NFL Nation: Potential Titans' target

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. It may wind up being nine. T.J. Ward was on my list, but as the Titans have re-signed Bernard Pollard, they won't be shopping for a strong safety.

So far we've looked at Jason Worilds and Brian Orakpo, and both of them got tagged and won't likely get offer sheets from the Titans.

Moving on, in no particular order ...

Joseph
Houston
Lamarr Houston, DE, Oakland

Age: 26

Drafted: Second-round pick by Oakland out of Texas in 2010.

Career: Four seasons with 64 games and 59 starts with 16.5 sacks.

2013: Started 16 games at right end in Oakland’s 4-3, with six sacks and two forced fumbles.

From ESPN Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez: “Lamarr was a standout on the Raiders’ defensive line after making the switch to right defensive end from the left side. Four of his career-high six sacks came in the season’s first half. His strength is his motor, his weakness is he’s kind of a tweener in a 4-3 defense, not really stout enough to play inside every down, but not really an edge-rusher, either. The Raiders have said they want to keep him; he made noise after the season finale that he thinks the Raiders will move on from him and his skill set. Great locker-room guy. Silent and measured, as opposed to his on-field demeanor.”

From ESPN.com’s resident scout Matt Williamson: “There are not many defensive linemen like Houston. He excels as a base defensive end in a 4-3, can play end in a 3-4 and is an excellent interior pass-rusher on passing downs. An outstanding athlete for his size, Houston's best football might be ahead of him.”

PFF says: No. 6 edge defender.

My rationale: A great locker-room guy who can play end in a 4-3 or 3-4 and is only 26? I think he’s highly regarded by a lot of people around the league and will draw a lot of interest. The Titans should be in the field for him.
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. We're not going in any special order.

Earlier we considered Pittsburgh outside linebacker Jason Worilds.

Howard
Austin Howard, RT, N.Y. Jets

Age: 26

Drafted: Undrafted by Philadelphia out of Northern Iowa in 2010.

Career: Four seasons for Eagles and Jets with 36 games and 33 starts.

2013: Started 16 games at right tackle.

From ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini: “The Jets are trying to sign him. I think it'll get done. Big, mauling run-blocker. So-so pass protector but improving. Excellent locker-room guy. Undrafted FA. Former college basketball player.”

From ESPN resident scout Matt Williamson: “A pure right tackle, Howard has quietly played well for the Jets over the past two seasons. He is much better in protection than he is blocking for the run.”

Free-agent rankings elsewhere: CBS 81st; MMQB 92nd; Rotoworld 112th; PFF says: No. 8 OT.

My rationale: Cimini says mauling run-blocker but Williamson told me that’s more about body type than production. What do the Titans think? David Stewart was a mauling run-blocker and he’s the guy I expect the Titans to be replacing. Howard wouldn’t cost a ton and would give the Titans a veteran as opposed to another rookie a year after adding two young starters to the line.

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