Tennessee Titans needs: Cornerbacks

A look at the Tennessee Titans first big need: cornerback.

The Tennessee Titans have a lot to look forward to this offseason, however they do have some definite holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

According to OTC, the Tennessee Titans are 3rd in cap space this year as well as having both the 5th and the 18th overall picks this year.

With plenty of opportunities and ammunition to fix these holes let’s look at what exactly they are dealing with at one of the biggest positions of needs this offseason.

What do they have?

Any needs list should look at exactly what a team has at a certain position so let’s look at what the Tennessee Titans closed the season with at cornerback.

Brice McCain- ideal backup SCB

-The Tennessee Titans brought McCain in to presumably play in the slot but he spent a lot more time outside due to the cut to Perrish Cox and no one else really developing. I think he is someone the Titans would like to have as a special teams player and a guy who comes in and out of the lineup at SCB.

Jason McCourty- potential boundary CB

-McCourty has had a really bad two year stretch. Groin injuries have really caused him to get some rust and he hasn’t been the underrated, productive cornerback that he was pre-injury. Everyone will talk about him as a potential cap cut, but the Tennessee Titans aren’t hurting for money so unless they land several high priced free agents I don’t see that as a likely option.

When he is healthy, if he can play on a team that gets consistent pressure or a team that has some play making safeties then I think he can still be a good corner.

LeShaun Sims- potential boundary CB

Sims is a big cornerback who quietly developed in the background this season and when Perrish Cox was cut he was someone that not only earned a chance, but who earned a starting job.

Going down the stretch, not only was Sims a guy who looked like a potential future starter but a guy who looked like a long term starter that could be a playmaker if he continued to develop.

Kalan Reed- potential SCB

Reed never really got a chance to be more than a rotational CB and a special teams player, but he did have some really good college tape. If you are looking for a guy that believes in Reed look for the guy who also predicted that Quinton Spain would be good, Jim Cobern.

One reason both he and Jon Robinson are likely both high on him is the fact that he broke up 17 passes in his final year. That is a huge number.

Free agents to watch

A.J. Bouye

-Bouye is sort of the total package in terms of what Jon Robinson looks for. He is a young, talented player who isn’t a huge name but who is still trending upward. He reminds me a lot of Rishard Matthews last year and I would not be surprised if the Tennessee Titans look at him and try to give him a huge deal.

Morris Claiborne

-Another player who I could see the Tennessee Titans really liking. A big name on a winning team who won’t have a huge market because of past struggles and recent injuries.

Logan Ryan

-Probably CB1 on Robinson’s board this offseason even though I bet Bouye and Gilmore are close. Ryan is a guy who Robinson pounded the table for in New England and he even went as far as to make a “heat map” of his pass breakups to make a case for him to Bill Belichick.

Trumaine Johnson

-A very talented cornerback who thrived in LA’s pressure scheme on defense and who could be more of a bargain after the Rams were a bottom-5 team last year. At 6’2 he is one of the longer CBs available and he and Sims (6’0) could add some size to a unit that has always been shorter than most.

Stephon Gilmore

-Another longer CB who may surprisingly hit the market. Gilmore was one of the best CBs in the NFL in his first few years and then Rex Ryan was hired and replaced Jim Schwartz’s scheme in Buffalo and he faded from the spotlight.

I have to wonder if there isn’t someone on this defensive coaching staff that thinks they can get him back to where he was considering he is still only 26.

Draft

There is plenty of time to talk about the draft after free agency, and we will get there but for know I just wanted to add a note saying that this is a very deep cornerback class and that if the Tennessee Titans don’t get their guy in free agency it isn’t because they couldn’t throw enough money at people, it is because they were confident they could land a talented CB in the draft.

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