After last season’s disaster in the trenches, discussing ways to improve the offensive line has been a popular topic of conversation within the Tennesse Titans’ fanbase all offseason.
The Titans made sweeping changes all across the board, with Nicholas Petit-Frere (right tackle) and Aaron Brewer (center) being the only two starters from last year’s group who figures to be back.
However, Brewer, who is tendered but still able to sign an offer sheet with another team, is expected to start at center now that the team has officially moved on from Ben Jones.
The Texas State product spent the 2021 season starting at left guard and was somehow the only one to play in every game despite being the smallest lineman on the team.
Tennessee also signed two new potential starters in Andre Dillard and Daniel Brunskill, with Dillard expected to play left tackle and Brunskill one of the guard spots, and more likely than not at right guard.
Unfortunately, even though these additions to the team are clear upgrades over last year’s product, they didn’t necessarily move the needle when it came to the current 2023 pass protection expectations.
Based on the depth charts projected by Ourlads, Ben Baldwin took a look at every team’s expected performance in pass protection.
Note: Position columns represent average percentile ranking based on past play or draft position. PEPA represents predicted EPA based on pass-protection grades at each position.
These are the Titans’ pre-draft offensive line starters listed on the Ourlads depth chart:
- LT: Andre Dillard
- LG: Daniel Brunskill
- C: Aaron Brewer
- RG: Dillon Radunz
- RT: Nicholas Petit-Frere
For fun: taking the 5 currently listed Ourlads starters for each team at face value and to guess where teams might have OL needs in the draft (projection based on exponential decay function of PFF pass block grade) pic.twitter.com/R3wSLxXIQe
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) March 21, 2023
After reviewing all of the information at hand, a few things immediately stood out about the Titans, who as a whole finished with the second-worst mark in the league.
For starters, Dillard’s grade is significantly higher than I would’ve expected it to be (88). For comparison, he’s only two points lower than Jordan Mailata (90), the Philadelphia Eagles lineman who he eventually lost his starting job to.
Another thing that stood out was Ourlads’ choices atop the depth chart at both guard spots, mainly because Radunz is highly unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after tearing his ACL late in the year.
Also, most expect Brunskill to fill in at right guard instead of left after he started there in San Fran in 2021. That said, he does have the versatility to play on either side if absolutely necessary.
Lastly, this metric is clearly not a fan of Petit-Frere, as he was tied for the lowest score amongst all starting right tackles (three) in the league.
Tennessee will surely add more talent to its unit through the draft — and most likely somewhere within the first three rounds — in hopes of landing another potential starter (or two) upfront.