The Titans grabbed an outside linebacker from UCLA in the draft, selecting Aaron Wallace with the first pick of the seventh round, No. 222 overall.
Wallace replaced Myles Jack in the Bruins’ starting lineup this season after Jack missed all of the 2015 campaign with a knee injury. The Titans bypassed Jack in round two as he went to the Jacksonville Jaguars three picks after Tennessee selected Kevin Dodd of Clemson.
“When he went down, I had to step up and assume a bigger role,” Wallace said of replacing Jack. “It just so happened that I played well and my role kind of expanded.”
Wallace, whose father (also named Aaron Wallace) was a former second-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, was a backup for the Bruins until Jack’s injury pushed him into the starting lineup. He responded well as he was an honorable mention All-Pac 12 selection, with 65 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks as a senior.
“I think it was just finally getting opportunities to get significant snaps and to be able to go out there and show what I was capable of,” Wallace said.
Wallace has speed as he ran a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day.
Wallace will likely come in an compete for an outside linebacker spot and be special teams help for Tennessee. He is the second outside linebacker the Titans have traded this weekend, as they selected Dodd with the 33rd overall pick in the draft. Wallace said he just wanted to find the right situation, regardless of where he was drafted.
“I wasn’t too worried about when or if I was drafted. I was more worried about finding the right situation for me. So I’m very happy,” he said of being chosen by the Titans.
Wallace worked out for the Titans prior to the draft and had played Titans linebackers coach Lou Spanos before, as Spanos had previously been with the Bruins before coming to Tennessee.