningham, David Long, Joe Jones, Chance Campbell, Jack Gibbens, Monty Rice (PUP)

Rice is listed here but doesn’t count towards the 53-man roster after being placed on the PUP list, forcing him to miss the first four games.

I think we’ve seen enough good things from Campbell and Gibbens that we can give them a spot. From there, it’s between Joe Jones and Dylan Cole, and I think Jones has done more to secure a spot.

Outside linebackers (5)

Syndication: The Tennessean

Outside linebackers: Harold Landry, Bud Dupree, Rashad Weaver, Ola Adeniyi, David Anenih

The only semblance of a surprise here is Anenih, but it isn’t a surprise if you’ve been keeping up with things during the offseason. Anenih has consistently been a standout, both in games and practice.

Cornerbacks (5)

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Cornerbacks: Kristian Fulton, Caleb Farley, Elijah Molden, Roger McCreary, Greb Mabin

The first four here are locks, but the fifth spot is up for grabs. Mabin or Chris Jackson will likely grab the spot, but I haven’t been impressed with either. Keep an eye on Tre Avery, also.

Safeties (6)

Syndication: The Tennessean

Safeties: Kevin Byard, Amani Hooker, A.J. Moore, Lonnie Johnson Jr., Ugo Amadi, Theo Jackson

Johnson could be listed at cornerback or safety with his ability to play at both spots, but the Titans deployed him at safety in preseason Week 3. Amadi was a standout in Tennessee’s exhibition finale, and Jackson has done just enough to warrant a spot. Joshua Kalu is another possibility instead of Jackson.

Specialists (3)

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

Specialists: K Randy Bullock, P Ryan Stonehouse, LS Morgan Cox

I’d like to think the Titans would keep both Brett Kern and Stonehouse, but I just a team keeping two punters. What gives me hope is that the Titans know one of these two could be heading to Buffalo, where the Bills need help.

I think Stonehouse did enough in preseason Week 3 to seal the job, and the Titans will want to go with a player who could be the solution for the next decade over a guy who may only be around one more year. Adding to that, cutting Kern will save the team $2.2 million.

Story originally appeared on Titans Wire