By the time the clock strikes 3pm CST on Tuesday, August 31st, roughly 864 players will have been released, traded, or placed on injured reserve since last week.
The Titans have to decide what to do about 21 players by the time the deadline rolls around. With one of the deepest rosters this team has ever had, it is going to be a difficult decision for GM Jon Robinson. Especially with so many questions surrounding this team. Who is the third RB? Who is going to go on the 53 and then move to IR? How many wide receivers does this team keep?
I am gonna make an attempt with an article that will prove to be horribly inaccurate with my luck. This list is going to have predictions for some of the more interesting roster spots the team has (sorry hog molly fans), before waiver claims and IR moves are made. Here we go.
This is a no brainer. Logan Woodside sealed the deal with that Chicago game. He showed that he can make all the throws needed and can even make plays with his legs. He was largely mistake free this preseason only having thrown that one interception which was caused by horrible blocking. Woodside finished without any turnover-worthy plays for the entire season.
If for some horrible luck, this team needed Woodside in a pinch he won’t cost the team a game with mistakes. That. has always been the biggest difference between him and Barkley. With this team, and how it is built offensively, you need a back up QB who won’t lose you a game. Woodside may not win one on his. arm talent, but he can turn around make the throws needed and hand the ball to Henry.
I still would like the Titans to upgrade this spot, but at this point they haven’t found the right guy that can take it from Woodside.
Here is my not-so-bold prediction: Woodside is QB2 and this team doesn’t trade or sign a QB to the active roster, unless there is a surprise cut at QB.
Running Back Prediction
This is not Mehki Sargent homerism, but he will survive the final set of cuts, especially knowing that McNichols has yet to come off the Reserve/COVID list yet. With that situation, the Titans are granted a unique opportunity to keep Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans, Khari Blasingame, and Sargent. All the while being able to keep McNichols too since those players on the Reserve/COVID list do not count towards the 53.
This leads to my prediction: that once the final 53 rosters in the NFL are finalized, Evans goes on IR, since it doesn’t force his season to end, and they roll with Henry, McNichols, and Sargent till Evans is ready. This team in 2020 has kept four running backs plus a fullback on the active roster before, and could again with Evans’s injury concerns.
Wide Receiver Predictions
I am destined to get this one wrong, because there are a lot of moving parts. My prediction is that the Titans keep seven wide receivers after the deadline is over tomorrow. Here’s how:
The injuries surrounding Josh Reynolds and Marcus Johnson could lead to one of these guys being cut, but I think both make it, and one, if not both, end up going to IR. Which is why the Titans would need to keep seven.
This staff after the game on Saturday, still wasn’t impressed with Dez Fitzpatrick’s night. He had a bad drop due to a body catch, which seems to be a habit with him. On top of that Downing alluded to him not finishing plays like they expect. However, I think this team will stick him on the 53 for now and let things shake out with Reynolds and Johnson.
A lot of people had high hopes with Fitzpatrick, and they should’ve tempered expectations better. I think Batson and Kinsey made a case for a roster spot with their preseason performances, but I just don’t see how the team keeps eight just because those guys have good stories. One of them will make it to the practice squad though.
Tight End Prediction
This one is simple, and it’s not about what the Titans do tomorrow, but what the Titans choose to do at this position when waivers are being processed. My prediction is that the Titans will not sign or trade for a tight end that goes onto the active roster.
They may grab a new guy off waivers for the practice squad, but it won’t be anyone they bring in for competition. They have the proper combo for what they like to do as a team, and between the four guys that have been the main guys: Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swaim, Luke Stocker, and Tommy Hudson, they have what they need.
They’re also happy with it. Unless there is some surprise cut, which can always happen, this team is not trading for or signing a big name tight end. In fact, I also predict that Miller Forristall ends up on the practice squad when its all said and done.
In the Trenches Prediction
There isn’t really a prediction to be had at this point on either side of the line. It’s pretty clear who is making it and who isn’t.
Outside Linebacker Prediction
The battle for that fourth and fifth outside linebacker spot heated up over the last two preseason games. On Sunday, the Titans made the not-so-surprising move of moving on from John Simon. So that brings the battle down to three men: Derrick Roberson, Wyatt Ray, and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi.
To me the choice is clear after the preseason games, and as such I predict that Roberson and Adeniyi both make the team and Ray finds his way onto the practice squad. Roberson and Adeniyi have a better of preseason body of work than Ray. Since the Falcons game, Ray hasn’t been the same player, while Roberson and Adeniyi built on their performances week after week.
Inside Linebacker Prediction
Just like the offensive and defensive lines, I don’t have a real prediction for this group. ILB is set with Rashaan Evans, David Long, Jayon Brown, Nick Dzubnar, and Monty Rice.
This group is already written in marker with Caleb Farley, Jackrabbit, Kristian Fulton, Elijah Molden, Breon Borders, and Chris Jackson. All six will make the final 53, but I do have a prediction: Jackson will head to IR, and Molden will be the starting Nickel.
It’s not a bold one, as many people probably agree with this, but I did want to brag on how awesome Molden is and how he deserves to be starting in the slot.
I am going to go with something that contradicts what I thought a week ago, and that is Jamal Carter and Matthias Farley make the final 53, and Dane Cruikshank does not. However, the prediction doesn’t end there, because I think the Titans will specifically be targeting safeties on the waiver wire that are cut from the other team.
This team has been trying to find two back up safeties for a while now, and I do not think they’d be content with Carter. Carter has shown a knack for being explosive and in the right place at the right time, but the team is looking to upgrade that spot.
Have some bold predictions of your own? Drop them in the comment section below!