Terms: Three years, $30 million.
ESPN 150 ranking: 39th
Grade: A Ryan is guaranteed to be an absolute system fit, considering that Titans general manager Jon Robinson scouted him for the Patriots when they used a third-round pick on him out of Rutgers in 2013. When Robinson was hired in Tennessee, he cited Ryan as an example of how he used analytics. A heat map he created for Ryan and other corners the Patriots were considering in the same range helped differentiate Ryan from the field and crystalized Robinson’s opinion. Ryan will help more than the pass defense. He was the leading tackle in the regular season for the Super Bowl champions and is willing and able to be an asset in run support.
What it means: The Titans fared terribly against wide receivers last season: Per ESPN Stats & Information, they allowed 3,018 receiving yards by wide receivers, the highest of any team in the league. Only the Rams (241) allowed more completions to wide receivers than the Titans (238) last season. Ryan should be a key piece to a secondary that will include new strong safety Johnathan Cyprien. Right now, the corners include Ryan, Jason McCourty (also a Rutgers product), second-year men LeShaun Sims and Kalan Reed and nickelback Brice McCain. The Titans are very likely to add at least one more in a draft that is deep at the position.
What's the risk: The high expectations of fans. Ryan is a solid, ascending player, but he isn't automatically going to rank as an unquestioned No. 1 cornerback who automatically matches up against the opposition's best receiver. He will be part of a unit that will have some other new faces and will help the Titans fare far better than they did as a pass defense unit in 2016.