A former NFL executive has pegged the Tennessee Titans as one of the NFL’s most overrated teams headed into the 2021 season.
Joe Banner, who has more than two decades of experience as a high-ranking executive with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons, wrote that there are “too many question marks” with the Titans. His assessment is that they currently should not be considered Super Bowl contenders He even was skeptical that they should be considered a favorite to win the AFC South.
Banner made his case this week in a piece at The33rdTeam.com, a website that features analysis from former NFL staffers and scouts. The only other team he considered significantly overrated is the New Orleans Saints.
Banner acknowledged that running back Derrick Henry and wide receiver A.J. Brown are big-time performers who give the Titans two notable playmakers on offense. He did, however, express some concern that Henry has reached the point in his career at which his performance will start to decline.
Beyond that, Banner took issue with almost every other part of the roster.
A rundown of some of his most notable assessments:
• On quarterback Ryan Tannehill: “I like Ryan Tannehill and think he is good, but he is not phenomenal. He is coming off a few of his best seasons, in which he has stayed healthy, but I also see a player that will be 33 by the start of training camp that has had previous knee and shoulder injuries.”
• On the offensive line: “I still think the Titans have a good line, but I do not consider it as good as it was a few seasons ago and certainly not to the level of some of the other AFC contenders like Indianapolis or Kansas City.”
• On left tackle Taylor Lewan: “Lewan will be 30 by the start of this season and there is no guarantee he will return to Pro Bowl form, or if he will even be at 100% heading into Week 1.”
• On wide receiver Julio Jones: “I still think Jones is a solid player and an above-average route runner. He just is not the same player he was earlier in his career and he has major injury concerns, specifically an ankle that is not expected to ever reach 100% again.”
• On first-round draft pick Caleb Farley: “… a compelling prospect but has had multiple back surgeries already and has not shown he can survive the rigors of an NFL season.”
• On outside linebacker Bud Dupree: “There is no guarantee he will be ready by Week 1, and he is certainly not going to be at 100% when he first takes the field.”