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Old 08-07-2004   #4
texasguy346
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The Defensive line is one of the hardest positions in the NFL to come in and contribute right away. Most of these guys needed only one move to get by O-Linemen in the college ranks, but when they get to the NFL they must develop more skills to get by the seasoned veterans of most O-Lines. Speed isn't as much of a benefit on the NFL level, because the O-Linemen are bigger and quicker. It's one thing if the Titans still had Kearse or Smith to help take some pressure off of the rookies, but with the expectations put on them to contribute right away it can be a tough situation for them. Generally you see a lot of improvement in D-Line prospects from their first year to their second, and I think the Titans will see that play out in at least one of the many they took in this years draft. As for Troupe, I think he'll do fine once he gets the feel for the offense. I'm sure coming from a Florida offense where he had a freshman QB tossing him the ball last year, and going into a offense with a guy like Steve McNair is a big jump for him. With his size and speed I don't see any reason why he won't be a great pickup for the Titans for years to come. Blocking will be the biggest adjustment for him I think, because he'll be a mismatch for linebackers in the passing game but he'll be a liability if he cannot help block DEs that line up over top of him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out this season.
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