The Tennessee Titans signed more than a dozen undrafted free agents at the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft. Eastern Kentucky’s T.K. McLendon Jr. one of many intriguing names. Can McLendon Jr. become the next undrafted defensive linemen to make the Titans’ 53-man roster?
Former Eastern Kentucky DL TK McClendon Jr. is signing with the #Titans, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2023
McLendon Jr. has experienced quite the journey to the NFL. He 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 at LSU before switching positions to defensive end and transferring to Eastern Kentucky. Defense happened to be McLendon Jr.’s 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. also received offers from the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and New York Giants in undrafted free agency, per Aaron Wilson. The presence of Mike Vrabel and defensive line coach Terrell Williams likely played a role in McLendon Jr.’s decision to choose the Titans. The Titans have done well with UDFA d-linemen in recent years.
McLendon Jr. wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but he did test at Eastern Kentucky’s Pro Day. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound McLendon Jr. leaped an eye-popping 10-foot-7 broad jump. McLendon Jr. also jumped a 36.5-inch vertical.
T.K. McClendon is a DE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 4.12 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 962 out of 1634 DE from 1987 to 2023. #Titans https://t.co/BICZQ7ikc2 pic.twitter.com/xJ3rGogrgw— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2023
McLendon Jr. will compete for a roster spot with the likes of Naquan Jones, Sam Okuayinonu, Shakel Brown, Curtis Brooks, Jayden Peevy and Tyler Shelvin. It’s a crowded room. McLendon Jr.’s journey has taught us to never write him off.