Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Gaining value: Titans after the draft

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Free agency has the potential to change things. But after the draft, here are three Titans who are more valuable/ more important than they were before. (Jim Wyatt hit on this thoroughly before I got here.)

Chris Hope: The veteran strong safety slipped last season and is due a $500,000 roster bonus and a $6.5 million salary. The Titans will surely want to lower that number. But they do not necessarily have a viable alternative on the roster and the safety market in free agency will be thin with a lot of demand. Perhaps new defensive coordinator Jerry Gray can scheme better to help get Hope in situations where he can still do OK.

Lavelle Hawkins: The fourth-year receiver has a new position coach and a new coordinator and will get another chance to win a role. He’s behind Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and, presumably, Damian Williams. But the Titans didn’t add a receiver in the draft to challenge for a depth spot. (This gives the Titans the benefit of the doubt in terms of parting ways with Justin Gage.)

Leroy Harris: The incumbent left guard is a free agent if four years is enough to qualify. Mike Munchak is convinced Harris will be better in his second year as a starter. Because of that, I wasn’t expecting the Titans to attempt any sort of upgrade. But a lot of analysts listed interior line as a draft need. There isn’t another guy on the roster with any real experience who’s a candidate to replace Harris.