Could Ray Horton like D’Qwell Jackson as an ILB for new #Titans defense?
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) February 26, 2014
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 26, 2014
D’Qwell Jackson spent one season as the inside linebacker for Ray Horton’s 3-4 hybrid defense with the Cleveland Browns. The 30-year-old linebacker had started 96 games through eight NFL seasons. TheBrowns weren’t willing to meet the financial obligations toward a player who had an upcoming $4 million roster bonus plus $2.6 million base salary.
One team’s loss is another team’s gain? The Tennessee Titans need linebacker depth. There’s no clear-cut picture as to who’ll start at inside linebacker in Ray Horton‘s defense. While that tweet shows Horton giving Jackson a glowing review, let’s see what Pro Football Focus (PFF) has to say about Jackson:
As recently as 2011, Jackson was one of the better inside linebackers in the game. Then he got paid like he was one of the best and his play declined significantly. His Run Stop Percentage of 5.9% in 2013 was fourth worst of the 40 qualifying inside/middle linebackers. In contrast, in 2011 he was making run stops nearly twice as often at 10.2%
During their projected lineup series (HERE), PFF graded him as a below-average starter / adequate role player.
Grading systems may not like him. Regardless, Jackson is definitely a serviceable depth option if he comes at an affordable rate. Other than Moise Fokou, the Titans have a slew of young linebackers who could benefit from him.
Even if the Titans added him for depth, inside linebacker remains a draft possibility.