The Tennessee Titans have geared up for a huge 2021 season after acquiring Julio Jones via trade. Tennessee’s front office has been one of the busiest in the league this offseason, as they were aggressive during free agency as well. Bringing in Bud Dupree, Janoris Jenkins, and Denico Autry has brought life to a Titans defense that was well below average a year ago.
With the offensive line being one of the best in the league, AJ Brown, Derrick Henry, and Ryan Tannehill returning, along with the addition of Julio Jones, the Titans are primed to be one of the better teams in the NFL. However, what makes a franchise great is longevity. Tennessee is clearly optimizing their Super Bowl window, but the best organizations in the league remain at the top of the league for multiple years. We’ve seen the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Green Bay Packers at the top nearly every year. Can the Titans do the same?
To do that, the team has to make sure they acquire talent throughout the roster. Having depth goes a long way, and having prospects who can grow into legitimate contributors is necessary. Luckily for the Titans, two players on the roster stand out as possible hidden gems, one on each side of the ball. With that said, here are the two hidden talents on the Titans roster.
Dez Fitzpatrick was selected in the fourth round by the Tennessee Titans in the 2021 NFL Draft. The front office gave up some draft capital to get him, as they dished away three draft picks to move up to 109. Before the Julio Jones trade, Fitzpatrick was in a position to battle it out for the third spot in the receiving core. Now, he’s aiming to earn the fourth position and serve as an immediate backup to AJ Brown and Julio Jones.
Fitzpatrick’s college numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he did prove to be consistent during his time at Louisville. The Titans like big-bodied receivers who can block, which is likely how he gains playing time to start his career. However, he has a plethora of highlight reels showcasing his deep threat ability, which bodes well for his future in the league. He also has the privilege of learning behind Julio Jones for at least the next two years, which could prove to be vital in his development. Be patient with Dez Fitzpatrick, as he could turn into a legitimate passing option down the road.
Teair Tart was an undrafted free agent in 2020 and ended up becoming an important piece to the Titans’ defensive line. He’s not an every-down lineman, but so far, he’s done everything right when his number is called. His stat sheet doesn’t show it, but he plugs the run lanes well and serves as a great compliment to Jeffery Simmons. Not known as a tackle machine, Tart gets in the way and forces running backs to go in a different direction. That’s really all you can ask for from a nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Look for Tart to have an improved season. After the Titans front office brought in Denico Autry, Tart’s job should become even easier when the team needs him. He might never jump off the film or make a highlight play, but Tart has the potential to become a run-stopping specialist for Tennessee.