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Titans training camp preview: The new-look offensive line – Titans Wire

One of the most talked about position groups for the Tennessee Titans this offseason has been the offensive line, which will see two new starters in 2022.
Tennessee’s offensive line as a whole was not good in pass protection in 2021 after the Titans allowed 47 sacks, the seventh-most in the NFL. That must improve if the Titans want their offense to rebound this coming season.
The Titans parted ways with both left guard Rodger Saffold and right tackle David Quessenberry, both of whom struggled in pass protection. Saffold also routinely dealt with injuries that had him in and out of games.
The good news for Tennessee’s starting hopefuls at left guard and right tackle is that they don’t have big shoes to fill in terms of pass protection, but Saffold and Quessenberry were both good run-blockers.
In fact, Quessenberry (89.7) and Saffold (76.7) finished first and third on the team in Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade.
Now, let’s take a look at Tennessee’s situation along the offensive line going into training camp, and we’ll make a 53-man roster prediction at the end.
Syndication: The Tennessean
Roster locks: LT Taylor Lewan, C Ben Jones, RG Nate Davis, OT Dillon Radunz, C/G Aaron Brewer, OL Jamarco Jones, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
The Titans have three starters returning in Lewan, Jones and Davis. Radunz and Petit-Frere will compete for the right tackle job, while Brewer and Jones are competing for the left guard spot. The losers of those competitions will serve as depth in 2022.
AP Photo/Stew Milne
On the bubble: C Daniel Munyer, C/G Corey Levin, C/G Xavier Newman, C/G Hayden Howerton, G Jordan Roos, OL Carson Green, OT Christian DiLauro, OT Jalen McKenzie, OT Andrew Rupcich
Munyer, Levin and Roos are the elder statesman of this group. Howerton, Newman, McKenzie and Rupcich were all signed as undrafted free agents earlier this offseason, and DiLauro was a 2021 UDFA signing. Green latched on as a UDFA with the Houston Texans last year, but didn’t play a game. He was claimed off waivers by Tennessee last month.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
The left guard competition will be between Brewer and Jones, neither of whom has much starting experience. Brewer has started six games over two  seasons, while Jones has seven starts over three campaigns. Neither player has ever been a full-time starter.
With starting experience being equal, the advantage figures to go to Brewer thanks to his familiarity with the Titans’ offense, but don’t rule out Jones, someone head coach Mike Vrabel thinks very highly of.
The biggest concern with Brewer is his smaller frame (6-foot-1, 274 pounds), but we’ve seen him overcome that size to play well the past few years, and his athleticism is a great fit for Tennessee’s zone-blocking scheme.
If Brewer loses, he’ll continue to serve as depth at center and guard. If Jones loses, he’ll be the primary backup at guard and tackle.
While there is technically a competition for the right tackle job, Radunz is far and away the favorite over the rookie, Petit-Frere, who will likely need a year to develop. Petit-Frere will also battle for the right to be the first man off the bench at tackle, but he might not be ready for that role, either.
This could be a make-or-break year for Radunz after he failed to secure a starting role in 2021. If he struggles, Petit-Frere will be breathing down his neck in 2023, assuming Lewan returns for the final year of his deal.
We don’t have much to go on with Radunz. He made just one start last year and played 124 offensive snaps overall; however, that one start saw him play well against an elite pass-rusher in San Francisco’s Nick Bosa.
AP Photo/John Amis
The Titans figure to carry eight or nine offensive lineman this season, and with us penciling in seven roster locks, that leaves one or two spots up for grabs.
By default, Munyer and Levin are the favorites to grab one or both of the last remaining spots based on experience, but we’d take Levin over Munyer if we had to choose, as Munyer has been terrible when called upon. We’d also prefer Tennessee carry one of their younger options than Munyer.
Depending on who wins the starting job at left guard, the Titans might opt to carry an extra backup tackle. If Brewers wins, that frees up Jones to serve as tackle depth. If Jones wins, the Titans won’t have that luxury, as Brewer only plays guard and center.
If the Titans want to carry an extra tackle should Jones get the starting job, DiLauro enters the conversation as a favorite thanks to his experience in Tennessee’s system. Falling behind him are Green, Rupcich and McKenzie.
Of the remaining interior backup options outside of Munyer and Levin, Howerton was one of the team’s UDFAs we felt had the best chance to make the roster, but there isn’t much distance separating him, Munyer, Roos and Newman going into training camp.
Syndication: The Tennessean
The starters: LT Taylor Lewan, LG Aaron Brewer, C Ben Jones, RG Nate Davis, RT Dillon Radunz
The backups: OL Jamarco Jones, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, G/C Corey Levin
This projection has Brewer and Radunz winning the starting jobs at left guard and right tackle, respectively.
In this scenario, the Titans can probably get away with carrying just eight linemen. Jones can be the backup at guard and tackle, and Levin can provide a backup option at both interior spots.
Again, this projection would be different if Jones wins out over Brewer, as the Titans might not want Petit-Frere an injury away from seeing the field. DiLauro would be our pick as the ninth lineman in that instance.
Syndication: The Tennessean
Running back
Wide receiver
Tight end
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
Articles: 7580

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