- The Titans have signed the 155th overall pick, fifth-round linebacker Jayon Brown. The ex-UCLA Bruin ended his college tenure in 2016 with career highs in tackles (119), tackles for loss (7.5), interceptions (three) and sacks (two), though Zierlein pegs the 6-foot, 231-pounder as an undersized player who “lacks the functional strength to become anything more than a sub-package cover linebacker.”
Tennessee went into draft night with two first round picks amidst tons of speculation that they would make moves with the No. 5 and No. 18 picks. Ultimately, they stood pat with both, selecting Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis at No. 5 overall and taking Jackson at No. 18. Some expected the Titans to select Ohio State corner Marshon Lattimore at No. 5 while addressing wide receiver or a defensive position in the teens, but they flipped the script by taking Davis first and waiting to select Jackson.
Jackson had a strong junior year with the Trojans as he totaled 55 tackles (including two tackles for a loss) and five interceptions. In addition to stepping up his coverage skills in his final collegiate season, Jackson impressed with his play on special teams as he had two kickoff return TDs and two punt return TDs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- The Titans have signed a pair of players, wide receiver Darius Jennings and fullback Joe Bacci, and waived receiver K.J. Maye. Jennings spent time with three teams last year, though he didn’t see any regular-season action. As a rookie with Cleveland in 2015, he appeared in four games and caught 14 of 21 targets for 117 yards. Bacci went undrafted out of Central Michigan this year, while Maye went unpicked in 2016. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher was with the Giants last offseason, but they cut him in August and he landed on the Titans’ practice squad in December.
- The Titans have signed third-round tight end Jonnu Smith, the club announced today. Tennessee has now signed five of its nine-man draft class. Heading into the draft, Smith was often compared to the tight end he’ll now be playing behind with the Titans, veteran Delanie Walker. Smith, who should earn roughly $3.1MM over the life of his four-year rookie deal, has a clear path to playing time in Tennessee, as the only other tight ends on the roster aside from Walker are Jace Amaro and Phillip Supernaw.
The Chiefs have claimed linebacker Reshard Cliett off waivers, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The former University of South Florida standout was dropped by the Titans on Monday.
At USF, Cliett totaled 89 tackles, five sacks, and 12.5 tackles for a loss in his final two seasons. He was drafted by the Texans in the sixth round of the 2015 draft but missed his would-be rookie season with a knee injury. In 2016, he missed Houston’s final cut and went on to have practice squad stints with the Jets, Broncos, and Cardinals.
In other Chiefs news, the team shook up the front office this week by parting ways with execs Trip MacCracken and Will Lewis. Kansas City also added one of the best offensive linemen left on the market by signing Andrew Tiller.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Teams are doing lots of spring cleaning today, so we’ll split the moves into two separate posts for each conference. First up, the AFC:
- The Raiders announced the signing of safety Marcus McWilson. A Kentucky product, McWilson played in 13 games for the Wildcats in 2016, racking up 108 tackles (4.5 for loss) and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
- Following suit on a busy transaction day for fringe roster cogs, the Ravens added four UDFAs to their offseason roster. Baltimore added linebacker Randy Allen (South Alabama), wide receiver Aaron Bailey (Northern Iowa), defensive back Jaylen Hill (Jacksonville State) and tackle Roubbens Joseph (Buffalo), Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.
- The Browns signed defensive backs Donte Carey and Najee Murray. Both players participated in the team’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. To make room, the team waived offensive lineman Josh Boutte.
- The Titans signed defensive lineman Jimmy Staten, a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2014. In addition to Staten, they inked defensive lineman Cameron Robbins (Northwestern), linebacker Johnny Ragin (Oregon), cornerback Trevon Hartfield (Southwestern Oklahoma State), and kicker Jordan Gay (Centre). Staten, Robbins, Ragin and Hartfield all took part in the team’s rookie minicamp. To make space, the Titans waived defensive lineman Roderick Henderson and linebacker Reshard Cliett.
- The Jets announced the signing of linebacker Jevaris Jones and released fellow linebacker Austin Calitro.
- The Colts signed free agent guard Blake Muir and four undrafted free agents: cornerback Dante Blackmon, safety Tyson Graham, wide receiver Al-Damion Riles, and offensive tackle Andrew Wylie. To make room for the new players, the team parted ways with center/guard Austin Blythe (a 2016 seventh-round pick) and cornerback Frankie Williams. The Colts also waived three 2017 UDFAs: wide receiver Jerome Lane, cornerback Chris Lyles, and guard Chris Muller.
- The Bills have signed linebackers Abner Logan and Anthony Harrell while waiving safety Jeremy Tyler and linebacker Junior Sylvestre.
- Free agent defensive end Bobby Richardson will be attending the Titans‘ rookie minicamp, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Richardson broke onto the scene as an undrafted rookie in 2015, playing in 15 games (11 starts) for the Saints while compiling 40 tackles and one interception. He’s bounced around since that time, spending time with the Redskins, Chiefs, and Broncos.
The Texans announced the signing of Deshaun Watson and five other draft picks today. The former Clemson quarterback will make $13.85MM with an $8.25MM signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Lions also signed first-rounder Jarrad Davis, along with seven other draft choices.
Here are the rest of Friday’s draft signings.
- The Broncos and second-round defensive end Demarcus Walker arrived at an agreement, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). It’s a four-year worth upwards of $5.1MM for the Florida State defensive end, per Jhabvala, who adds he will receive a $1.8MM signing bonus. Walker is expected to compete with Jared Crick and Zach Kerr for the Broncos’ right defensive end position opposite Derek Wolfe. Walker is the second defensive end Denver’s drafted in the past two years, following Adam Gotsis, who did not play much last season.
- Both of the Jaguars‘ seventh-round selections are now signed. The Jags inked cornerback Jalen Myrick and fullback Marquez Williams. A Minnesota product, Myrick is a notable seventh-round choice because the ex-Golden Gopher defender blazed to the fastest 40-yard dash (4.28 seconds) a Big Ten player has clocked since the Combine began measuring these times. Williams spent three seasons at Division II Mars Hill (North Carolina) before transferring to Miami for his senior season. The Jags still have five unsigned picks.
- Four late-round draft picks agreed to terms with the Titans, the team announced. Sixth-round guard/center Corey Levin is signed. So are seventh-rounders Josh Carraway, a linebacker, Brad Seaton, a tackle, and running back Khalfani Muhammad.
- The 49ers signed third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon, a cornerback out of Colorado, the team announced. Witherspoon was the second Buffaloes corner to come off the board in last month’s draft, following Cowboys second-rounder Chidobe Awuzie. Witherspoon led Division I in pass deflections last season with 22, a number that tied an 18-year-old Colorado school record.
Zach Links contributed to this report.
The Titans have signed 12 undrafted free agents, per a team announcement. The list:
- Jeremy Boykins, CB (Central Florida)
- DeAngelo Brown, NT (Louisville)
- Bra’Lon Cherry, WR (North Carolina State)
- Tyler Ferguson, QB (Western Kentucky)
- John Green, CB (Connecticut)
- Roderick Henderson, NT (Alabama State)
- Denzel Johnson, LB (Texas Christian)
- Akeem Judd, RB (Mississippi)
- KeVonn Mabon, WR (Ball State)
- Steven Moore, OT (California)
- Giovanni Pascascio, WR (Louisville)
- Jonah Pirsig, OT (Minnesota)