Titans positional analysis: Defensive line

Titans positional analysis: Defensive line

Back from vacation and now ready to hit the ground running, but there is still some unfinished business with positional analysis as training camp opens on Thursday.

So with no further delay, let’s flip over to the defensive side of the ball and begin our examination of each unit there.

The defensive line has been a strength of the Titans for the past several years, thanks in large part to the play of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. Casey has been a stalwart on the field since being drafted in 2011 – first as a 4-3 defensive tackle and more recently as a 3-4 end.

Casey’s play has been as steady as any Titan over that time span, and has gone from under-appreciated during his time toiling for losing Tennessee teams early in his career to now being recognized as one of the league’s top and most
consistent defensive linemen.

Casey is joined on the defensive front by a pair of Penn State alums. DaQuan Jones was playing his best football before tearing a triceps muscle late last season. But the Titans thought enough of Jones to make him a priority to re-sign in the off-season, despite missing the final six games (four regular season, two postseason). Jones could spend some time on the nose this season, as could his fellow former Nittany Lion, Austin Johnson, who as started to come into his own over the course of last season.

Also in the mix, and purely a nose tackle, will be Bennie Logan, who comes over from the Chiefs and replaces the disappointing Sylvester Williams, who was released.
Elsewhere on the defensive line, depth is a bit thinner, as long-time veteran pass rusher Karl Klug was released. David King is back from last year after seeing limited action a year ago.

The Titans had plans to give Kevin Dodd a chance to play some at end. But Dodd’s no-show may have shelved those plans and put the 2016 second-round pick on the verge of becoming an ex-Titan and another second-round bust.

Beyond the players mentioned above, who figure to make up the main part of the roster, there are several long shots and undrafted rookies in camp, hoping to make enough of an impact to earn a spot at the bottom of the roster or on the practice squad.

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