The biggest surprise from the Titans cuts from 80 to 53 players yesterday was the release of 2019 5th round pick D’Andre Walker. The team had designs on getting the second year pro from Georgia onto their practice squad, but the Seattle Seahawks interrupted those plans by placing a waiver claim on Walker.
When the Titans opted to release Walker and keep only four outside linebackers yesterday, it seemed odd, especially with Vic Beasley and Derick Roberson dealing with injury issues recently. However, now that Jadeveon Clowney is officially on board, that move looks far more justified.
The simple way to look at this is to say that the Titans chose second year edge rusher Derick Roberson over Walker. Roberson flashed when given the opportunity late last season, and while it might not be totally fair to him, Walker’s unfortunately timed injury probably gave Roberson the crack in the door he needed to earn a spot.
Of the two, Roberson offers the higher ceiling thanks to his elite athleticism and get off. That’s not to say Walker can’t be a quality NFL player, he can, I just struggle to see him making the pass rush impact that Roberson has already flashed at the pro level.
Walker now gets to join a Seattle pass rush that is in desperate need of some help in the wake of Clowney’s departure for Tennessee. The Seahawks have veterans L.J. Collier and Benson Mayowa currently slated as starters while rookies Darrell Taylor (currently on reserve/NFI list) and Alton Robinson wait on the wings. Walker should get a shot to play, maybe even early on in Seattle.
The Titans edge rush group of Harold Landry, Jadeveon Clowney, Vic Beasley, Kamalei Correa, and Derick Roberson is deep and versatile with a boatload of athleticism. I’m sure they would have loved to have Walker back on the practice squad, but they likely won’t miss him this season.