Like the rest of the NFL during the preseason, the Tennessee Titans have a slew of players competing for a spot on the 53-man roster. While almost all of these individuals have made an impact at some point in the first three games, there are five rookies in particular who will be banking on a strong Week 4 performance to make the regular season roster.
OLB Sharif Finch – The Titans are thin at outside linebacker. They cut former second-round pick Kevin Dodd after he failed to show up for voluntary workouts and was late to the team’s mandatory minicamp. Brian Orakpo has been banged up all preseason, so Tennessee is looking to add another dynamic pass-rusher outside of Harold Landry to go alongside veteran Derrick Morgan. Enter Sharif Finch. Finch had a sack against Green Bay and he should have had another on Jameis Winston. Finch has displayed phenomenal moves thus far and has been able to get to the quarterback early and often. Finch could also make the team due to his special teams ability. While at Temple, Finch became the NCAA’s all-time leader in punt blocks with five in his career. It’s also important to note that Finch got a sizable signing bonus from the team.
TE Anthony Firkser – At the beginning of camp, not many Titans fans were familiar with the name Anthony Firkser, and he seemed like a long-shot to make the team. Firkser may still have a ways to go, but the Harvard grad was given a little more hope when the Titans released Philip Supernaw. Firkser caught four balls for 28 yards in the team’s first two contests, but had a breakout game against Pittsburgh with five receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. He has even worked with the first-team, alongside Jonnu Smith, in Delanie Walker’s days off.
Firkser may have to dazzle the coaching staff again in Week 4 to beat out veteran Luke Stocker, but he has put himself in a spot to succeed.
QB Luke Falk – Falk was selected in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and was the only offensive player taken by the Titans. Falk has not been as good as many had hoped — Armchair Titans discussed his preseason woes on the most recent podcast. He is 19-of-34 for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception in three appearances against mostly third-team defenses.
Players available in the NFL Draft when the Titans selected Luke Falk:
Equanimeous St. Brown
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) August 19, 2018
RB Akrum Wadley – As it stands, Wadley is the fourth running back behind Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis and David Fluellen. After not receiving a single carry on Saturday, it’s clear that Wadley will need to make a splash in special teams, like he did against the Packers, to get a nod for the 53-man roster this season. If he fails to make the roster, don’t expect him to last through waivers for a spot on the practice squad. Wadley’s name has been praised and the hype surrounding him has surely caught the attention of the rest of the league.
“I just have to go out there and give my all. And whatever happens, happens.”
S Dane Cruikshank – Wednesday was the first time Cruikshank practiced since injuring what appeared to be his shoulder against Green Bay. He finds a spot on this list after avoiding the injured reserve. Cruikshank is a hard-hitting safety that would pair well next to Kevin Byard and be able to play behind newly-signed Kenny Vaccaro. Don’t be surprised if Cruikshank plays ample time in the final preseason game — I think the coaching staff will want to see him play some snaps against the Minnesota Vikings.