Eric Decker, Jonnu Smith give Titans new weapons in starting lineup projection

Eric Decker gives Marcus Mariota an experienced, big-play receiver. David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

The Tennessee Titans made giving quarterback Marcus Mariota more help a priority this offseason, and two of the additions should make an immediate impact on offense in 2017. Here's a starting lineup projection:


Quarterback (Marcus Mariota): He's returning from a broken right fibula suffered in Week 16, which was a disappointing end to a very good season with 26 TDs and nine interceptions. He's coming in weighing less than the team wants because he wants to be more mobile this season.

Running back (DeMarco Murray): Murray ran for 1,287 yards and nine touchdowns in his first season with the Titans. He's still going to be their No. 1 ball carrier, but Derrick Henry likely will eat into the workload a bit more to help the 29-year-old Murray.

Tight end (Delanie Walker): The only players in the AFC South who have caught more passes the past three seasons than Walker are DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton. Walker's 222 catches from 2014-16 are more than double that of any other tight end (Coby Fleener's 105 rank second).

Left tackle (Taylor Lewan): He made his first Pro Bowl in 2016 after an up-and-down first two seasons.

Left guard (Quinton Spain): Spain started 19 games in his first two seasons and has made solid improvement.

Center (Ben Jones): Jones hasn't missed a start the past three seasons and has played in every game of his first five seasons.

Right guard (Josh Kline): He started 14 games for the Titans after being claimed off waivers in early September. He was a solid replacement after Chance Warmack went down with a finger injury.

Right tackle (Jack Conklin): He earned All-Pro honors as a rookie in 2016, and the Titans now have one of the better pairs of bookend tackles in the league.

Tight end (Jonnu Smith): The rookie third-round draft pick will be moved around to create mismatches and will be a nice complement to Walker, who turns 33 in August.

Wide receiver (Eric Decker): He signed in mid-June and gives Mariota an experienced, big-play receiver. Decker dealt with shoulder and hip injuries last season that limited him to just three games but has been medically cleared. He gets the nod over No. 5 overall pick Corey Davis.

Wide receiver (Rishard Matthews): He's coming off a career year (team-high 65 catches, 945 yards and nine TDs), which was his first in Nashville after four seasons in Miami.


Defensive end (Jurrell Casey): He's coming off back-to-back Pro Bowls and has been one of the Titans' most durable players: He has missed only two games in six seasons with the Titans.

Nose tackle (Sylvester Williams): The Titans signed the former first-round pick to a three-year deal in March to replace Al Woods. Williams had 94 tackles and six sacks in four seasons with Denver.

Defensive end (DaQuan Jones): The 6-foot-4, 322-pound Jones also can be used as an interior rusher.

Outside linebacker (Brian Orakpo): After missing 24 games in his final three seasons in Washington, Orakpo has played in every game for the Titans the past two seasons and has racked up 17.5 sacks and nine pass breakups.

Inside linebacker (Avery Williamson): He's a solid player who led the Titans in tackles the past two seasons.

Inside linebacker (Wesley Woodyard): This is another solid veteran who isn't flashy but is productive (57 tackles, two sacks, five pass breakups).

Outside linebacker (Derrick Morgan): His nine sacks last season were second on the team only to Orakpo's 10.5 and were a career high.

Cornerback (Logan Ryan): The former New England Patriots player brings two Super Bowl rings and 13 interceptions and instantly becomes the Titans' No. 1 corner.

Free safety (Kevin Byard): Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said Byard, whom the Titans took in the third round in 2016, was among the most impressive players he has interviewed during the pre-draft process in terms of football knowledge.

Strong safety (Johnathan Cyprien): He was a tackling machine in Jacksonville (454 in four seasons) but struggled in coverage.

Cornerback (Adoree' Jackson): The 18th overall pick in the draft isn't particularly big (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) so how will he handle being matched against bigger receivers?

Special teams

Kicker (Ryan Succop): He made 22 of his 24 field goal attempts last season and has made 88.7 percent of his attempts in three seasons with the Titans.

Punter (Brett Kern): Only six punters had more punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line than Kern (32). His 44.2 yards per punt ranked 23rd.

Kick returner (Eric Weems): He averaged 23 yards per kickoff return last season in Atlanta and should take over that role for the Titans.

Punt returner (Adoree' Jackson): Weems also can do this (11.4 per return last season for the Falcons), but Jackson has blazing speed and will get a chance to win the job.