Ranking Titans' offseason needs as free agency, draft approach

This week's mailbag will address some Tennessee Titans questions that are stewing among the fan base. Top offseason needs, new uniforms and free agency targets are among the topics of choice.

Riyaz, this is a common question among the fan base. So I'll take it another step and rank what I perceive to be the Titans top five offseason needs:

1. Edge rusher: The Titans need one or two young, explosive pass-rushers to contribute now and into the future. Their top three outside linebackers are all nearing the back end of their careers -- Brian Orakpo, 32 in July, and Derrick Morgan, 29, have contracts that expires after the 2018 season. Erik Walden, 33 in August, is a pending free agent. This is a position that can't be barren and should be addressed ideally early in the NFL draft.

2. Interior offensive line: Right guard Josh Kline is an unrestricted free agent. Left guard Quinton Spain is a restricted free agent. The Titans are moving to a zone blocking scheme and they should find an upgrade for at least one of these spots. Andrew Norwell is the big fish, but there are some other worthy options.

3. Inside linebacker: This position is essential in a Dean Pees defense. The Titans will have to decide if they can afford or want to keep pending free agent Avery Williamson. Wesley Woodyard had a phenomenal season in 2017, but he will be 32 in July. Covering running backs was a problem in 2017. Look for the Titans to add here in the draft and/or free agency.

4. Offensive speed: This speaks to the running back and receiver positions, where the Titans were too slow last season. A running back who can be a factor in the passing game and a receiver who can make explosive plays should be priorities.

5. CB/Safety depth: Logan Ryan and Adoree' Jackson appear to be long-term starters here, but it takes more than two cornerbackss in the modern NFL. More starting competition at corner as well as safety will give the Titans a chance to become a top-10 pass defense.

George, the Titans will unveil their new uniforms sometime in April, most likely before the NFL draft. It turns out the AFC South rival Jaguars also plan to release their new jerseys in April.

We will have plenty of coverage when the Titans' uniforms are released. I know the fan base has talked a lot about what colors, logo and style will be displayed. The Titans are keeping it all close to the vest until April, but general manager Jon Robinson and owner Amy Adams Strunk have publicly expressed excitement for how they turned out.

Do you think we should draft a QB for backup or get a veteran or keep Cassel? -- Johnny Goodman, via Facebook

Backup quarterback isn't in my top five needs above, but only because it wouldn't fit. It would be number six. We saw the importance of a QB2 in Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and soon-to-be paid Case Keenum.

I asked Robinson about the Titans' backup QB spot at the Senior Bowl and he said, "We’ll look at the free agents that are out there. Find the right guy. (Matt) Cassel is under contract. We’ll see how it goes."

Marcus Mariota hasn't played 16 games in an NFL season yet. Cassel, who will be 36 in May, isn't an ideal fill-in anymore. We saw that last season. Cassel, who is due $2.5 million in 2018, seems like a possible cut candidate as well.

My priority would be finding a top-tier QB2 through free agency or trade. At varying prices, Teddy Bridgewater, Geno Smith, Matt Moore and Tom Savage could all fit as a backup to Mariota. It might also be wise to double-dip and get a developmental backup in the draft like Riley Ferguson out of Memphis.

All free agency questions are speculation until a player actually hits the market, but I'll play along and answer a few of these questions. The Titans do need more playmakers and slot receiver is a void on this team. Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Landry and Taywan Taylor would be a solid receiver core.

The question is whether the Titans are willing to pay a slot receiver the money that Landry will demand. It's also noteworthy that the Titans need more speed and explosiveness on offense, and that's not exactly Landry's game.

I could see Robinson having some interest in Landry, but only if the price falls in a sweet value zone.

What are your thoughts on the Titans acquiring Sammy Watkins in free agency? -- Armond Crawford, via Facebook

There are certainly some important Watkins connections on this staff in offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, who coached Watkins with the Rams last season, and receivers coach Rob Moore, who coached Watkins as a rookie in Buffalo.

Watkins was reportedly critical of Moore after the two spent a year together with the Bills, so that could make a reunion difficult. There are also serious injury question marks with Watkins despite his No. 1 WR talent.

Watkins is an ideal prove-it candidate on a big-money one-year deal (i.e. Alshon Jeffery in 2017 free agency) or team-protected multi-year deal. But my early prediction is it won't happen in Tennessee.