The Tennessee Titans are promoting rookie undrafted free agent TK McLendon Jr. to their 53-man roster from the practice squad, according to various reports. General manager Ran Carthon had an open roster spot after waiving Naquan Jones earlier this week. McLendon Jr. will join a defensive line rotation that’s currently struggling to stop the run.
Source: The Tennessee Titans are adding rookie edge TK McClendon Jr to their 53-man roster.— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) November 9, 2023
McClendon was initially signed as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky in the spring.
McLendon Jr. began his collegiate career in the JUCO ranks as a tight end at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. McLendon Jr. spent 2017 and 2018 there before transferring to LSU. McLendon Jr. was a reserve tight end for the Tigers before switching positions to defensive end.
In search of more playing time, McLendon Jr. eventually transferred to Eastern Kentucky. Playing defense happened to be his calling. The Soperton, Georgia native was outstanding for the Colonels in 2021 and 2022. McLendon Jr. made 12 starts in 2022. McLendon Jr. led the Colonels in tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (6.0). He also added 58 tackles, two pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery to his defensive totals en route to earning All-ASUN honors.
McLendon Jr. joined the Titans as a UDFA following the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft. He appeared in the preseason, earning 31 pass-rushing snaps, and 30 run-stopping downs, according to Pro Football Focus. Grading preseason football is difficult, but PFF assigned him a pass-rush grade of 47.1, and a run stopping grade of 29.4.
McLendon Jr. was waived during final cuts and re-signed to the practice squad. If he’s active Sunday, he’ll be the seventh (!) undrafted free agent to appear in a game for the Titans this season, joining Anthony Kendall, Matthew Jackson, Otis Reese, Kearis Jackson, Eric Garror, and Caleb Murphy.
The Titans have obviously seen McLendon Jr. do some good things behind the scenes, hence why he’s receiving this opportunity.