The Tennessee Titans have been one of the most dominant teams in the preseason. Sure, these games are meaningless, but even the backups and fringe roster players have impressed. Tennessee held both the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to just three points in its exhibition matchups, has yet to turn the ball over and even both backup quarterbacks have looked good with Ryan Tannehill sidelined.
Below, we will break down a few players who have seen their stocks rise over the past two weeks, and others who have seen their stocks drop. Tennessee hasn't played many starters, but it has been fun to watch young players on both sides of the ball battle for roster spots. So, who has helped themselves over the past few weeks for the Titans, and who has disappointed? Let's take a look.
Stock up: CB Elijah Molden
The rookie cornerback out of Washington made his debut this past weekend against the Buccaneers after missing the first preseason game, and he had what was truly an incredible performance. He was seemingly always around the ball and led all players in combined tackles with eight, recorded a sack, one pass defensed and two tackles for loss. I mean, just look at these highlights:
The very next snap, Molden blew up a screen pass.
The Titans took cornerback Caleb Farley with their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but maybe Molden is the guy who is NFL-ready right now. He was a three-time All-Pac 12 player, and is clearly a very hungry playmaker who can do a few different things on the field.
This was just one game, but the Titans' secondary is seen as the weak spot on this team. If Molden is a player who can make an impact in his first season, that could help the Titans reach their full potential as a team.
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Stock down: WR Dez Fitzpatrick
Many hope Fitzpatrick is now on the right track after catching a 23-yard touchdown this past weekend, but overall he has had a slow start to his NFL career. After a poor stretch in camp, some even wondered if the fourth-round pick would make the 53-man roster. It appears he's starting to figure things out, but his stock is still down compared to where we hoped it would be at this point.
Fitzpatrick has struggled with drops, and the fact that several other wide receivers are seeing their stocks climb does not help at all. Another part of this is that the selection of Fitzpatrick was seen as a puzzling one. The Titans gave up a fifth-round pick and a seventh-round pick to move up to select him -- nearly 100 picks sooner than CBS NFL Draft Writer Ryan Wilson had predicted Fitzpatrick going.
Fitzpatrick has said he's out to prove the Titans right and everyone else wrong, but he hasn't done that just yet. He will make the 53-man roster, but he's going to have to continue to fight for snaps.
Stock up: WR Mason Kinsey
While Fitzpatrick has seen his stock drop, Kinsey's is currently soaring. The 5-foot-10, 198-pound wideout from Berry College has been the Titans' leading preseason receiver with 10 catches for 107 yards. He caught all four targets for 51 yards against the Falcons and caught six of eight targets for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Whether in camp or in games, Kinsey has been making plays.
Kinsey is not guaranteed to make the final roster, but I'm not sure what else he needs to do to convince the coaching staff that he's a legitimate player. His stock is as high as it's ever been.
Stock down: OT Dillon Radunz
The second-round pick out of North Dakota State is going to get snaps in his rookie season and can still have a bright future, but head coach Mike Vrabel called on him to be better earlier this month and then he got destroyed by fellow rookie Joe Tryon this past weekend.
The reason he finds himself on this list is because some imagined he would be able to challenge for the starting spot at right tackle immediately. That has not happened. Radunz's stock is down right now, but I imagine it goes up in the future
Stock up: K Sam Ficken
Late last month, it appeared the Titans' kicking situation was headed for disaster. Both Tucker McCann and Blake Haubeil -- who have never attempted a kick in a regular-season game -- were struggling in camp. The Titans waived Haubeil and claimed Ficken after he was waived by the New York Jets.
Both McCann and Ficken made all of their field goal and extra point attempts in the Titans' first preseason game against the Falcons, but the former was injured and subsequently waived this week. With Ficken running unopposed, he impressed in Tennessee's second exhibition game. He made all four of his extra point attempts and both of his field goal attempts -- including a 58-yarder. Ficken's performance this past weekend has likely solidified him as the Titans' starting kicker as they enter the regular season. In two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and two with the Jets, he has made 35 of 48 field goal attempts and 49 of 56 extra points.
Stock down: RB Darrynton Evans
Evans is in an interesting situation. He was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Appalachian State to be the versatile counterpart to Derrick Henry, but played in just five games in his rookie season due to injury. He started in Tennessee's first preseason game against the Falcons and rushed four times for 26 yards, but exited in the first quarter after suffering a knee injury.
Evans hasn't practiced since sustaining that injury, which allowed Iowa rookie Mekhi Sargent to explode for 78 yards on 16 carries this past weekend. He also led the Titans in rushing with 58 yards on 16 carries in the first preseason game. Evans has some injury concerns, and now there's another running back making noise behind him. Keep an eye on this situation.