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2 Titans first-stringers in danger of losing starting jobs ahead of 2022 NFL season

Tennessee Titans, Titans training camp, Titans roster, Titans depth chart, Malik Willis

Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans lost their best player in Derrick Henry last season for nine games and still won the AFC at 12-5. This speaks to the quality up and down the Titans roster. However, the AFC South franchise made some big moves this offseason, which are sure to shake up the Titans depth chart before Week 1. The biggest changes for the team came on the offensive side of the ball, and this is the area to watch in Titans training camp as far as positional battles go.

Here are two Tennessee first-stringers in danger of losing their starting jobs ahead of 2022 NFL season.

Titans first-stringers in danger of losing starting jobs in 2022

WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

Last season, Tennessee trotted out A.J. Brown and Julio Jones as its top two wide receivers. This year’s Titans WR roster at the position looks wildly different.

This offseason, the organization cut Jones and traded Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. The front office also traded for the Los Angeles Rams Robert Woods, who tore his ACL between Weeks 9 and 10 last season.

Outside of Woods, Titans training camp is now full of unproven pass-catchers in 2022.

The first Titans depth chart of the season lists third-year wideout Nick Westbrook-Ikhine as WR2. The 2019 undrafted free agent has 30 NFL games, seven starts, 41 catches, 509 yards, and four touchdowns in his career.

His 38 catches for 476 yards and four TDs last season, though, made him the Titans’ second-leading receiver behind Brown.

Now in his third season — a year many WRs famously breakout — Westbrook-Ikhine has earned that second starting wideout slot to start the year. However, there is plenty of competition breathing down his neck.

With the pick they got from the Eagles in the Brown trade, the Titans took Arkansas WR Treylon Burks No. 18 overall. The Titans roster also has five-year veteran Josh Malone, fourth-year player Cody Hollister, and second-year Titans Dez Fitzpatrick and Racey McMath.

A top 20 draft pick like Burks is the most likely to take Westbrook-Ikhine’s job, but all these pass-catchers bring something different to the table. It will be a fascinating Titans training camp competition to watch.

QB Ryan Tannehill

Legendary football coach Jerry Glanville once said the NFL stands for “not for long.” He was yelling at a ref when he said it, but the sentiment is true for players, too.

Ryan Tannehill is an OK NFL quarterback. He has one Pro Bowl nod, a Comeback Player of the Year Award, a 72-59 record as a starter, and a 199 TD to 102 INT ratio. You can win regular season games with Tannehill and even a playoff game with the right team around him.

Are you winning the Super Bowl with Ryan Tannehill, though? Probably not.

During his three seasons on the Titans roster, Tannehill’s backups have been Logan Woodside, Kevin Hogan, and Marcus Mariota. This season, the 34-year-old QB has rookie Malik Willis behind him on the Titans depth chart.

Malik Willis was the best QB prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Due to his size and small school past, he dropped to the third round and Tennessee scooped him up with the No. 89 pick.

Wills has been good in Titans training camp and had some moments of true brilliance in the team’s first preseason game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. He’s still a rookie, so he’s not processing the game yet as fast as Tannehill can, but if that comes quickly this preseason, watch out.

Tannehill almost single-handedly cost his team a playoff win last season with a bad fourth-quarter interception and some questionable plays down the stretch vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

If Malik Willis picks up the NFL game quickly and Tannehill struggles at all, the calls for the rookie will grow loud.

Chances are near 100% that Tannehill will start Week 1. But you never know. Mike Vrabel won a Super Bowl as a player in 2001 when his coach replaced a well-known veteran named Drew Bledsoe with an unknown youngster named Tom Brady. If anyone knows the benefit of a bold move at QB, it’s Vrabel.