Titans choose Harris’ upside over Clayton

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Titans Insider, Sep 1, 2012.

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    [​IMG]DaJohn Harris strips the ball from Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley during a preseason game on Aug. 23. (Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean)

    Titans coach Mike Munchak said the decision to choose undrafted free agent DaJohn Harris over Zach Clayton at defensive tackle was one of the hardest moves the team made in getting to the 53-man roster.

    The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Clayton, a seventh-round pick out of Auburn in 2011, played sparingly last season, making three tackles in three games. But he’d made some good plays in preseason this year and looked as if he might be more of a regular contributor.

    “Zach is what you want on your team,” Munchak said of Clayton, who has since been added to the practice squad. “It’s hard … The guy just works hard every day, shows up every day, got better while he was here. That was a very difficult decision.”

    In the end, Munchak sounded as if the Titans chose the 6-3, 306-pound Harris because he appears to have greater potential: “We thought DaJohn was really getting better and becoming a force and rushing the passer well, and we thought it was worth continuing to give him a look.”

    Harris was on course to be drafted this year until doctors discovered a small hole in his heart that prevented him from working out at the NFL Combine. He was later given medical clearance and became one of the more appealing undrafted free agents. Munchak said the fact Harris had teamed with Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey at USC was one of the reasons Harris chose Tennessee’s offer over other teams.

    Munchak said Harris made steady progress throughout camp.

    “He just continued to get better,” Munchak said. “I think that’s what you look for in a rookie. He’s a big man with some decent pass-rush skills that started to get better the more he played. You saw consistency and a lot of upside in him going forward. He fit with what we were looking for in our defensive linemen.”

    Source: Titans Insider