On the heels of an under-the-radar 2011 draft that netted major results a season ago, the Titans appear to have again added to their solid, young nucleus, what with their top three picks all making significant contributions as we approach the halfway point of their rookie seasons.
Interestingly, the Titans' rookie who we hear has made as great an impact as any, third-round DT Mike Martin, has put a damper on Tennessee’s biggest rookie surprise in 2011, Karl Klug.
Martin and Klug have some similarities, including their no-nonsense, high-motor approach in practice and in games. However, Martin is a superior athlete, in addition to being a far greater prototype of an NFL defensive tackle.
Klug led Tennessee in sacks (seven) as a rookie, playing largely in a situational role. Martin has logged just two sacks this season, but he has been the Titans’ best run stuffer, making it harder and harder to take his strength and athleticism off the field.
As good as Martin has played, we hear it’s hard not to acknowledge that Klug (zero sacks) has been a disappointment after such an impactful rookie season. He bulked up in the offseason, preparing for a bigger role, but instead, Klug was on the field just six snaps against the Bills in Week Seven.
Though Martin has been extremely solid, and Jurrell Casey has avoided the sophomore slump that has plagued Klug, for a team that still has its share of pass-rush deficiencies, the fact that Klug can hardly get on the field says as much about his disappointing campaign as the positives we have seen from the rest of the Titans' young defensive tackles.