NASHVILLE – The Titans didn't draft an edge rusher.
And so far, the team hasn't reeled in free agent defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, who remains a free agent with lofty contract expectations, and because of it, has an uncertain destination for 2020.
But the team did add to its pass rush earlier this offseason by signing former Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley.
So no matter what happens moving forward, the team feels like it will have even more of an edge on defense this fall because of it.
"We brought him in because he's got some ability to rush the passer off the edge," Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said of Beasley. "Watch him back through the tape, he's a guy that plays hard, he's fast, he's got good length, he's got some good snaps on tape.
"I think our head coach played 12, 13, 14, 15 years at that position, and he's got a wealth of knowledge at that position. I just think that he can work with Vic, along with (outside linebackers coach) Shane Bowen and really hopefully take his game to another level."
Beasley, a first-round pick (8th overall) of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2015 NFL Draft, has 37.5 career sacks. He joins the Titans after spending the past five seasons in Atlanta.
The 6-foot-3, 246-pound Beasley had eight sacks in 2019, and five sacks in 2018. He led the NFL with a whopping 15.5 sacks in 2016, when the Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl. Beasley was named to his first Pro Bowl and earned AP All-Pro honors for his breakout performance in 2016.
Robinson believes Beasley should add more pop to the defense this fall, and the team thinks it can hone his skillset in Tennessee.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel agrees.
"We're focused on moving forward with Vic," Vrabel said. "(He has) a skillset that we like, with a player that can run and have some speed, some explosiveness, some versatility we believe. That's what I'll do, that's what Shane will do, that's what (defensive assistant) Matt Edwards will do. There will be a lot of people involved in helping him still continue to develop, and try to find a role for us, and ultimately help us win."
Over the past five years, Beasley ranks 16th in the NFL in sacks by "edge" rushers (OLB's/DE's).
Beasley played in all 16 games, with 15 starts, for the Falcons in 2019, when he recorded 42 tackles (28 solo), including eight for a loss, eight sacks, 12 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed.
In his career, Beasley has played in 78 games, with 60 starts, while totaling 156 tackles (119 solo), 37.5 sacks, one interception, 36 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles, 12 passes defensed, and 46 quarterback hits.
In 2019, outside linebacker Harold Landry led the team with nine sacks.
Kamalei Correa, who tallied five sacks in the regular season in 2019 and two more in the playoffs, also returns.
Off the edge, the team also has Reggie Gilbert, Derick Roberson, and DeAndre Walker, a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft who spent last season in Injured Reserve. Outside linebackers Josh Smith and Jordan Williams will also be in the mix, competing for a roster spot in camp.
"We have some guys that have played and made plays in this league. I think there's some versatility," Vrabel said. "I think we have some young guys that we wanted to work with, and did work with that we'll have an opportunity to continue to work with, whether that's – Reggie Gilbert hasn't played a whole lot of plays for us but certainly has shown flashes of things that we like. Roberson showed flashes, and then obviously trying to get D'Andre Walker back healthy. Those are three younger bodies, two guys going into their second year, one guy going into his fourth year. But, then other guys who have played a lot of football for us. Harold has played a lot of football, Kamalei has played a lot of football for us.
"We'll have to get Vic up to speed as soon as we can, and as always with any player, as much as they can handle, that's what we'll give them. If they can handle that and they prove to be proficient in the things we ask them to do, then we'll look to give them some more."
A look back at outside linebacker Vic Beasley's first five NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. (AP Photos)