- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
Whether it's a marquee QB or an interior defensive lineman, no team can afford to lose its most valuable player.
So, who steps in if the unfathomable happens? Our NFL Nation reporters and Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl have teamed up to identify each team's most important player and which player in the 2014 draft each team can target to groom as a potential replacement -- MVP insurance. For some teams, their future stars may be slightly younger than others as draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.
Tennessee has a reasonably good stable of defensive tackles beyond Casey, with Sammie Lee Hill, Antonio Johnson and Mike Martin. But none of them are equal forces against the run and the pass, and none of them are capable of posting 10.5 sacks the way Casey did in 2013.
Johnson is a free agent, and guys on the defensive line will likely have altered roles in a new scheme to be installed by new defensive coordinator Ray Horton. They have enough other defensive needs -- edge pass-rusher, play-making linebacker -- that finding depth behind Casey can’t be a priority.
His rookie contract runs through 2014, and re-signing him will be a major priority as the team looks to the future.
Wright caught 94 passes in his second season for 1,079 yards, and his position coach, Shawn Jefferson, said the receiver can revolutionize the slot receiver position. Wright has improved consistently since the Titans drafted him in the first round in 2012 out of Baylor.
He had to play a bit more outside last season because Kenny Britt bombed.
Wright and deep threat Justin Hunter, a second-round choice in 2013, are one of the best things the Titans have going for them.
Wright might be the most distinctive player on the Tennessee roster, so if the Titans lost him they’d likely have to alter their scheme to make up for it rather than finding a similar player to fill in or replace him.
The Titans have spent two of their last four highest picks on Wright and Hunter. Odds are receiver isn’t a draft priority for them this time. The offense needs a right tackle and maybe, most importantly, a quarterback.
2hEric D. Williams