The signing of Cameron Wake and drafting of Jeffery Simmons should lead to a huge improvement in the Tennessee Titans’ pass-rush in 2019.
One of the needs the Tennessee Titans had to address during the offseason was improving the pass-rush, and the signing of edge rusher Cameron Wake and drafting defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons were just what the doctor ordered.
Now, that’s not to say the Titans’ pass-rush was all that bad in 2018. After all, the team did total 39 sacks, good enough to tie the Titans for No. 16 in the NFL. But in an age where the importance of getting to the quarterback is at an all-time high, there is certainly room for improvement.
The Titans signed Wake to a three-year deal worth $23 million, while Simmons was drafted No. 19 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. If not for having torn his ACL, Simmons would have easily been a top-10 pick, which could lead to him being a steal at that spot.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wake and Simmons were absolute beasts when it came to rushing the passer, as is evident by their PFF pass-rushing grades. As a whole, the Titans’ pass-rush earned a 67.4 grade by PFF, tying them for No. 22 in the league, hence the need for an improvement.
Wake’s ability to get to the quarterback is well-known. He has totaled double-digit sacks in five of his ten years in the league and notched six sacks in 14 games last season. Sure, that total doesn’t exactly jump off the page at you, but his pass-rushing grade certainly does.
Simmons tallied seven sacks in his three years at Mississippi State and always finds himself in the opposing backfield, with 33 of his 163 collegiate tackles resulting in a loss of yards. Simmons is a force on the inside and should create pressure on a consistent basis.
The idea of combining Simmons with fellow interior lineman Jurrell Casey should be a scary thought for opposing offenses around the league. The Titans are shaping up to have a mean 1-2 punch up the middle.
General manager Jon Robinson should be commended for his efforts in helping bolster the Titans’ pass-rush. If all goes according to plan, opposing quarterbacks will be running for their lives with the heat the Titans are bringing this season.