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Tales of the Titans: Long live the King, but the future looks bright.

Former Titans superstar RB, Derrick Henry is now a Raven.

Photo: Steve Roberts / USA TODAY Sports

We are past the first and biggest stage of NFL free agency, in which many stars will switch teams. The Titans star power took a major blow this free agency, as franchise icon Derrick Henry signed with the Baltimore Ravens on a 2-year, $16 million deal. After 8 illustrious seasons in Nashville in which he earned 4 Pro Bowls, a 2,000 yard rushing season, and an Offensive Player of the Year award, the King has gone to Baltimore to join Lamar Jackson on a quest to win the Super Bowl.

This is a bittersweet moment for me, as Henry is my favorite player, and was on the team when I first started watching football and understanding the game. Also, losing him to a hated rival like the Ravens adds salt to the open wound. Nevertheless, I will continue to root for him, and I hope that he lifts the Lombardi Trophy no matter where he plays.

What would be amazing to see is the King return after his new contract ends, and pass Eddie George as the Titans all-time leading rusher (Henry needs 507 more yards to do so). Henry’s departure solidifies the shift from the old-school, smash-mouth style that Mike Vrabel had, to the new-school pass heavy regime that new coach Brian Callahan will implement.

Offseason Thoughts

Speaking of Callahan’s start in the Two-Tone blue, he and GM Ran Carthon have been busy in free agency. The additions of RB Tony Pollard, WR Calvin Ridley, and C Lloyd Cushenberry have been massive for the offense. Pollard compliments electric back Tyjae Spears well with both being weapons in the pass game, and Ridley gives the team a bonafide WR1. Cushenberry is a much needed upgrade on the offensive line, as he allowed just 1 sack and 14 pressures last season. Defensively, Carthon brought in CB Chidobe Awuzie, and LB Kenneth Murray to plug holes, but by far the biggest addition was trading for Chiefs All-Pro CB L’Jarius Sneed, and locking him up on a 4-year, $76 million deal.

All it took was a 2025 third rounder, and a swap of 2024 sevenths to get him here. Sneed, Awuzie, and slot CB Roger McCreary (who didn’t allow a TD last year) lead a revamped cornerback room that is looking to provide stability and dominance to the defense this season. Overall, these moves are very good. Levis gets weapons and protection that align perfectly in Callahan’s scheme, and new DC Dennard Wilson receives players who he loves to coach, as they play hard, and play aggressive. The offseason has been a win so far for the Titans, and I can’t wait to see what they cook up for the draft.

Mock Draft + Roster Projections

Here is a quick Titans-only mock draft that I believe will be what Tennessee does come draft day:

Round 1 - Pick 7: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Round 2 - Pick 38: T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas

Round 4 - Pick 106: Jermiane Burton, WR, Alabama

Round 5 - Pick 146: Tanor Bortolini, OC, Wisconsin

Round 6 - Pick 182: Erick All, TE, Iowa

Round 7 - Pick 221: Jackson Mitchell, LB, Uconn

Round 7 - Pick 242: Dominique Hampton, S, Washington

Round 7 - Pick 252: Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame

Alt would immediately step in and be the starting LT, while Sweat would provide muscle on the defensive line, along with upside to be a starter next season. Burton would be a nice complementary depth piece on offense, bringing playmaking ability at a position that has lacked it. The rest of the picks are all for depth, as the Titans have struggled with injuries the last 2-3 years. A draft like this, along with free agency going as smoothly as it has, and Titans Nation is thinking playoffs.

QB: Will Levis, Mason Rudolph 

RB: Tyjae Spears, Tony Pollard, Hassan Haskins

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Jermain Burton

Slot: Treylon Burks, Kyle Phillps

TE: Chig Okonkwo, Josh Whyle, Erick All

LT: Joe Alt, Jaelyn Duncan

LG: Peter Skoronski

C: Lloyd Cushenberry, Tanor Bortolini

RG: Daniel Brunskill

RT: Dillon Radunz, Nick Petit-Frere

DT: Jeffery Simmons, Sebastian Joseph

NT: T’Vondre Sweat

LOLB: Arden Key, Rashad Weaver

MLB: Kenneth Murray, Jack Gibbins, Otis Reese IV

ROLB: Harold Landry, Caleb Murphy

CB: L’Jarius Sneed, Chidobe Awuzie, Caleb Farley, Tre Avery

Slot: Roger McCreary, Eric Garror

FS: Elijah Molden

SS: Amani Hooker

If the roster looks something like this, I would not discount a Texans-like turnaround this year, People will underestimate the new hires to the staff and Will Levis’ ability to lead this team, but myself and the rest of Titans Nation do not. Regardless, it is tough to see Derrick Henry leave, but the new era has arrived, and led by Prince Spears and Will the Thrill, the future in Nashville looks bright.

Until next time, #TitanUp!


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