Why I disagree, but believe the Tennessee Titans won’t draft a linebacker high.
I wrote a few weeks ago that the Tennessee Titans should have a rangy, true 3-4 inside linebacker high on their draft board.
However, some insider info makes me rethink that a little bit, specifically Jim Wyatt’s weekend mailbag.
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In that post this weekend he was asked what letting Sean Spence go means for the linebacker position and if it almost makes it a given that the Tennessee Titans will target that position early in the draft.
Here is Wyatt’s answer:
“With Spence, I just think a certain value was attached to him, and the team wasn’t going to go above it. He did a nice job last season, but other options are out there, especially in the draft. As for Williamson, he’s highly regarded. One of the big reasons the Titans didn’t go aggressively after Dont’a Hightower is because the two pretty much play the same position/role. Time will tell on extension but if he keeps it up, he’s a guy coaches will want to have around.”
That is a pretty tough pill to swallow for me. While I think Williamson is a very talented run fit, linebacker his coverage and blitz skills leave a lot to be desired.
Having said that, I can’t gauge from here how much of an impact he makes on the locker room and from a play calling standpoint.
Jim Wyatt is very connected and what that answer reads like to me, is that Wesley Woodyard is more likely to be replaced either this year or down the line.
Now, this isn’t bad news. It means that they are still probably looking for a rangy linebacker to fill his role. However, Williamson is the top LB on this team and played nearly 150% of the snaps that Woodyard did, so any addition would be looked at as LB2 or someone they would rotate.
That linebacker will be the one that comes off of the field with the Tennessee Titans 3rd safety comes on, whether that is Cyprien, Searcy or someone else.
With this draft very thin at linebackers after the first 4 or so, this is a position that may not be addressed until the middle of Day 3.