Ex-Vikings Defender Lands with Titans

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Tennessee Titans are 3-6 through 10 weeks of NFL action, possessing a 1.6% probability of reaching the postseason.

Mike Vrabel’s team has transferred QB1 power from Ryan Tannehill to Will Levis as Tennessee attempts to finish the pear-shaped campaign with positive momentum for 2024.

Ex-Vikings Defender Lands with Titans

And to help with that task, the Titans signed a former Vikings defensive tackle to their practice squad, Ross Blacklock.

Ex-Vikings Defender Lands with Titans
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson confirmed the transaction on Wednesday.

Blacklock joins the DT group in Tennessee:

  • Jeffery Simmons
  • Teair Tart
  • Kyle Peko
  • Jaleel Johnson
  • Denico Autry
  • Marlon Davidson (PS)
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel argues a referee call during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Since departing the Vikings on the NFL’s roster trimdown day three months ago, Blacklock has conducted an AFC North tour, joining rosters of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and now Titans. At this rate, he might become a Houston Texan again by the end of 2023. Houston drafted Blacklock in 2020, and he stayed for two seasons, 2020 and 2021.

Then in 2022, Minnesota sent a 6th-Round pick to Houston and received Blacklock and a 7th-Rounder in return late last summer. The TCU alumnus struggled to catch on with the Vikings and hence encountered the roster-cut fate after defenders Jonathan Bullard and Jaquelin Roy made the active roster in “Blacklock’s spot.”

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Blacklock played in 11 games for the Vikings, starting none, with 139 defensive snaps alongside a lackluster 46.4 Pro Football Focus grade. The young defender will need a career renaissance in Tennessee to effectuate his 2nd-Round draft stock from three years ago. And while that’s certainly still possible, he’s essentially starting near the bottom on the team’s practice squad.

During the 2020 NFL Draft lead-up, Pro Football Network described Blacklock’s skillset as “quick, explosive one-gap tackle with big upside” and someone who “plays smart, instinctive football and quickly locates the ball carrier.”

The new Titan produced a 50.4 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021, his final season with the Texans. Blacklock scored a 66.4 mark via pass-rushing but a 39.0 in run-stopping. So, to date, his performance is lopsided.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports.

The Titans rank 15th leaguewide per defensive DVOA heading into Week 11, so Vrabel’s bunch doesn’t have a major deficiency on that side of the ball. The offense, however, ranks 23rd per the same DVOA metric.

Blacklock has played six defensive snaps this season, all with the Jaguars.

Tennessee now employs three former Vikings: Blacklock, Tay Gowan (CB), and Jaleel Johnson (DT).

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.