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After getting bounced from the playoffs in the first round, the Tennessee Titans will now focus on reloading this offseason and hoping to win another AFC South title.
A key part of that will be the 2021 NFL draft, and these are the biggest areas of need the Titans should target across all seven rounds:
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By far, Tennessee's biggest problem right now is a lack of consistent pass rush, which should have them targeting an edge defender early in this draft. The Titans recorded a respectable 43 sacks during the 2019-20 season, and tried to take a huge step forward in that department by throwing money at Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney on one-year deals. Both signings blew up in their faces and the Titans recorded a depressing 19 sacks this past year, less than half of what they totaled the season before. Only Cincinnati and Jacksonville posted less sacks than the Titans, and both of those teams are picking in the top five. It's safe to say that addressing the pass rush is priority No. 1 this offseason.
Syndication: The Tennessean
Like many of the Titans' needs outside of rushing the passer, this one largely depends on what happens in free agency. Corey Davis is set to become a free agent after posting the best numbers of his young career. The Titans declined to pick up his fifth year option before the season began, and with A.J. Brown as the clear cut No. 1 receiver on the team, Davis could look to land a huge payday elsewhere. Slot receiver Adam Humphries has also struggled to stay healthy since the team gave him a lucrative three-year deal just two offseasons ago, and is a prime candidate to be released in a few weeks time. If both of these things happen, the Titans will need to add at least two new receivers to play alongside Brown in 2021.
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This is an underrated need for this team. Ryan Tannehill has thrived since taking over as the starter, and rewarded the team's faith in him by putting up the best numbers of his career while leading the Titans to their best offensive output since they relocated to Nashville. Although Tannehill has been healthy throughout his time in Tennessee, he had his fair share of injuries in Miami, and will be entering his age-33 season in 2021. Outside of injury insurance, the team could also look to develop a quarterback of the future. Current backup QB Logan Woodside is not the answer. The Titans have already tried to find a late round gem twice in recent years in the form of Luke Falk and Cole McDonald, two Day 3 picks, but neither player proved worth rostering past their rookie training camp campaign. Look for the team to take another swing at the fences this year.
Syndication: The Tennessean
Like the receiver situation, this one depends on what happens with longtime veteran DaQuan Jones. Jones is at the end of a three-year, $21 million dollar deal he signed back in 2018. Jones was drafted by the Titans in the fifth round way back in 2014, and has spent his entire career in Tennessee. He's one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the NFL and an excellent run defender. Jones had another strong campaign in 2020, but the Titans have shown that they're not afraid to move on from their veteran players before they begin to decline, proven by the shocking trade of Jurrell Casey last offseason. If Jones plays his football elsewhere in 2021, the team will need to add talent next to the emerging Jeffery Simmons.
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The Titans have so many key unrestricted free agents, this is another "what if" scenario. Jayon Brown is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career after putting together four quality seasons in Tennessee. Drafted on Day 3, Brown has proven to be a draft-day steal and has turned into one of the better coverage linebackers in the league. Plenty of teams would benefit from adding him to their defense, and his services should be in high demand. Should he find himself out of the Titans' price range, general manager Jon Robinson will try his luck in the draft once again. Outside of Brown, Robinson found another Day 3 gem in the form of former West Virginia linebacker David Long Jr. Even without Brown, the Titans could field a formidable duo in the form of Long and former first round pick Rashaan Evans next year, but the team would surely look to add some depth on Day 3.