The Tennessee Titans are scheduled to host Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader for a pre-draft visit soon, according to a league source.
Reader is a prime example of pre-draft visits being sometimes used on players where the scouting evaluation might be somewhat incomplete. Reader took time away from the Clemson football program in 2015 for what was termed “personal reasons” that were not publicly disclosed.
Reader, who weighs 325 pounds, but was athletic enough to play on Clemson’s baseball team as well, missed the first six games of his senior season with his absence before returning to the Tigers for the stretch portion of their run to the NCAA National Championship Game. He had one of his best games of the season in the Tigers championship game loss to Alabama with four total tackles, including three solo stops.
After his college career ended, Reader then participated in the Senior Bowl and may have helped his draft stock there after a somewhat lost senior season for the Tigers. Reader, per NFLDraftScout.com, has the athletic skills to be an impact player at the NFL level, though it never really translated in college.
The Titans have shown interest and have done their homework on a number of defensive linemen available in what is considered a deep draft at that position. Among the players already worked out by the Titans are Florida’s Jonathan Bullard and Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler.
The Titans re-signed nose tackle Al Woods this off-season, but he is the only true nose tackle on the roster. Tennessee has not made any overtures toward bringing back veteran nose tackle Sammie Lee Hill, who is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Defensive ends Angelo Blackson and DaQuan Jones can play in the middle if needed, but the Titans are likely shopping for someone who can help at the nose tackle position.