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Report: Titans trade a seventh round pick for Packers edge rusher Reggie Gilbert

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Jon Robinson adds an outside linebacker to the roster.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Titans have traded a seventh round pick for Packers edge rusher Reggie Gilbert.

Gilbert is a 6’-3”, 261 pound outside linebacker who originally signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona in 2016. He spent most of his first two seasons in Green Bay on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in late 2017. Last season he was active for all 16 games, tallying 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks in his role as a rotational pass rusher for the Packers.

Gilbert is kind of the Sharif Finch of the Packers, an undrafted edge rusher with good size who has flashed some playmaking ability at times. The Titans got to see him first hand last preseason in their matchup against Green Bay.

His biggest weapon is his bull rush, which he shows off here against Donald Penn.

All-Pro Packers tackle David Bakhtiari described Gilbert as an improving player in this 2018 article from ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

“He’s setting up certain rushes, he’s becoming smarter. The game’s slowing down for him from what I can tell,” said Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari, who regularly goes against Gilbert in practice. “Another thing, he’s gotten stronger. I’ve seen him in the weight room pushing around more weight, and I think he looks more like a football player. Me and Bryan [Bulaga] have always been fans of his -- and this is just a side thing, but I think he’s a great person, a great teammate. I think he’s someone you want to have in your locker room the way he goes about his business every day is first class and very professional.”

This trade gives the Titans better depth at the outside linebacker position after losing D’Andre Walker to a season ending injury. It’s likely we will see Tennessee keep five at the position, including Harold Landry, Cameron Wake, Sharif Finch, Kamalei Correa, and Gilbert. I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Gilbert supplanted Correa for the fourth spot in the pecking order in relatively short order.

Gilbert is currently recovering from a knee injury, but should be available as early as Week 1.

He was made expendable by the sizable investment made by the Packers at outside linebacker this offseason. Green Bay signed high priced free agents Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith during free agency and then spent their first round pick at the position, taking Rashan Gary from Michigan. Gilbert had still been viewed as a guy likely to make the roster, but the Packers decided to take a draft pick instead.

The Titans now have just five draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. They had previously sent their fourth round pick to the Dolphins as part of the trade for backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill. This is also the second straight year that Jon Robinson has pulled the trigger on a trade for an edge rusher on the eve of the regular season. Last year they sent a sixth round pick to Baltimore for Correa.

Outside linebacker depth and tackle depth were the two most glaring weaknesses on the Titans roster. This addresses one of those issues. It’ll be interesting to see if the Titans make a move for a tackle or decide to become sellers and trade off some depth at another position — Taywan Taylor perhaps? — to try and recoup some of the draft capital they’ve given up in other deals.