The Titans are banking on D’Andre Walker

The Tennessee Titans failed to make the playoffs last season with all the buzz they entered the season with. They were uneven at best and suffered many highs and lows. When the offseason hit, there were questions coming from all angles regarding the Titans future. From the status of Marcus Mariota to the offensive line, there were questions offensively. Defensively, there was always the question of who they would bring in this offseason to rush the passer off the edge. Well, that question seemed like one that would get answered in the draft as the Titans signed veteran Cameron Wake to rush the passer opposite the guy many expect to step into the starting lineup this year as an outside linebacker, Harold Landry III. While everyone was expecting the edge pass rusher to get drafted in the first round for Tennessee, the Titans did not go that direction. Instead, the Titans ended up drafting interior defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons with their first-round pick.

The former Mississippi State defensive lineman is talented and has the potential to be a very good interior defensive lineman. While the talent is nice to add, Simmons still did not solve the issue the Titans had last season rushing the passer from the edge and no one is sure when he will be ready since he tore his ACL preparing for the NFL Draft. Those doubts were there all the way until the Titans selected former Georgia Bulldogs outside linebacker, D’Andre Walker. The talented outside linebacker had two solid seasons in his junior and senior years, accumulating 13 sacks over those two seasons. His production was solid and he can be a solid player, but the Titans are hoping they hit a homerun with the pick of Walker. Wake is hopefully going to be a solid piece for the Titans, but the reality is he is a 37 year old still playing football who has declined in production, especially from the 2017 season to the 2018 season, where he went from 10.5 sacks to 6 sacks.

With Walker present, the Titans hope is that he can develop into a solid pass rusher opposite Harold Landry III. His comparisons currently line up with some ranging from Dee Ford to former Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston. He can definitely make some things happen, and he showed that in college, but he does have some things to work on. One thing in particular would be his ability to play against bigger people. While he’s not necessarily a short guy himself (Walker stands at 6’2″ and 251 pounds), he can get overpowered by offensive tackles because of his positioning. Hopefully Wake will be able to provide guidance there along with Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. If they are able to coach up the technique things and put Walker in position to succeed, then the Titans get a steal in Walker this draft.

Simmons is the most talked about player right now because of where he was drafted, but Walker could be one player that means more to Tennessee than any of the other draft picks. Only time will tell, but his impact could be huge depending on how fast he progresses with the team.

 

 

 

 

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