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.