Team Preview: Tennessee Titans
FINALLY!!! We have reached the end of the 32-Team Preview as we head to Music City to preview the first-place team from the AFC South, the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans were very efficient in 2020, scoring the 4th most points while rushing for the 2nd most yards. They were 23rd in passing yards on their way to an 11-5 record. Vegas has them winning 9.5 games.
Ryan Tannehill: He has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks ever since his move to Nashville and has had his two best seasons there. Over the past two seasons, he has scored 66 total touchdowns in only 26 starts, which averages out to around 40 touchdowns over a normal 16-game season. Not only have his stats been good, but he's graded out very well also. He has been one of PFF's top-graded QBs over that timeframe. This offseason the Titans made a big splash by trading for superstar Julio Jones to pair with AJ Brown which should only help to maintain that efficiency. Just take a look at Matt Ryan's game splits with Julio in the lineup to see what he can do for a QB. The only thing going against Tannehill is Derrick Henry and the team rushing the football at the highest click over the past three seasons. Even so, Tannehill is one of my favorite later-round QBs this season who should easily finish as a QB1 even though he's being drafted later than that.
Derrick Henry: There really isn't much to say about this outlier running back who has led the NFL in rushing yards and TDs over the past two seasons. Normally running backs who don't catch passes don't finish in the Top 5, but I think we all know by now that Henry isn't your normal running back. I'm not worried about his heavy workload, because Henry isn't built like any back we've ever seen. Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,000+ yards in his age 27 season after returning from a blown-out knee, and I think Henry actually compares as closely to AP as any modern-era running back I can think of. He's my bet to again lead the league in rushing yards and touchdowns in '21.
AJ Brown: Before the Julio trade, I had Brown as a Top 5 wide receiver with the potential to finish first overall. And while I don't think the trade hurts him too much, I do think it removes him from possibly finishing first at the position and therefore moves him down my board slightly. This team is low pass volume and you just added a WR who will command at least a 25% target share. I like him in the WR6-7 range for '21.
Julio Jones: The move from Atlanta to Tennessee didn't do a lot to affect my ranking of Julio. I still have him as a mid-range WR2. What he lost in pass volume he will likely make up for in efficiency and worse competition outside of AJ Brown. Maybe we'll find out if his TD struggles were his own or a product of Matt Ryan.
Anthony Firkser: I liked Firkser a little bit prior to the Julio trade just based on lack of competition outside of Brown, but now with Julio there, I think there will be little left to go around for Firkser to be anything outside of a mid-range TE2.