The Tennessee Titans had five rookie draft picks make the opening day roster in 2020, and fans have strong opinions on most of those players.
People have already (unfairly) written off Chris Jackson who was thrown into a terrible situation and everyone knows about the first-round pick, but that still leaves one name unaccounted for.
Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Larrell Murchinson is a forgotten man.
Larrell Murchison was always facing an uphill battle for recognition as a rookie, starting with the fact that he was going to be buried on the depth chart by Jeffery Simmons, DaQuan Jones, and Jack Crawford.
What made things worse is that when he did see playing time he was hot and cold and he played next to Matt Dickerson who was constantly the reason for huge plays by the opposing offense.
Fast forward to 2021 and the consensus is that it is going to be difficult for Murchison to make an impact on a defense that is going to feature some star power ahead of him. Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry will be locked into the top spots and then there is going to be a free-for-all after that.
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Teair Tart is probably a lock for situations two-gapping nose tackle role, which means that Murchison is going to have to battle with newly signed defensive lineman Abry Jones, UDFA Naquan Jones, and other journeymen defensive linemen for a spot on the final 53.
Last season the Titans kept six defensive linemen so the odds are good that Murchison will make the roster, but can he make an impact?
Don’t count Murchison out just yet because if there is one thing you can take away from his college career, it is that Murchison adapts quickly to higher levels of competition.
In two years as a JUCO player, he took steps forward and then moved to North Carolina State where he continued to get better each year (evidenced by his constantly improving box score) and finished his career as a team captain that never missed a start.
As OTAs turn into minicamp, which turns into training camp, which turns into the preseason, fans should keep an eye on Murchison as someone who has a history of working without fanfare and getting better and better as he adapts to his competition.
Maybe he can learn behind another JUCO defensive tackle who also wasn’t thought of highly before the draft but who turned out to be one of the best in the NFL at his position: Denico Autry.