Dec 4, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills offense lines up against the Tennessee Titans defense during the third quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Titans beat the Bills 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans Projected Starters: Defense

 

The defense was tougher to project than the offense. We have some intriguing rookies and some veterans who have not played at the top of their game lately.

Here are the projected starters for the 2012 Tennessee Titans offense:

Defensive Ends

Derrick Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley

Wimbley is an instant upgrade from last year. He will be rushing the quarterback from all over the field. Kamerion will also be used as an outside rusher in 3-4 packages. He has the perfect combination of size and speed. At least double digit sacks are expected from him.

Morgan is in the hot seat. He showed glimpses of what he is capable of doing late in the season but if he doesn’t start to be consistent he’ll be wearing another uniform next season. His starting job will be pushed from hungry players around the roster.

Defensive Tackles

Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin

Yes, Mike Martin. For me, Martin was the best value pick for the Titans from this year’s draft. He has the size to play in the interior, stop the run, and chase players until the whistle. He’ll share a lot of time with Karl Klug, who will manage pass rush situations.

Jurrel Casey will have a long and productive career. He is a solid starter and could become one of the best in the league. He is strong, fast and disruptive. Casey is the real deal and the Titans know it.

Linebackers

Collin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers, Will Witherspoon

Zach Brown is not ready, he may certainly take Witherspoon’s job, but I don’t see that happening until late in the season. He is a raw talent who will either be a great player or a bust. Don’t worry, he’s not allergic to contact.

Colin McCarthy was the steal of last year’s draft. He is becoming one of the leaders of this defense and he will benefit a lot from having a complete offseason. Colin showed great instincts last season. He’ll be a starter in the league for many years.

Ayers was solid but not spectacular. He will also benefit from having a complete offseason and big things are expected from him this year. He will have to improve his production rushing the passer if he wants to remain a undisputed starter on this team. He may have a bright future if coaches are able to unlock his full potential.

Cornerbacks

Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner

I really like them together. Young, fast, smart, playmakers that may easily play together for many years.

Jason outplayed his twin last season by recording 103 tackles and 2 interceptions. He was consistent through the season and was always around the ball. He has still some room for improvement, but he is on his way to become an indisputable starter in this league.

Alterraun saw his production go down last season. He lost some playing time to Jason as Cortland Finnegan had the number one spot. This season he will have all the opportunities to show he can be the starter for this team for the nest several years. He is a playmaker and is always around the ball.

Safeties

Michael Griffin, Jordan Babineaux

The Titans showed they trust Griffin by giving him a five-year contract last week. He had a down year last season but still showed some glimpses of the pro bowler we saw a few years ago. If he can get back to that level, he certainly is one of the best in the business. He has some room of improvement when we talk about tackling technique but he still is a dependable starter.

Babs surprised us all last season. He was all over the field making tackles. His only issue is his lack of speed but he certainly solidified his status as starting safety for the Titans this upcoming season.

 

Don’t forget to check the Offensive Starters I projected last week at http://titansized.com/2012/06/18/tennessee-titans-projected-starters-offense/

 

 

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Tags: AFC South Akeem Ayers Alterraun Verner Collin McCarthy Cortland Finnegan Derrick Morgan Jason McCourty Jordan Babineaux Jurrell Casey Kamerion Wimbley Karl Klug Michael Griffin NFL Tennessee Titans Titan Sized Titans Will Witherspoon Zach Brown

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