It happens every year. The infusion of new talent means some veterans will lose starting jobs or playing time. Some veterans will be cut to make room on the roster for the rookies.
Following is how I see this year’s draft picks impacting the Titans veterans, after the break.
Round 1, WR Kendall Wright
Who is impacted: Among the WRs, Nate Washington, Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams should each get less snaps. (Related: Tom’s article on how the Titans might target the receivers this year.)
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Marc Mariani – He earned a roster spot as a rookie, primarily as a KR/PR, but Williams, an accomplished returner in college, could take that over if the Titans need to use Mariani’s roster spot for another position. Mariani, if he remains on the roster, probably won’t get many targets at all, unless it’s in garbage time.
Round 2, LB Zach Brown
Who is impacted: Will Witherspoon, whose starting job will be challenged.
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Witherspoon and/or Gerald McRath. Spoon, who is due $3.5M in this final year of his contract, could be a money-saving decision. Or the Titans could release McRath, who figures to be the third Will on the depth chart and is also in the final year of his contract.
Round 3, DT Mike Martin
Who is impacted: Shaun Smith, who was an overpaid and out of shape disappointment last year, and Zach Clayton, a seldom used (3 games) seventh-round draft pick last year.
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Smith and/or Clayton
Round 4, CB Coty Sensabaugh
Who is impacted: Tommie Campbell, Ryan Mouton and Chris Hawkins should all compete with Sensabaugh to be the third/nickel corner.
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Hawkins and/or Mouton
Round 5, TE Taylor Thompson
Who is impacted: Daniel Graham
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Graham – you can pretty much say goodbye to him.
Round 6, S Markelle Martin
Who is impacted: Robert Johnson
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Probably nobody this year, unless the Titans get a free agent safety for Jerry Gray, in which case Johnson’s spot will be jeopardized.
Round 7, DE Scott Solomon
Who is impacted: Dave Ball and Malcolm Sheppard
Whose roster spot is in jeopardy: Ball and/or Sheppard
As you probably noticed, I have only included the more prominent names among the veterans who may be impacted.
What do you think? Are there any other Titans veterans who will be affected by this year’s draft class?