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How Avery Williamson Fits with Tennessee Titans

Mississippi State tight end Artimas Samuel (85) protects his pass reception as Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson (40)dives on him in the second half of their NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. Mississippi State won 28-22. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Chad MintonCorrespondent IMay 10, 2014

The Tennessee Titans' third defensive player in as many picks on the final day of the NFL draft comes in the form of inside linebacker Avery Williamson.

Williamson was a tackling machine while at Kentucky and brings a lot of excellent intangibles to the position for the Titans. 

This pick clogs up the depth chart at middle linebacker with guys like Colin McCarthy, Moise Fokou and Zach Brown also in the conversation for starting at inside linebacker. 

Tennessee also has Wesley Woodyard, a former teammate of Williamson at Kentucky, factored in as another inside linebacker.

The end of McCarthy's time in Tennessee could stem from this, as he's never been the same since dealing with injuries after his rookie season. This pick would become more justified if that ends up being the case.

It's another position that will have a ton of competition in training camp to see who will be the starters in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs in a hostile environment.

There's nothing wrong with having plenty of healthy competition on the roster, but I don't see how the Titans can keep making picks who will have minimal impact in 2014.

Bishop Sankey is really the only pick who figures to get the chance to make any moderate impact this upcoming season.

This isn't to say that Williamson can't develop into an eventual anchor at inside linebacker on down the road.

Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has Williamson as a possible "special teams ace," but he is lacking in many other important areas of his game, most notably in coverage. Simply being a strong special teams contributor is not enough for the Titans to skip over adding more weapons on offense.

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean thought the Titans should have gone with Aaron Murray, who went 12 picks later.

My opinion: #Titans should've taken Aaron Murray.

— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) May 10, 2014

Expect Williamson to see the field in limited action outside of special teams in 2014. He could impress coaches in training camp with his work ethic and climb up to the depth chart as a primary backup. 

I still like Colin McCarthy, Zach Brown and Wesley Woodyard being the main guys at inside linebacker, but maybe Williamson earns himself some defensive snaps.

In other words, this pick continues the trend of this draft of looking more towards the future than at 2014 for the Titans.  The memo was definitely received well by this team that depth is important in the draft. 

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