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The Case for drafting DT Ron Brace

Defensive tackle may be a position to watch as the Tennessee Titans prepare for next month’s draft. As a result of Big Albert Haynesworth’s departure, selecting a defensive tackle in the first couple of rounds of the draft could easily become a reality.

Despite the loss of #92, the cupboard is anything but bare at DT. Jason Jones is an emerging player who has the potential to develop into a force in the future. Tony Brown is a good pass rusher and the recent acquisition of Jovan Haye provides the Titans with a high-motor guy who can also get after the quarterback.

However, with all due respect to Kevin Vickerson, the Titans could use another space-eating DT to help replace Fat Albert’s ability to stuff the run.

Someone like Boston College DT Ron Brace, who could be ripe for the taking on draft day.

Playing in the shadow of teammate B.J. Raji, who will likely be the first DT selected in next month’s draft, Brace was a run-stopping demon for Boston College during his college career. At 6’3″ and 330 pounds, Brace is an oxe who could be appealing to NFL teams who use the 4-3 or the 3-4 defense.

Here’s are a few of his strengths, courtesy of Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown:

Strengths: Excellent size and bulk…Very quick off the snap…Is stout at the point of attack…Terrific against the run…Good push up the middle…Will collapse the pocket…Improving and has upside.

Drafting Brace would give the Titans a young, run-stuffing DT who would serve as a nice complement to the lighter Jason Jones. Kevin Vickerson is a serviceable vet who stepped up when his number was called last year, but his upside is a bit limited to say the least.

On the other hand, Brace is a player who could develop into a potential starter in the near future. With Tony Brown scheduled to be one of many Titan free agents in 2010, securing the services of a player such as Brace would serve the dual purpose of providing the Titans with a short and long-term answer at DT.

At this point, Brace is considered by many as a potential second rounder. Due to his ideal size for NT in the 3-4 defense, there’s a chance that he could be scooped up by a team such as the Dolphins late in the first round.

If this space-eating behemoth is available when the Titans are on the clock, there will be at least one person watching on television who will be applauding if Ron Brace is the team’s selection in the second round.  

Your turn, audience. Ron Brace: yay or nay?