What's the Titans' biggest remaining need? I had to judge that issue recently in writing this column on that question, and quickly identified the two obvious holes as defensive end and cornerback. Not much of a surprise for any Titans fan, really, as DE, OLB, and CB were the three positions where the Titans are down a starter, and Will Witherspoon filled a hole at outside linebacker. The question, then, was which of the two to pick. And, while I have quite limited confidence in any of Rod Hood, Ryan Mouton, and/or Jason McCourty to play at a reasonably high level opposite Cortland Finnegan this season, I went with defensive end.
For an explanation as to why, I'll go back to my cornerbacks preview post from before the 2008 season, in which I noted the surprising point that in terms of measuring players by how often and how successfully they were thrown at, Cortland Finnegan and Nick Harper came out with virtually identical metrics. And, that wasn't just a fluke: in 2008, Harper had better numbers than did Finnegan. I don't second the comment in that article that Harper was as good or better than Finnegan in 2008, but they still put up roughly similar levels of performance.