5 Titans to Watch on Offense This Season
July 8, 2013 in Tennessee Titans
1. G Chance Warmack-
-The Titans drafted Warmack in the first round for good reason, he was one of the most NFL ready players in the entire draft and should make a big impact from day one. Warmack has the ability to play at a Pro Bowl caliber as a rookie, and should do quite well on a stacked Titans offensive line. Warmack is a very capable pass blocker, but his greatest attribute is his run blocking. He should be opening big holes for Chris Johnson to run through all year, and should help the Titans have one of the stronger rushing attacks in the league.
2. WR Kendall Wright-
-Wright had a solid rookie year with 64 catches, but he averaged under 10 yards a catch which was a problem. Wright has good quickness and speed and if used properly could be either a deep threat or a guy who can excel off the screen pass. Rookie receivers typically have a rough time, so this year will be the real test for him. Wright should be utilized more this season and given opportunities for bigger gains. While some of his success is dependent on Jake Locker's development, plenty of receivers have succeeded with poor quarterback play.
3. QB Jake Locker-
-Locker is the real x-factor for this team, but the good news is the team is doing right by him and adding pieces along the offensive line and at wide receiver. If healthy both the Titans offensive line and receiver corps (depending if they keep Nate Washington) has the ability to be top 10 in the league. The Titans also seem inclined to focus on running the football more this year, something they got away from last season and put additional pressure on the quarterbacks. Locker is also likely going to have the opportunity to run some pistol and read option sets in an effort to take advantage of his athletic ability, and hopefully open up some things for him. When Locker was drafted he was considered a guy who would need a couple years of development, and now with two years under his belt the Titans should finally see if they will get a return on their investment. It's definitely not all rosy with Locker as his accuracy continues to be a huge question mark, but with the additional protection and weapons, not to mention the better offensive system for his strengths Locker just might have a good year for the Titans.
4. WR Justin Hunter-
-Rookie receivers are notorious disappointments and in some ways this pick may have been more for the future, but Justin Hunter should get an opportunity to make an impact this year. Now with a crowded receiver depth chart and Hunter's knack for dropping passes, it is likely to be in a limited role, but he can still have some good value. Hunter offers up good size and speed and can help the team get vertical when they want to go deep. He didn't always play to his size in college, but he's got a big frame and a very good vertical so he should be involved inside the red zone quite a bit. Another area where he could help is in the slot, where his route running, size and speed will probably create the biggest mis-matches.
5. TE Taylor Thompson-
-Thompson was very much a project when the Titans drafted him in the 5th round in 2012 out of SMU. In fact in college Thompson was a defensive end, and really didn't have any tight end experience. Thompson though has very impressive workout numbers and a really good frame. He impressed some initially in OTA's, but was definitely behind the curve during training camp. Last year Thompson wasn't needed as much, but this season with Jared Cook in St. Louis, the Titans could need some additional TE help. Delanie Walker is a good blocker and may be a better receiver than people give him credit for, but he lacks good size. It would be huge if Thompson could prove himself as a decent 2nd pass catching TE on this team. Also with his size and athleticism he can move around and line-up in a variety of roles. Though "starter" production shouldn't be expected from him, he could have a mini-breakout to showcase his potential this season.
What do you think? How will these players fare this year?