The NFL Scouting Combine is officially underway. General managers and scouts met with the media on Tuesday, including Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, general manager Ran Carthon, and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. On Wednesday, we began hearing from the 2023 NFL Draft prospects. Those media scrums invited some worthy information. The Titans met informally with Tennessee Volunteers EDGE Byron Young and Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV, per Buck Reising and Turron Davenport.
Both Young and McDonald competed at this year’s Senior Bowl, so this marks their second pre-draft meeting with the Titans. Titans defensive assistant Clinton McMillan was responsible for some on-field practice work with the prospects in Mobile. The Titans are already very familiar with Young and McDonald.
The Titans are going to be in the market for an EDGE defender via the NFL draft and/or free agency. Harold Landry is returning from a season-ending knee injury. Bud Dupree remains a potential cap casualty as the Titans prepare for mid-March’s start of the new league year. Carthon has already released Taylor Lewan, Robert Woods, Zach Cunningham and Randy Bullock. Dupree falls in similar territory.
Young played two successful seasons (2021-22) at Tennessee after arriving at the program via Georgia Military College (JUCO). Young departed Tennessee for the NFL draft after recording 83 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 23.5 tackles for loss. Young recorded career-highs in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (12.0) in 2022.
McDonald is a versatile pass rusher that can reduce inside on obvious passing downs. That versatility has always appealed to Vrabel, defensive coordinator Shane Bowen and defensive line coach Terrell Williams, who recently added assistant head coach to his title. McDonald is a 6-foot-3, 241 pound rocked-up prospect with 35 inch arms. McDonald recorded 34.0 sacks at Iowa State, including back-to-back double-digit sack campaigns in 2020 and 2021.