With their second pick in the second round, No. 43 overall, the Tennessee Titans selected defensive tackle Austin Johnson.
The Penn State product was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in the media poll and a third-team selection by the coaches.
Johnson said he met Titans defensive line coach Nick Eason informally at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February, but became excited about the possibilities with Tennessee after the Titans brought him to Nashville for a pre-draft visit.
“I went up for a visit and it was just amazing. I felt at home. I felt that connection and it was amazing,” Johnson said.
Johnson was chosen the winner o the Reid-Robinson Award as Penn State’s top defensive lineman.
The Titans had a need for another defensive tackle to play on the nose, as they re-signed Al Woods, but did not have another true nose tackle on the roster, after opting not to re-sign veteran Sammie Lee Hill as a free agent.
“I believe I can play nose, and I believe I can also play a 3-4 end. I believe I can do a lot of stuff and lay all three positions,” Johnson said.
Johnson (6-4, 314) had 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks for the Nittany Lions in 2015.
Johnson rejoins a former Penn State teammate, DaQuan Jones, in Tennessee. Jones was a fourth-round pick of the Titans back in 2014 and became a starting defensive end last year.
“It’s about time we got back on the field together on the same team,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Jones was actually with him at the time he was drafted.
“He’s actually here with me and that was cool to see him come in. We kind of shared a special moment (when I got drafted),” Johnson said.
Johnson said he prides himself on hard work, and will bring that with him to the Titans.
“I’m going to work hard and do whatever I can to stay on the field and make an impact as quickly as I can and help the team gets some wins,” Johnson said.