TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: OFFENSIVE LINE
In camp (16): C Ben Jones, G Nate Davis, LT Taylor Lewan, T Dillon Radunz, G Aaron Brewer, OL Jamarco Jones, C/G Corey Levin, G Jordan Roos, C Daniel Munyer, T Christian DiLauro, OL Nicholas Petit-Frere, C/G Xavier Newman, G Hayden Howerton, OL Carson Green, T Jalen McKenzie, T Andrew Rupcich.
Offseason developments: Ben Jones signed a new multi-year contract extension with the team back in March, and the team signed former Seahawks lineman Jamarco Jones early in free agency. The Titans drafted Petit-Frere in the third round of the NFL Draft out of Ohio State before signing Newman (Baylor), Howerton (SMU) McKenzie (USC) and Rupcich (Culver-Stockton) as undrafted free agents. The team parted ways with left guard Rodger Saffold, who signed with the Bills, and the team also released back-up Kendall Lamm. The Titans opted not to re-sign David Quessenberry, last year's starting right tackle, and he ended up signing with the Bills as well. The competition started at two of the open spots on the offensive line – right tackle and left guard – and it's going to be worth watching throughout training camp and the preseason.
In the spotlight: Radunz. Drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of North Dakota State, Radunz didn't play much as a rookie. He started just once – on a Thursday night vs the 49ers – while spending most of the year developing, and working at a few positions in practices. This offseason, Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said Radunz will be given the chance to win the starting job at right tackle. During OTAs and minicamp, Radunz appeared to be getting more comfortable. But the true test won't come until the pads come on in training camp, and until the competition heats up. Joint practices against the Buccaneers and Cardinals will provide great tests for the guy drafted to be a long-time starter. The Titans need Radunz to leave no doubts.
Battle to watch: Jamarco Jones vs Aaron Brewer. A Pro Bowler last season, Saffold will be missed because of his leadership and consistent play. He was a tone-setter, and a grinder. Now, the left guard spot is open, and there to be had. The Titans like Jones (6-4, 293) because of his versatility – he's played all over the line during his time in the NFL. Brewer isn't as big (6-1, 295), but he's athletic and he's spent the past two years in the system. Brewer missed time this offseason because of an injury, while Jones got better. The hunch here is Brewer emerges and wins the job, but he has to stay healthy, and he has to compete well.
Keep an eye on: Lewan. We're almost at the end of this preview, and I've barely touched on Lewan, who could be one of the team's biggest keys this season. Even as I type this, it's still hard to believe Lewan is now heading into his 9th NFL season. But that's the case, and the team needs him to return to Pro Bowl form following a season when he struggled to find his footing at times coming off the torn ACL he suffered in 2020. Lewan had a good offseason, and in interviews he made it clear he's focused and ready. Lewan is still capable of being one of the top left tackles in the league, and the team needs him to pave the way, and protect. One more thing to keep an eye on: The free agency/trade market. If the team isn't happy with how things are playing out in the battles at left guard and right tackle, making a move to bring someone else in is at possibility.
Next: Tight ends.