Sam Okuayinonu Aims to add Depth to Titans Pass Rush

The Tennessee Titans are searching for pass rushers to emerge behind the likes of Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Harold Landry. One intriguing candidate that's jockeying for positioning is sophomore defensive linemen Sam Okuayinonu. Okuayinonu initially joined the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland last season.

Okuayinonu spent the majority of his rookie season on the practice squad, but did earn enough trust to receive a midseason call-up to the active roster. Okuayinonu ended up appearing in six regular-season contests. He recorded his first career sack in an early October victory over the Washington Commanders.

Okuayinonu recently spoke exclusively with Broadway Sports. Okuayinonu discussed the ups and downs of his rookie campaign, that first sack feeling, growth as a sophomore, and more. Okuayinonu is an exciting rotational piece with a high performance ceiling.

JM: What a rollercoaster your rookie campaign was. You didn’t make the initial 53-man roster, but you landed on the practice squad. You were playing professional football just a few weeks into the season. How do you reflect on your rookie year?

Sam Okuayinonu: It was definitely a journey. I feel like I learned a lot. I had to play a new position. That was my quickest pathway to the active roster. I learned how to play the outside linebacker position. I want to become a more dominant EDGE player. 

I’m working to develop . . .

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Author: Justin MeloSenior Writer, Interviewer and Podcaster for Broadway Sports covering the Tennessee Titans and NFL draft. For more than five years, Justin Melo has professionally covered all things NFL draft and Titans for The Draft Network, SB Nation and USA Today. Best known for his Interview Series with NFL draft prospects, Justin has interviewed more than 500 NFL players. Co-host of the Music City Audible podcast alongside Justin Graver (@titansfilmroom).