Should Tennessee Titans take a defensive lineman high in 2020 NFL Draft
By Will Lomas
Should the Titans spend a first round pick on a backup?
Mack vs Casey is the key here and when you look at the numbers, Mack was on the field for much fewer passing downs, but his sack and TFL rate was higher than Casey’s over the course of the season.
That was Mack as an UDFA rookie out of UT Chattanooga, with a year of NFL training I would expect an even better performance this year. I’m not saying that Mack is going to be better than Casey in 2020 as a complete player, but I will say that giving Mack an increased role on passing downs should yield better results than what they got from Casey on those downs.
Now it comes down to Crawford vs Austin Johnson which just feels like a wash to me. Both would have been the 4th DT on the roster and should have gotten some reps as a backup and with the second pairing of DTs.
I think the only role open at this point on the defensive line is a role as a backup DT on running downs. Jeffery Simmons can blow up offensive linemen anywhere on the offensive line whether that is 3-tech or inside in the A-gaps.
Behind him, Mack can come in and be disruptive, just ask Quenton Nelson who had two flags thrown against him in their few matchups this year because he couldn’t keep up with Mack without holding.
Daquan Jones should be on the field a lot and he can give you a little bit of everything, but his ideal fit is as a run-stopping, A-gap defender.
With your top-3 DTs basically settled, you could argue that you can upgrade the DT4 spot, but is that really worth a top-100 pick? Are you going to bring in a guy like Ross Blacklock, Neville Gallimore or Raekwon Davis for 10-12 snaps per game?
I wouldn’t make that call, and people who talk about the loss of Casey like it was the loss of Aaron Donald just prove that they are either living in the past or letting their emotions get the better of them. Casey had an outstanding career with the Titans and he was snubbed for the better part of a decade, but 2019 wasn’t his best year and age and injuries are starting to creep up.