One of the big jokes this offseason was how many people and outlets were calling Tennessee Titans DL/EDGE Denico Autry underrated. At some point, if everyone agrees that you are underrated, shouldn't everyone just agree that you are really good?
Even though I think the Pro Bowl voting process is a joke that is focused more on fan engagement than finding the best players, one good thing it does is it shines a spotlight on players that might not get a lot of attention otherwise.
Maybe Autry took notice of some of this because he has been playing with his hair on fire this season and he is putting together the type of resume that could get Pro Bowl attention. When you look at the money stats (sacks and QB hits), he is off to the best start of his career.
The Tennessee Titans should have two defensive linemen in the Pro Bowl
Through four games, Autry has 3.5 sacks and 7 QB hits. Those are great numbers, and if they managed to hold for a full season Autry would end up with 15 sacks and 30 QB hits, which would obviously make him a lock for the Pro Bowl.
However, even if he is only half as productive as he has been over the last four weeks, Autry would still be tracking for a 10-sack, 18 QB hit season. Stacking that up against last year's roster, that would be more sacks than Trey Hendrickson, Jeffery Simmons, and Bradley Chubb who all were selected as either DTs or EDGEs.
This isn't a situation like Ben Jones had last year or Rodger Saffold before that, where an aging veteran lineman for the Tennessee Titans could get a Pro Bowl nod a year later than they should have. Autry truly is playing some inspired football and it goes beyond just how many sacks he is getting per game.
In case you didn't know, the Pro Bowl selection process is based 33% on the fan voting, 33% on the coaches voting, and 33% on the players voting. Between his potentially high sack total and years of great tape and respect around the league, this could be the season where Autry finally gets a Pro Bowl nod.
Fans are already starting to talk about using some of that nearly $100 million in cap space that the Titans have next year, on Autry. Like Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, and Cameron Heyward, age seems like just another number with this defensive lineman, so why not figure something out and lock up one of the stars of this defense for a few more seasons?