The tight end position has been a strength for the Tennessee Titans for the past couple of seasons, led by Delanie Walker, who has become an offensive force and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Walker turns 33 this season, but still tied for the team lead with 65 receptions in 2016. That after he had 94 catches in 2015 when he was the Titans’ lone reliable offensive weapon for Marcus Mariota.
Despite listing a two-back offense as their base most often on the depth chart, the Titans are truly a two-tight end based team, relying on that second tight end to block. This season, it will have to be someone new in that second tight end role as Anthony Fasano defected to Miami Dolphins as a free agent.
TEs currently on the roster: 7 _ Delanie Walker (12th season, Central Missouri); Phillip Supernaw (4th season, Ouachita Baptist); Jace Amaro (4th year, Texas Tech); Jonnu Smith (rookie, Florida International); Jerome Cunningham (2nd season, Southern Connecticut); Tim Semisch (1st year, Northern Illinois).
TEs projected on the 53-man roster: 4, plus 1 on practice squad.
Best storylines of camp/preseason: Can Phillip Supernaw replace Anthony Fasano as the primary blocking tight end, can Jace Amaro carve out a role on the team; what will Jonnu Smith’s role be as a rookie.
Analysis: The Titans have complete confidence and faith that Walker will continue to be productive. Despite his age, Walker does not have as much tread off the tires as some, because he was primarily a backup and second tight end for part of his time with the 49ers. Supernaw is on the spot to advance from more than just a special teams guy to being the primary blocking tight end, replacing Fasano. Amaro is the wild-card in this group. He is a quality pass catcher, but his lack of blocking held him back last season after coming over on waivers from the Jets at the start of the year. His blocking has improved, but can he nose into the mix with Supernaw and Smith as the second tight end. Smith is a prospect the Titans are high on, as he is somewhat reminiscent of Walker in his build and style. The thing is, they don’t have to overload him early. Unless injury strikes at the position, they can afford to let him get comfortable in year one and find ways to contribute. Cunningham spent all of last year on the practice squad, and is a classic blocking tight end. Semisch was hurt for a good bit of OTAs, and needs a strong camp to get on the radar.