Entering Week 1, the Titans will have four new offensive line starters. The team’s plan was only to make three changes up front, but Nicholas Petit-Frere‘s six-game gambling suspension will force a temporary change at right tackle.
Andre Dillard is expected to start at left tackle, seeing as the ex-Eagles first-round pick signed a three-year, $29MM deal. Tennessee will also return 17-game guard starter Aaron Brewer, but the fourth-year blocker — who received a second-round RFA tender — confirmed earlier this offseason the team is planning to slide him to center. This will leave three spots open, with two likely starters’ positions to be determined.
UFA addition Daniel Brunskill has experience at both guard and tackle, and TennesseeTitans.com’s Jim Wyatt notes the ex-49er starter/swingman will be an option to start the season at right tackle. First-round pick Peter Skoronski also fits this profile, though he has less experience at guard. But the acclaimed Northwestern tackle is also in the mix to fill in for Petit-Frere to start the season.
The plan for Skoronski appeared to be a shift to guard. The No. 11 overall pick spent most of his offseason working at guard, per Wyatt, though the Titans have also gave him tackle reps during their offseason program. A number of NFL evaluators viewed Skoronski as a clear-cut guard candidate, but the former Big Ten blocker did not play guard in college.
It would be an interesting assignment for Skoronski to start the season at right tackle before kicking inside. Tennessee might aim to simplify the top prospect’s rookie-year workload by stationing him at guard only during training camp, but for now, an O-line configuration with Dillard and Skoronski as the bookends remains in play. Regardless of where Skoronski lines up, the team expects him to start immediately.
Jamarco Jones, sixth-round pick Jaelyn Duncan and 2022 UDFA Andrew Rupcich as other options to fill in for the suspended Petit-Frere, per Wyatt. A former Seahawk, Jones has made seven NFL starts over his three-year career. He spent time at tackle in Seattle but did not play last season. After Jones lost the Titans’ left guard competition to Brewer, he spent most of last season on IR. Duncan spent most of his time in College Park at the Terrapins’ left tackle, while Rupcich would be a long shot here, as he joined Jones in not seeing any game action last season.
Tennessee has struggled to fill its right tackle post over the past few seasons. After not picking up Jack Conklin‘s fifth-year option and then letting him walk in 2020, the team has used three different primary starters there over the past three years. Isaiah Wilson became one of this era’s biggest draft busts, playing all of four career snaps, while 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz was unable to win the job during the 2021 or ’22 offseasons. (Dennis Kelly and David Quessenberry, respectively, were the Titans’ right tackle starters in 2020 and ’21.) Radunz, who has also spent time at guard with the Titans, would have seemingly been an option to step in for Petit-Frere. But the North Dakota State alum is still rehabbing the ACL tear he suffered in December. Radunz did not participate in the team’s offseason workouts, Wyatt adds.
The Titans released cornerstones Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones this offseason, doing so a year after cutting Rodger Saffold. Tennessee let four-year guard starter Nate Davis walk in free agency in March. Skoronski will be the linchpin of GM Ran Carthon‘s overhaul effort, though the team will not have a chance to see the unit at full strength until Petit-Frere’s October return.