Monday, March 3, 2014
Potential Titans target: Jason Worilds
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The March 11 start of NFL free agency is almost upon us.
So this week we’ll look at 10 free agents I think should get a look from the Titans.
They need to add pass-rushers and pieces who can play in a hybrid front with 3-4 and 4-3 elements. They could chose to pursue another strong safety other than incumbent Bernard Pollard, who’s played out a one-year deal.
The biggest need on offense is a right tackle to replace the banged-up, sinking and too-often injured David Stewart, whom I expect to be cut.
They won't address everything in free agency, with the draft providing another influx of players in May.
Each free-agent acquisition will knock other options off their list, and again, this is me looking at guys I think they should look at.
We'll go in no particular order.
Jason Worilds, OLB, Pittsburgh
Drafted: Second-round pick by Pittsburgh out of Virginia Tech in 2010.
Career: Four seasons with 57 games and 21 starts with 18 sacks, with four passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
2013: Played 15 games with 11 starts with eight sacks and two forced fumbles.
From ESPN Steelers reporter Scott Brown: “He opened season as the starter at right outside linebacker in the Steelers’ 3-4. He was replaced by Jarvis Jones after first game, but later reclaimed a starting job when Jones struggled.
“Worilds really blossomed when he moved to left outside linebacker after LaMarr Woodley got hurt and Steelers moved Woodley to the right when he returned for a game from a recurring calf injury.
“Worilds had seven of his eight sacks in his final eight games and missed the regular-season finale with an abdominal strain. It was easily his most productive season but also the first time he started on a regular basis. He is a good player but not a dominant one as far as a pass-rusher.
“He doesn't have any real weaknesses and has a pretty good first step as well as some pass-rushing moves. Isn't going to overpower tackles on the way to the quarterback but holds up well against the run. Worilds has played much better on the left side, which is a strong indication that he is ideally your No. 2 pass-rusher. He just turned 26 so he's still young and has some upside. Very quiet, so not a rah-rah guy in the locker room but a good guy nonetheless. Never a guy you’d have to worry about once he’s away from the facility.”
From ESPN.com’s resident scout Matt Williamson: “Worilds came on extremely strong during the second half of last season in Pittsburgh's 3-4 scheme. He won't be as expensive as Brian Orakpo and should continue to get better and better, but overall he only has been impressive during his most recent 10 games or so.”
Free-agent rankings elsewhere: CBS 53rd; MMQB 12th; Rotoworld 18th; PFF says: No. 7 edge defender.
My rationale: He is very familiar, obviously, with the Pittsburgh roots of the defensive thinking Ray Horton is going to bring to Tennessee. He won't be as expensive as top options at the spot. His best football should be ahead of him.