t’s clear to see that the times have changed for the Tennessee Titans.
The hype for the Tennessee Titans has bordered on unforeseen levels, but it’s not stopping anytime soon. Pro Football Focus recently came out with their roster rankings, by way of ESPN, and sought out to put every NFL roster on an even level and see who has the best starting lineup on both offense and defense. Depth isn’t really taken into account with their rankings.
Your Tennessee Titans came in ranked THIRD, behind only the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. Thanks to Paul Kuharsky, who is the best and will be missed dearly once he leaves ESPN this summer, we can see how PFF came to the conclusion of the Titans having the third-best roster in the league.
PFF splits up their player grades/rankings into tiers.
- Elite: 90+
- Good/High Quality: 80-89.9
- Average: 70-79.9
- Below Average: 60.9-69.9
- Poor: 0-60
By PFF’s metrics, and discounting rookies, the Titans have eleven good/high quality starters, eight average starters and two poor starters. They are also considering Taywan Taylor, Corey Davis and Adoree’ Jackson to be starters, but they aren’t given a grade or tier because they haven’t played a down in the NFL yet.
Here are how the starters were split up by tiers for the Titans.
- Good/High Quality: Delanie Walker, Rishard Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Quinton Spain, Ben Jones, Josh Kline, Jack Conklin, Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo, Logan Ryan, Johnathan Cyprien
- Average: Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, DaQuan Jones, Avery Williamson, Wesley Woodyard, Derrick Morgan, Brice McCain, Kevin Byard
- Poor: Phillip Supernaw, Sylvester Williams
We can quibble with Mariota or Murray being considered “average”, but PFF’s grading scale is considerably strict and detailed. Mariota’s grade was probably hurt by some of his fumbles and Murray wasn’t as effective last season after his toe injury. Regardless, the Titans roster is balanced almost perfectly. It’s also important to consider that the two “poor” starters might very well be replaced this season with Jonnu Smith and Austin Johnson waiting in the wings.
PFF, one of the most notorious analytical football sites, having the Titans as the third-best roster in the NFL is a testament to the work of Jon Robinson in just over one year. Robinson has stockpiled talent and turned a bare-bones roster with mediocre talent into one brimming with star power.
Just one year ago, the Titans roster was full of holes and subpar players who didn’t play up to their potential. It’s now tough to pinpoint a specific area of the team that is any type of liability. The secondary needs work, sure, but the new additions look primed to improve the unit substantially.
I’ve been exercising caution with my expectations for the Titans going into the 2017 season because I don’t want to be let down, but everyone is on the bandwagon. And it’s getting tough to not buy into the immense hype. For the first time in a really long time, this franchise is heading in the right direction and showing no signs of slowing down.