Aaron Brewer (Titans)

Latest On Dolphins’ Draft Plans

While the Dolphins already brought in Aaron Brewer as a potential replacement for Connor Williams, that won’t stop the organization from pursuing additional center depth via the draft. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald passes along, the Dolphins hosted Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson on a top-30 visit this week.

Powers-Johnson didn’t allow any sacks in his 829 snaps at center in 2023, earning him a first-team All-American nod and the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. While the lineman has generally competed with the likes of Duke’s Graham Barton and West Virginia’s Zach Frazier in mock drafts, Powers-Johnson is expected to hear his name called at some point during the first two days of the draft…potentially as high as No. 21 to the Dolphins.

While a potential return to Miami remains a possibility for Williams, there’s a good chance the veteran sits out the 2024 campaign while rehabbing his ACL injury. After starting all 34 games for the Titans between 2022 and 2023, Brewer was brought in as a replacement at center. As Jackson notes, both Brewer and Powers-Johnson have experience playing offensive guard, so the team wouldn’t necessarily be setting themselves up for a competition at center.

It sounds like offensive line has been a specific focus for the Dolphins throughout the pre-draft process. Jackson notes that the organization has hosted a number of offensive linemen who are considered late first-round picks, but the organization hasn’t done the same for defensive players in the same tier. While Jackson warns that the front office wouldn’t willingly show their hand, it seems pretty clear that the Dolphins are leaning towards OL depth in the first round.

One position the organization isn’t considering with their first-round pick? A quarterback, as GM Chris Grier told reporters (via Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network). Considering both the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa are focused on signing a long-term pact, it’s not a surprise that the Dolphins won’t waste an early-round pick on a developmental backup. However, Grier did note that the Dolphins could consider taking a player at the position later in the draft.

Dolphins To Sign OL Aaron Brewer

Losing Robert Hunt and having both Connor Williams and Isaiah Wynn unsigned, the Dolphins have some work to do up front. They have brought back fill-in starter Robert Jones, but they look more likely to use their latest free agency addition at center.

Aaron Brewer is signing with the team, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Miami is giving the former Tennessee center and guard starter a three-year, $21MM deal. Brewer will head to Florida after two years as a Titans starter.

Although Williams fared better than Brewer during the past two seasons, the former UDFA has held his own. The Titans gave Brewer a second-round RFA tender, keeping him as they changed just about everything else about their O-line in 2023, and Pro Football Focus rated him as the league’s No. 11 overall center.

Jones’ return may cap the changes on Miami’s front to two, as he filled in at points last season. But the Brewer move would stand to ensure Williams does not come back. The two-year Dolphins center, who was attached to a $7MM-per-year deal as well, suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 of last season. Williams skipped minicamp in protest of his contract, but the Dolphins did not adjust his deal. The knee injury will hurt Williams this offseason, though he should still be expected to command a decent market.

Brewer, 26, has displayed durability since moving into the Titans’ starting lineup in 2022. He has not missed a game in that span, and the Dolphins will be counting on him to keep going as their offense becomes more expensive — with Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle in the extension queue.

Titans To Move Aaron Brewer To Center

The Titans plan to make offensive lineman Aaron Brewer their starting center, as Brewer himself told reporters, including Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. The 2020 UDFA has logged snaps at the pivot over his first three professional seasons, though the bulk of his playing time has come at left guard.

“I have been working at center right now,” Brewer said. “And I would say that is the goal for the team right now – for me to move into the center spot and take over that role.”

Tennessee had deployed Ben Jones at center for the past seven years, and Jones was a model of consistency and durability for most of that stretch. Unfortunately, he suffered two concussions in 2022 and was forced to miss five contests as a result, the first time he was absent for more than a single game in any season during his Titans tenure. In February, Jones was released, thereby creating a significant void that Brewer will try to fill.

After jettisoning Jones and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan — who played just 20 games in the past three years due to multiple ACL tears — new Titans GM Ran Carthon has been busy trying to reconstruct his offensive front. He signed former Eagle Andre Dillard to a three-year deal to serve as Lewan’s replacement, and he added former 49er Daniel Brunskill to replace free agent defection Nate Davis at right guard.

In last month’s draft, Carthon used his first-round choice (No. 11 overall) on Northwestern blocker Peter Skoronski, who could compete with Dillard for the left tackle post but who is more likely to begin his career as Tennessee’s left guard. So four of the Titans’ five presumptive starting offensive lineman will either be new to the team or in a new position, with only right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere set to reprise his 2022 role.

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Titans yielded 49 sacks last year, the fifth-highest total in the league, and they also struggled to create space for two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry. Brewer did not exactly help the cause, as he allowed 36 total pressures and committed eight penalties en route to a mediocre 59.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (positioning him 46th among 77 qualified guards).

Still, Carthon saw fit to retain the Texas State product via the second-round RFA tender, and it is possible that Brewer is better-suited to the center position. His performance, and that of the new-look offensive line as a whole, will obviously be critical to Tennessee’s fortunes in 2023.

Latest On Titans’ RT, LG Competitions

Second-year pro Dillon Radunz has the chance to win the Titans’ starting right tackle job, per Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. That jibes with an ESPN report from last month, and it makes plenty of sense given that Radunz was selected in the second round of the 2021 draft with the expectation that he would be a long-term bookend on Tennessee’s O-line.

The possibility of Radunz competing for the team’s other OL vacancy, left guard, was floated earlier this year. HC Mike Vrabel subsequently indicated that the team would be focusing on Radunz as an RT candidate, although he will have to fend off 2022 third-rounder Nicholas Petit-Frere, who presently appears to be the most significant threat to his playing time. In his rookie campaign, Radunz started just one game while learning and developing behind former right tackle David Quessenberry, who signed with the Bills this offseason. According to Wyatt, Radunz has looked more comfortable during OTAs and minicamp, but obviously training camp will be a better gauge of where he stands.

While Radunz and Petit-Frere are battling it out for the right tackle slot, Wyatt confirms that Aaron Brewer and Jamarco Jones are the top candidates for the LG gig, as we heard several weeks ago (and throughout the offseason). Brewer, a 2020 UDFA, has started six games for Tennessee in his first two professional seasons, five of which came last year. Jones, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $5.75MM contract with the Titans in March, and one of his primary selling points was his versatility. Despite dealing with injury problems throughout his brief career, the 2018 fifth-round pick of the Seahawks has seen action all over the O-line.

Both Brewer and Jones received sub-par marks from Pro Football Focus for their 2021 work. This offseason, Jones has managed to stay healthy and has, in Wyatt’s estimation, demonstrated improvement, while Brewer missed time due to injury. Brewer’s familiarity with the offense will help, and Wyatt believes the Texas State product will ultimately win the LG job, but that battle will be one of the most hotly-contested for the Titans this summer. Whichever player emerges as the starter will have big shoes to fill, as Rodger Saffold had become a reliable fixture on the interior and earned his first Pro Bowl bid in 2021. He became a cap casualty in March and signed with Buffalo a week before Quessenberry.

The Titans finished the 2021 regular season with the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. While Vrabel’s outfit fell to the Bengals in the divisional round of the playoffs, the club still has its eyes set on another deep postseason run. As such, Wyatt confirms that Tennessee will look at the free agent and trade markets if the RT and/or LG competitions are not going well.

Of course, the players who are on the free agent market at this point in the calendar year are generally available for a reason. The top RTs include Bryan Bulaga, Daryl Williams, and Marcus Cannon, all of whom were released by their previous clubs in March and who have not generated any reported interest since. Similarly, the Commanders released LG Ereck Flowers in March, and while our own Ely Allen noted that the former top-10 pick could make plenty of sense for Tennessee, we have not heard of any interest in his services.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif may be an appealing option for the Titans if Brewer and Jones fail to impress, but LDT may not want to continue his NFL career. Nonetheless, potentially intriguing players could be cut as we get closer to the regular season, and GM Jon Robinson may be able to swing a trade if the FA market does not bear fruit.