Brent Urban vs. DaQuan Jones vs. Austin Johnson
Defensive end DaQuan Jones and nose tackle Austin Johnson both had iffy 2018 campaigns at best for the Tennessee Titans.
As our own Will Lomas pointed out during the spring, Jones failed to register a sack in 16 games and totaled just nine hurries, but did have 21 stops, which are tackles for loss or near the line of scrimmage, per PFF. Johnson totaled just three QB hurries, one sack and 15 stops.
The pair also struggled in stopping the run, as evidenced by the Titans’ being in the middle of the pack (18th) in rushing yards allowed per game.
On the flip side, fellow lineman Brent Urban totaled 22 QB hurries and a half a sack, with 15 stops.
The stat we’re more interested in there are the number of hurries. Urban clearly had a superior season in rushing the quarterback, which is a potential asset the Titans can’t ignore after finishing tied for 16th in total sacks, and tied for 22nd in overall pass-rushing grade, per Pro Football Focus.
We wrote an article about how Urban could compete with Jones for defensive end, but in reality Johnson should also be thrown in that competition mix, with Urban having experience playing on both the end and up the middle. Jones has played some nose tackle in the past, as well.
Urban also played under Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees when the pair were with the Baltimore Ravens, so he has familiarity with Pees’ defense. The former Raven has two spots he can crack on the defensive line, and that means neither Johnson nor Jones are safe.