Titans add to edge stable with D'Andre Walker, but is he enough?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In D’Andre Walker, the Titans finally found an addition to their stable of edge rushers, a position in dire need of additional juice.

Conditioning issues and the degree of his football IQ may have been the reasons that Walker, projected by many to be drafted as high as the second round, fell all the way to the fifth where he picked 168th.DAndreWalker2

(Photo courtesy Georgia athletics.)

I wrote earlier that the Titans had failed in what appears to be a solid draft to find a true difference-maker at edge rusher, and it’s unlikely they have one in Walker as a fifth-round pick, at least right from the start.

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With no OLB until the fifth round, Dean Pees will need to scheme up pass rush

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amani Hooker looks to be a quality football player, and the Titans moved up five spots in the fourth round to get him.

Safety, though, is certainly not the sort of need position that outside linebacker appears to be.Pees2

No outside linebacker on the Titans had more than 4.5 sacks last season. Harold Landry is certainly expected to build on that number, and Cameron Wake had 6 in Miami.

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Titans need to hit undrafteds of their own, instead of signing hits from elsewhere in four years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a six-man draft class on the roster, Jon Robinson’s scouting staff is hard at work on building a quality class of undrafted rookies.

And it’s an area where the team needs to do better.ButlerJaguars

Sharif Finch looks like a find from last year. He was a contributor from the edge as a rookie.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Nate Davis out of Charlotte of Conference USA arrived at the Senior Bowl among players from much bigger schools from much more high-profile conferences, he didn’t flinch.

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(Photo courtesy Charlotte athletics.)

“I think it helped me out a ton,” he said. “Just going into Senior Bowl week, you’ve just got to think it’s the same game you’ve been playing since you were 7 years old and don’t psych yourself out.” [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A.J. Brown looks the part and the Titans’ selection at No. 51 fills a big need at wide receiver, a spot where the team’s struggled for its entire existence in Tennessee.

He figures to start opposite Corey Davis in base, with Adam Humphries joining them in the slot when the Titans go three-wide, probably (hopefully?) more often than they have in the past.AJBrown2

(Photo courtesy Ole Miss athletics.)

Brown ran a 4.49 and the Titans say he’s 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds. [Unlocked]

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Jurrell Casey, Jeffery Simmons could be the interior pressure that gets to Andrew Luck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Jeffery Simmons is healthy and on the field next to Jurrell Casey, the Titans should have an excellent interior defensive line.

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(Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics.)

And that could be the key to a change of fortune against the player and the team that Tennessee has to beat in order to go from good to great, which is their theme.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s not easy to smooth over a case like that of Jeffery Simmons, who was captured on video repeatedly hitting a woman in 2016, was found guilty of malicious mischief and plead no contest to simple assault.Simmons2

(Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics.)

Thursday night, Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel were ready to do so as they spoke of the defensive lineman from Mississippi State they chose for the Titans with the 19th pick in the draft and the edges were already softened for me – probably too easily. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jeffery Simmons should ultimately bring the Titans a very good defensive lineman.

But first, the 19th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft will bring a bunch of questions:SimmonsTwitter

How long will it take his knee to be healthy? He tore his left ACL in February training and will not be ready until well into the season, which would wind up a redshirt deal.

And how will he and the franchise that chose him explain an ugly 2016 incident that resulted in him being found guilty of malicious mischief and pleading no contest to simple assault?

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