|Will Stephen Tulloch remain a Tennessee Titan?|
Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson addresses the Titans' needs and possible solutions in free agency and Pro Football Focus' Khaled Elsayed has come out with his list of the top 51 free agents.
Williamson sees the Titans' three biggest needs as the interior o-line, middle linebacker and receiver (he qualifies this by considering Kenny Britt's off the field issues.) He also notes the Titans need help at quarterback, tight end, safety and defensive tackle, in addition to re-signing Chris Johnson.
Some players Williamson likes for the Titans are ones we have been discussing this summer. More after the jump.
On the interior line, Williamson says Marshal Yanda would be a favorite of Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews and believes Harvey Dahl would be a fantastic consolation prize. I've written several times that I'd love Dahl, including this article on free agent interior linemen. I'd like Yanda too, but I'll be surprised if he becomes a Titan. Some team that needs a right tackle will pay him accordingly, which is more money than he's worth as a guard.
Williamson also believes Stephen Tulloch's replacement should be... Stephen Tulloch. It's encouraging to me that someone in Williamson's position thinks that highly of Tulloch. I've been down on him as a pass defender. In Tulloch's defense, it didn't help him that opposing tight ends usually had a free release off the line of scrimmage. Maybe that will change under Jerry Gray.
No surprise, Williamson likes Vonta Leach over Ahmard Hall. I like several fullbacks more than Hall.
He names Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck as potential Titan quarterbacks. I don't know, I can't see either of them wanting to be a caretaker for a few games. It seems to me that they'd each like to go somewhere where they can be the starter for the entire season.
Williamson selects Mike Sims-Walker and James Jones as receivers who could be options. I don't really care for either - Sims-Walker is inconsistent and Jones has a permanent case of butter fingers. I'd rather see Lance Moore in two-tone blue.
Here's how Elsayed ranked some of the players we've been looking at and what he had to say about them.
2. DE Charles Johnson - "... you have to look at the year Johnson just had and marvel. It was the kind of elite season very few defensive ends put together."
3. DE Ray Edwards - "... he’s never had that kind of standout season to make the mouth water. No shame in being a top ten defensive end in this league though." I'll be surprised if Mike Reinfeldt commits the kind of money it will take to get either Johnson or Edwards. Looks like it will be William Hayes playing opposite Derrick Morgan.
6. S Quintin Mikell - "As good in coverage as he is coming up to help in run support, he just always seems to perform well. Given his age and his reputation, he’ll represent tremendous value for any number of teams trying to upgrade at safety." I'm a little surprised that Mikell is ranked this high. Mikell's age (over 30, same as Chris Hope) is the main reason I like Dawan Landry better. More here.
16. OL Marshal Yanda - "He is more than just a versatile player and you put him at guard or right tackle, and you’ll be getting one of the league’s best."
22. MLB Paul Posluszny - "The change to (and then back from) a 3-4 seemed to really mess with a guy that had a tremendous 2009 in the middle of a 4-3 front seven. Put him back in a comfortable situation and watch him prosper."
28. S Danieal Manning - "Has turned into a complete free safety." I like him because he can also play strong safety. He offers some versatility if Gray wants to use some right safety/left safety stuff.
32. MLB Stephen Tulloch - "At this point in time no player personifies the image of a ‘thumper’ MLB [more] than Tulloch."
34. G Harvey Dahl - "... is a nasty run blocker who knows how to finish a play. Sound in pass pro as well."
35. S Dawan Landry - "... since entering the league, he’s always been one of the more productive strong safeties. Back to his pre injury best (and then some) in 2010."
45. ILB Takeo Spikes - "... it’s only age that keeps the super reliable Spikes this far down. He’s still one of the best linebackers in the league, an excellent tackler and someone who would improve a number of 3-4 teams that are a little weak up the middle." Spikes could also play in a 4-3. We discussed him a little in the comments section of the article on free agent MLBs.
51. LB Kevin Burnett - "Probably better suited to a two down role for a 3-4 team, Burnett can beat blocks and it has made him one of the better blitzing linebackers in the league."
I remain cautiously optimistic the Titans will sign one or two of the guys I like. What do you think about these guys and what Williamson and Elsayed wrote about them?