Titans Sign Wesley Woodyard

Tennessee signed Wesley Woodyard. How does Woodyard fit into Ray Horton's new defense?

| 3 years ago

Tennessee signed Wesley Woodyard. How does Woodyard fit into Ray Horton's new defense?

Titans Sign Wesley Woodyard


raiders-broncos-football-wesley-woodyard_pg_600Tennessee signed LB Wesley Woodyard to a four-year, $16 million contract. The versatile Woodyard fills a glaring void in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s new-look defense.

Without any standout incumbents on the roster, the Titans heavily pursued D’Qwell Jackson, who ultimately landed in Buffalo. With the market thinning out, Woodyard was perhaps the best of the rest in terms of fitting Horton’s aggressive scheme.

After playing a situational role in his first three seasons with Denver, Woodyard started 32 regular season games from 2011-2013. He posted 298 total tackles, seven sacks, seven forced fumbles, and four interceptions over that span.

Woodyard sustained a stinger in Week 5 last season and was never able to get back up to full speed. Denver demoted him from the every-down starting job in Week 14, and he saw only nickel snaps down the Broncos’ playoff run with veteran Paris Lenon playing in the base defense.

With a full offseason under his belt, it’s unlikely the stinger will affect Woodyard’s play going forward. It’s still speculation, but Woodyard projects as one of the starters on the inside along with Zach Brown. Despite being undersized, Woodyard has the versatility and athleticism Horton typically looks for in his inside linebackers. In this role, Woodyard will almost certainly play every down.

The Broncos may have made several splashes already this offseason, but they failed to address the middle linebacker position. Presently, Nate Irving is penciled in as the starter. While Irving entered the league with a lot of promise, his abilities have yet to materialize and there’s no indication he’ll turn a corner this season.

There aren’t many viable options left for the Broncos in free agency, but that’s not to say that they won’t address the position in the draft. For now, it’s tough to get behind Irving as a fantasy linebacker.

We’ll likely see Danny Trevathan again in an every-down role, as he was down the stretch for the Broncos. While Trevathan has some deficiencies in his game, he proved to be a solid fantasy commodity and will retain IDP value if things shake out this way.

 

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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy. 

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is one of the most accurate rankers in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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