Titan Insider: Defensive Line




When it comes to the Tennessee Titans roster, there are few places where one can look and not see some sort of need for improvement.

If one place where major upgrades were not needed from 2015, it is the defensive line. This group returns all three starters from the defensive front a year ago, led by Pro Bowl selection Jurrell Casey. Casey, who made the Pro Bowl as an alternate, finally got his due as a player, earning praise from opponents and teammates alike for his quality play on a struggling, under-the-radar team in the Titans.

Alongside Casey, the Titans have Al Woods, who re-signed for three more years after a solid season a year ago as a run-stuffer and space occupier. Woods, however, could get a challenge for his starting spot this season as the Titans are high on second-round pick Austin Johnson of Penn State. Johnson has run-stuffing ability and also some pass rush skills that has the Titans excited.

The other spot on the line belongs to another Penn State alum in DaQuan Jones, who came on in his first year as a starter in 2015.

For depth, the Titans have second-year pro Angelo Blackson, who was strong in spot duty a year ago. Also available is Karl Klug, a veteran who has carved out a nice niche as a situational pass rusher, most often used in sub-packages, including some that feature a four-man front.

Elsewhere, the Titans have veteran Ropati Pitoitua, who fell to the bottom rung of the pecking order last season, being a healthy scratch for most games. Pitoitua, a former starter, needs to have a strong camp and earn a role to justify a high salary in the final year of his contract.

Other than Johnson, the Titans did spend many resources to add to the defensive line, but undrafted nose tackle Antwuan Woods and undrafted end Mehdi Abdesmad are a couple of intriguing projects to keep an eye on in training camp to see if they can earn a roster spot.

See everyday Titans coverage from Terry on his website www.titaninsider.com.

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