Why the Tim Lelito sign could be a pretty big deal.
One of the Tennessee biggest signings this offseason could be…Tim Lelito.
That may sound a little bit crazy given that the before last week 99% of Tennessee Titans fans probably didn’t even know who Lelito was. In fact, you may not even know him now.
Here is a quick run down on the new Tennessee Titans offensive linemen:
-UDFA from Grand Valley State
-24 starts in 4 years
-He can play something like 6 positions on offense (we will get to that later)
-Will only be 28 entering the 2017 season.
Something that really intrigues me is what this means for Tennessee Titans swing tackle Dennis Kelly.
If you watched closely, you know that Dennis Kelly was a solid player for the Tennessee Titans last year playing nearly 150 snaps as a 6th offensive linemen. However, look at this quote from Jon Robinson from ESPN on the signing of Lelito:
“‘Tim is another player who fits our mold of being tough, dependable and team-first,’ Titans general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement. ‘He is a versatile player who can play center, either guard, extra tight end or even a jumbo fullback. I saw him play twice a year when I was in Tampa and he played in a good system for the Saints. He is a smart player who will fit in well with that position group.’”
That is sort of the same role that the Tennessee Titans want from Dennis Kelly.
Now, you could argue that this is what he would have wanted Brian Schwenke for, but Schwenke never played any tight end or fullback to my knowledge, even in practice.
Dennis Kelly is very cheap and has NFL experience at both left and right tackle. In a league with a dearth of talent at the offensive tackle position there may be a potential trade partner for a talented fringe starter at offensive tackle like Dennis Kelly.
Here are the teams that Drafttek indicates has a high need for at least one new offensive tackle in one of the worst offensive tackle draft classes in recent memory:
– Carolina Panthers
-New York Giants
-New York Jets
So 13 of 32 teams have a high need for an offensive tackle. You can’t tell me that Jon Robinson isn’t putting out feelers to see just how badly they might covet a potential starter like Dennis Kelly.
Now that the Tennessee Titans have their 6th OL in Lelito, they could potentially go after a late round draft pick or re-sign Byron Bell to be a pure back up OT and still keep 8 OL with 7 OL active on game day.