By: Brendan Smart (@bsmart21)
On Monday afternoon the Tennessee Titans released their first unofficial depth chart for the 2017-2018 season. This depth chart, many professional analyst picked to take the AFC South, this depth chart has the talent to take the South, and so much more. So, what shocked me about this unofficial depth chart?
The first thing that caught my eye; Is Tre McBride really going to get a shot this season? McBride, entering his third season in the NFL has been exactly what the team expected. A late round pick, who has taken his time in development, but has developed pretty well. This is just my observation with the eye test because McBride has appeared in a handful of games and only caught two passes for eight yards in three seasons. Doesn’t exactly seem like a second string wide receiver. Also, the only names behind McBride are Eric Weems, a guy the Titans acquired in the offseason, and Taywan Taylor a late round rookie who has shown out in his first training camp. Maybe McBride is getting veteran points? I don’t see McBride being on the roster unless something dramatic happens.
The whole wide receiving core has so many questions. My next question, what is going on with econd year wide receiver Tajae Sharpe? Sharpe’s name is at the very end of the wide receiver two depth chart, and parentheses surround his name. Remember, Sharpe was accused of assault at a club in Nashville with former Titan lineman Sebastian Tretola, who released right before training camp. So, is there something we do not know? Or is it just a precautionary measure due to the investigation? Answers the Titans will not answer, and neither will Sharpe. Clearly, Sharpe hasn’t progressed on the depth chart since last season at this time.
Next, majority of Tennessee fans knew who was going to be the number one wide receiver, in Rishard Mathews, but who was going to be on the opposite side of the field at number two? The Titans depth chart has rookie first round pick, Corey Davis at number two. Davis, who injured his hamstring Saturday in practice is week-to-week, and will not play in the preseason opener against the New York Jets. This raises the question, could this open the door for veteran wide receiver Eric Decker? It shouldn’t have to open the door in my opinion, because Decker has been outstanding in his camp. Decker has been my number two wide receiver since camp started. Like I said previously, get the most out of Decker, let Davis learn the ways of being an outstanding NFL wide out (which I think he will be), and watch this offense flourish.
To summarize the wide receiving core, I am not sure why McBride is second string, and right now, I am taking Decker over Davis. Behind Rishard Matthews, Eric Decker, and Corey Davis, it just seems like no one is locked into a certain spot. It is great competition for camp, and the preseason.
The secondary has been a huge bundle of position battles, but this depth chart gives us clarity on what coach Mularkey is doing. At cornerback it seems that newly acquainted Logan Ryan and Leshaun Sims will be the day one starting corners. Behind those two Adoree’ Jackson, Brice McCain, and Kalen Reed are the only three who have my full attention. McCain is locked in at the Nickel corner position, and Jackson is going to be on the field constantly, whether it be special teams, or a trick play on the offensive end, he can do it all. Also, Da’Norris Searcy is the backup to MTSU alum Kevin Byard, cannot help, but cheer for Byard who went so late in the draft last year.
The Titans start their preseason run on Saturday, August 12, in New York to take on the rebuilding Jets. To get all of the training camp coverage, along with preseason games, and regular season games, give @blu3worldorder a follow on twitter.