Clemson OLB Kevin Dodd Ready to Contribute for Titans



NASHVILLE, Tenn. —**The Titans went into the NFL Draft looking for more pop to their pass rush.

In Clemson outside linebacker Kevin Dodd, they believe they've found a player who can help.

Dodd, who recorded 12 sacks in 2015, is more than willing.

"I definitely thought I would go higher (in the draft) and that's why I was in Chicago (Thursday),'' Dodd said in a conference call with reporters. "It didn't happen as I planned, but I am still blessed to be drafted. A lot of guys don't get this opportunity. I know a lot of guys back home that would probably want to be in this position that I am.

"Not going where you expected to go, it will push you. You are going to have a little chip on your shoulder or what not. I am still going to work. I am still going to do what Kevin Dodd has been doing. I have been grinding since day one."

The Titans selected Dodd with the 33rd overall pick in the second round of Friday's NFL Draft.

The Titans select Clemson OLB Kevin Dodd in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Dodd played in 39 games, with 15 starts, last season at Clemson.

In addition to 12 sacks, the 6-5, 277-pounder recorded 23.5 tackles for a loss last season while also recording 62 tackles. The tackles for loss and sack totals placed Dodd in the Top 10 nationally.

"With (pick) 33, we really wanted a pass rush,'' Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. "He played more in a four man line with his hand down (in college). There were some zone drops, blitz zones that he played a little bit in the coverage where he would drop out.

"In our workout and then at some drills at the combine that we thought were very advantageous to him to be able to play spatially for us. Depending upon formation, if he has to remove from the core, he would be able to do really well in the space."

Former Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse announced the pick from Chicago.

A year ago, veteran linebacker Brian Orakpo tied for the team lead with seven sacks. Outside linebacker Derrick Morgan racked up 4.5 sacks early in the year, but his season was cut short because of a shoulder injury.

Dodd had a dominant game against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Alabama, as he tallied three sacks.

"I know they are in need for my position at outside linebacker,'' Dodd said. "I know that I can come in and get an opportunity to compete for a spot. I feel like I can do anything that they ask me to do. I'm sure there are some things I can clean up but I'm just ready to work.

"The best is yet to come."

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