Dec 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs with the ball while being pursued by Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D

Tennessee Titans Related News: D'Qwell Jackson Signs with Colts


Those hoping that D’Qwell Jackson would become part of the Tennessee Titans family are out of luck. Not only that, but Jackson may have become the most hated middle linebacker among Titans enthusiasts after he signed a four-year contract with AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts.

Linebacker depth is a glaring issue for a Titans team who’s looking to transition into a 3-4 hybrid defense. Many Titans fans believed that Jackson was a good fit here because of his familiarity with defensive coordinator Ray Horton, increased organizational stability, and he had a decent chance of winning a starting job with his current competition including Moise Fokou, oft-injured Colin McCarthy, and perhaps Zach Brown if he moves from outside linebacker.

That wasn’t the case—and maybe it’s for the better. Pro Football Focus projected Jackson as a below-average starter / adequate role player. He’s on the wrong side of 30. Here’s some PFF analysis about the recent downfall of Jackson:

One of the more interesting grades is that of D’Qwell Jackson who we’ve put down as a below average starter. Chiefly that comes from his grades over the past two years where he has earned a -20.2 collective for his efforts. The interesting thing? Well when the team used more 4-3 looks he was far better, with a +8.0 grade in 2011.

The Titans aren’t using more 4-3 looks; they’re using the same system that he didn’t flourish in during 2013. No reason to pay $5.5 million per season for at-best service depth. Even if Horton loves him, the Titans can do better than this.

Expect the Titans to continue finding linebacker depth through free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

Pro Football Focus

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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency D'Qwell Jackson NFL Tennessee Titans

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