Top 6 Offensive Linemen Who Could Help Tennessee Titans In 2013
Tennessee Titans Need Interior Offensive Linemen, But Who?
Wanted: interior offensive linemen for the Tennessee Titans. For more information, please see Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews.
On Mar. 12, free agency will begin for the 2013-14 NFL season. Owner Bud Adams has implied that this is a do-or-die season. Unless this team makes the playoffs, many coaches and front-office executives could look for new work in Jan. 2014.
Typically, free agents don’t flock to Nashville. The Titans rarely overpay for free agents. Their lack of national exposure and nine-year drought for playoff victories has made them less attractive than other markets. Nashville alone isn’t enough of a sell to lure most top-tier free agents.
With offensive linemen, that isn’t necessarily the case. The Titans have a unique selling point: they have two former Hall of Fame offensive linemen on their coaching staff. Their head coach and offensive line coach both enjoyed Hall of Fame careers with this franchise. Veterans such as Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson have been willing to end their careers in Nashville.
Starting offensive tackles are set with David Stewart and Michael Roos. Fernando Velasco is a restricted free agent who will probably return. There’s doubt as to whether he’ll stay at center or move to guard. At age 35, Hutchinson’s status is up in the air.
Leroy Harris and Eugene Amano have not runaway with their opportunities. At the least, the Titans need one starting interior offensive lineman. Where Velasco plays will determine whether any new player is a center or guard.
Who are some possible additions for the 2013-14 season? Here are six interior offensive linemen who could join Velasco and possibly Hutchinson.
Andy Levitre (OG)
According to Pro Football Focus, Andy Levitre is the No. 2 guard available in free agency. At age 27 (in May), Levtire is an athletic and versatile guard who spent his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Levitre is toward the top of the team’s wish list.
Louis Vasquez (OG)
26-year-old Louis Vasquez (in Apr.) spent his first four seasons with the San Diego Chargers. The 6-5 and 335-pound guard is another free agent who should attract much attention.
Chance Warmack (OG)
Chance Warmack is widely considered as the best overall prospect—not just guard—in the 2013 NFL Draft. Despite his perceived lack of versatility, Warmack is a potential top ten pick.
Jonathan Cooper (OG)
Whoever plays offensive guard must protect Jake Locker from Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. If it were any other draft, Jonathan Cooper is the No. 1 guard prospect. He’ll fight for that honor with Warmack.
Travis Frederick, Barrett Jones (C)
Barrett Jones and Travis Frederick are considered as the top two centers in the draft. Both of these prospects have played multiple positions during their collegiate football careers. Jones has played tackle, guard and center. Frederick has played guard and center. Both players come from universities that produce NFL-caliber offensive linemen.
What if the Titans move Velasco back to offensive guard? That versatility would give them a backup plan if Velasco struggled with the transition. It’s also useful once Hutchinson retires.
Joshua Huffman is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your LinkedIn and Google networks