Titans 53 predictions, tight ends, May
I think the Titans have a considerable problem here and offered a suggestion as to how I think they could handle this here.
When Mularkey took over as coach, he hired a “hog.” Hall of famer Russ Grimm was on the linemen that led the way for Smith. He teaches the Titans line and their improvement last year was outstanding.
Mularkey took over a team with arguably the best blocking tight end of the last ten years in Craig Stevens. Anthony Fasano was both an outstanding blocker and a good receiver. Delanie Walker was one of the best receiving tight ends in the game and a more than capable blocker. These were more cogs for his domination. The Titans had the offensive line and these guys, lined up alongside them, were more pieces that could push the other team around.
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The Titans have undergone an enormous change since this time last year. Stevens retired and Fasano left via free agency. They added Dennis Kelly by trade, Tim Lelito via free agency, and Jonnu Smith in the draft. This is not the same unit at all.
Phillip Supernaw is “next in line” to replace Fasano. I am not of the opinion that he will perform as well. I think he is “fine” but not special. We shall see. He will get “first crack at it.” If he can step up his game, the Titans offense can remain as is.
Jerome Cunningham is a very good blocker but questionable receiver. Jace Amaro is a wonderful receiver and poor blocker. Can either of them fix their deficiencies and replace Fasano?
Dennis Kelly and Tim Lelito are offensive linemen “dressed up as tight ends.”
Rookie Jonnu Smith will have his own growing pains to overcome. He has extremely favorable reviews for both blocking and receiving. Very few tight ends put up gaudy stats as rookies. It is highly likely that it takes Smith some time to develop and adjust to the NFL game.
In short, the Titans don’t have another Fasano so I think something has to give here.
As far as making the roster, I would predict Walker, Smith, Supernaw, Amaro, and Cunningham. Please note Kelly is in my offensive line list. Five tight ends is high, but Mularkey loves his tight ends and…. that’s the prediction I’m rolling with in May.