How Titans' starting lineup looks after first two weeks of free agency

Malcolm Butler, the Titans' biggest free-agent signing, solidifies an already talented secondary. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Fresh off back-to-back 9-7 seasons and their first playoff win since 2003, the Tennessee Titans chose to start anew and go all-in on building a championship culture with a new coaching staff led by Mike Vrabel.

Many of the core pieces remain the same, but there have been a few important new faces added to the mix, including cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis. Tennessee also moved on with several other notable members of the team, including running back DeMarco Murray and linebacker Avery Williamson.

Here's a breakdown of the Titans' starting lineup and what's behind them following the first two weeks of free agency:


QB Marcus Mariota: No rehab is a big plus. Mariota will have a full offseason to focus on improving his game, reworking some of his mechanical flaws and helping the Titans' new coaching staff form an offense around him. He still has superstar potential, and he's the center of the Titans' core players. Blaine Gabbert is an OK backup, but Mariota's health will be essential to the Titans' success.

RB Derrick Henry: After two years of waiting, Henry will get his chance to be the full-time starter, but he'll also have plenty of help. Vrabel called Henry "a big first- and second-down back." The splash signing of explosive back Dion Lewis gives the Titans a diverse combination of weapons and a legitimate one-two punch if the free-agent running back can stay healthy. Look for Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur to be creative in getting them both their touches.

WR Corey Davis: Multiple Titans players and coaches have predicted that Davis will have the biggest leap from 2017 to 2018. The Titans didn't address the receiver position in free agency, creating a clear path for Davis, one of the team's core members, to become the No. 1 wideout they drafted him to be.

WR Rishard Matthews: Here's a list of receivers Matthews has outgained in yardage over the past two seasons: Alshon Jeffery, Emmanuel Sanders, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson, Michael Crabtree. Matthews is the veteran of the Titans group, a strong and reliable No. 2 receiver.

Slot WR Taywan Taylor: We didn't see much of Taylor last season, as Mike Mularkey fell in love with multi-tight-end sets and past-their-prime receivers. Taylor has the quickness and big-play ability to fill this role effectively, but there's still a need for competition and depth here.

TE Delanie Walker: A core member of this team, Walker has at least 800 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons. He ranks in the top three in that period among all tight ends in receptions and receiving yards. Age hasn't slowed Walker yet, and when it does, his heir apparent, Jonnu Smith, is already on the roster.

LT Taylor Lewan: One of the best left tackles in football who will likely receive a contract extension that reflects his talents this offseason.

LG Quinton Spain/Kevin Pamphile/Xavier Su'a-Filo: Left guard, and potentially slot receiver, is the place to expect an offensive camp battle. Spain was the starter for the past two years, but there are questions about how he'll fit in a zone scheme. Pamphile, a versatile and athletic free-agent signing from Tampa Bay, and Su'a-Filo, a former high draft pick with unlocked potential after a disappointing four years in Houston, will push him for the job.

C Ben Jones: One of 32 NFL players and the only Titan to play every snap on his side of the ball. It will be interesting to see how he transitions to a zone-blocking scheme. If he struggles, Jones could be pushed by 2017 sixth-round pick Corey Levin and Pamphile.

RG Josh Kline: He's secure here after the Titans re-signed him to a four-year deal. Kline is a strong pass-blocker and should be better as a run-blocker in the new scheme.

RT Jack Conklin: How Conklin recovers from a torn ACL suffered in January is one of the more underrated Titans storylines. Conklin is a Pro Bowl player and core member, but the Titans might have to get Dennis Kelly or Pamphile prepped in case he isn't ready for Week 1.


DE Jurrell Casey: The three-time Pro Bowler has at least five sacks in five consecutive seasons. He's a core member and a defender with a complete game.

NT Austin Johnson: Sylvester Williams is released, and Johnson will get first dibs at the job. The 2016 second-round pick has played well as a reserve, and the Titans believe he should be ready for a bigger role. He will likely receive more competition.

DE DaQuan Jones: Like Conklin, Jones is recovering from surgery (torn biceps), but he's expected to return more quickly. Jones, fresh off a new contract, is an ascending player and strong run-stuffer.

OLB Brian Orakpo: He's one of the leaders on the team and the Titans' best edge rusher. He has at least seven sacks in each of the past three seasons, and he hasn't missed a game during that time. Orakpo will be 32 in July, but he should still be productive in 2018. The Titans need to bring in their next explosive pass-rusher to prepare for the inevitable decline.

ILB Wesley Woodyard: He led the 2017 Titans in tackles after a career revival, and like Orakpo, Woodyard is one of the team's vocal leaders. Tennessee needs to draft his eventual replacement.

ILB Jayon Brown: The 2017 fifth-round pick will see his role increased after Williamson's departure. The Titans will certainly add more competition here via draft and/or free agency, but Brown's coverage ability can be an asset if he wins the starting job.

OLB Derrick Morgan: Morgan is one of the longest-tenured and most consistent Titans players. Like Orakpo, he'll be a good mentor for the next great edge rusher. The Titans need to find that person soon, as the cupboard is barren.

CB Malcolm Butler: The Titans' big free-agency fish will make offenses attack them differently. Butler has 44 pass breakups and eight interceptions since 2015, per Pro Football Focus. He'll likely be a full-time starter on the outside.

FS Kevin Byard: Coming off an all-pro and Pro Bowl season, Byard has established himself as one of the Titans' core members. He's aiming to be the NFL's best safety, and he's on the right track, even if Deion Sanders doesn't know who he is.

SS Johnathan Cyprien: One of the Titans' big 2017 free-agency additions. The Titans could still add a player here to compete with Cyprien or at least add depth.

CB Adoree' Jackson/Logan Ryan: It doesn't really matter who technically is the second starter at cornerback because the Titans will play most games with nickel as their primary defense. My prediction is that Jackson plays primarily outside cornerback and matches up with speedy receivers while Ryan mans the slot.