TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: EDGE RUSHERS.
In camp (7): Harold Landry III, Bud Dupree, Rashad Weaver, Denico Autry, Ola Adeniyi, Justin Lawler, David Anenih.
Offseason developments: Landry signed a lucrative multi-year contract extension during the offseason following his Pro Bowl season in 2021. The Titans also signed Adeniyi to another one-year deal, keeping him with the squad. The Titans signed Lawler, formerly with the Rams, back in February. The Titans also signed Anenih as an undrafted free agent out of Houston. Dupree and Landry didn’t take part in the OTAs, but both were in town for the minicamp and looked good. Weaver, who suffered a broken right fibula last season, returned to the practice field this past offseason. Meanwhile, Derick Roberson, who was a restricted free agent, was not tendered and he remains a free agent. I listed Autry in here because he has worked with the outside backers some a year ago, and with the addition of versatile defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker, he could be offered more room to roam in 2022.
In the spotlight: Bud Dupree. After signing as a free agent last offseason, Dupree had his moments during the first half of the 2021 season, but he didn’t look like he did when he was at his best during his playing days in Pittsburgh. Following a campaign when he recorded just 17 tackles and three sacks, Dupree admitted he really didn’t feel like himself until near the end of the year. (He sure flashed in the playoff game vs the Bengals). Six more months removed from his December 2020 ACL tear, Dupree is expected to make a big leap in 2022. He looked good during his two days on the field for the June minicamp, and it should be fun to watch him work in training camp.
Battle to watch: The back-ups. The Titans love Adeniyi’s enthusiasm and attitude, and he’ll look to show he’s worthy of getting more snaps on the defense after flashing in 2021. Lawler, a seventh round pick of the Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft who has played in 18 career games, is an intriguing guy, and so is Adenih, another competitive guy who is considered an better option than some depth camp players in the past. In three college seasons at Houston, Anenih tallied 73 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and seven passes defensed.
Keep an eye on: Rashad Weaver. A fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh, Weaver stood out in last year’s training camp and preseason. Then he suffered his season-ending injury in Week 3, and his progress was halted. Weaver is now on the comeback trail, and the Titans are excited about his return, and potential. Weaver has a reputation for being one of the hardest-working young guys on the team. Weaver has proven to those around him he loves the game, and he wants to be good. He’ll get a chance to put his progress on display in camp.
Next up: Cornerbacks.
McCreary, a second-round pick who was taken with the 35th overall selection, was a first team All-America by The Athletic, Associated Press, and ESPN in 2021, when he was a Bednarik Award semifinalist.
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