football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

David Quessenberry’s Success Deserves More Attention

  • The Draft Network
  • September 30, 2021
  • Share

The Tennessee Titans have a good offensive line. When people around the league discuss this group as a whole, names like Taylor Lewan and Rodger Saffold come to mind. After all, Lewan is a three-time Pro Bowler and owns one of the most colorful personalities in the league, something that earned him a noteworthy podcast on Barstool Sports. Saffold is a name most NFL fans are familiar with. The former Los Angeles Ram has an excellent reputation as one of the better-performing left guards over the past decade.

But the name David Quessenberry? No, that one doesn’t come to mind for many outside of Nashville. Maybe it should. 

The Titans entered the 2021 season with just one question mark across their starting five and it lived at the right tackle position. Lewan and Saffold returned to assert their dominance on the left side, Ben Jones is in his sixth season as the starting center, and former Charlotte standout Nate Davis has manned the right guard position for the past three years. But that right tackle spot? Boy, it’s been pesky and elusive in recent years.

After failing to re-sign former first-round pick Jack Conklin in 2020, the Titans drafted Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson to take his place. We all know how that ended. Wilson had multiple run-ins with the law while failing to show maturity and a desire to actually play in the NFL. Wilson was traded less than a year into his rookie contract, a true rarity when it comes to first-round picks, but a fair representation of how disastrous his tenure in Tennessee was.

The Titans owned up to their mistake by drafting right tackle Dillon Radunz in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but Radunz has failed to make an appearance for them this season. The report on Radunz throughout training camp was that he’s raw and needs time to adjust to the competition at the NFL level. It’s fairly understandable, seeing as Radunz is a small-school prospect that didn’t play a college football season in 2020. 

Radunz isn’t ready for live NFL reps, but the Titans remain excited about his future outlook. But two years and two high draft picks later, the Titans have yet to get a single start out of two highly-drafted right tackles.

That’s not to say these failures have actually hurt the Titans. Miraculously, they haven’t. They received good play out of veteran tackle Dennis Kelly last season. The Titans surprisingly opted to go in a different direction by releasing Kelly in March of this year. That direction was expected to include Radunz or free-agent signing Kendall Lamm, who was given a large chunk of the money saved by Kelly’s departure. But in the end, Radunz’s slow development and a training camp injury to Lamm nixed both of those expected outcomes.

But somehow, for the second year in a row, the Titans’ failure to secure the right tackle spot in appropriate fashion isn’t biting them in the you know what. Enter Quessenberry, a 31-year-old veteran that’s actually in his fourth season in Tennessee after spending time with head coach Mike Vrabel in Houston as a member of the Texans.

Quessenberry’s career in Tennessee got off to an uninspiring start. He was originally signed to their practice squad in September of 2018 and spent the next two seasons as an on-again, off-again member of their roster. But things changed in 2020. 

After not one, but two season-ending injuries to starting left tackle Lewan and his preferred backup (Ty Sambrailo), the Titans were forced to insert Quessenberry into the starting lineup. Lo and behold, the Titans didn’t miss a beat and even finished strongly as a patched-together offensive line helped power superstar running back Derrick Henry to a special 2,000-yard season.

Quessenberry returned to the Titans in 2021, presumably as a depth piece that would battle for a final roster spot. But after a strong training camp, Quessenberry surprisingly leapfrogged the competition at right tackle to earn a starting job. It wasn’t quite out of necessity this time, but rather a reward for his consistent play throughout training camp and the preseason.

Just how is Quessenberry performing by the way? Through three weeks, Quessenberry is sporting an excellent 96% pass block win rate at the offensive tackle position. Only one offensive tackle owns a better grade currently, and that’s former Titans right tackle Conklin, whose departure from Tennessee put all of this in motion in the first place. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

I’d love to say that Quessenberry’s current form is a surprise, but it truly isn’t when you study his fascinating life. The former sixth-round pick out of San Jose State is no stranger to beating the odds. Quessenbery was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June of 2014. But like everything else he’s done in life, Quessenberry rose to the occasion and was deemed cancer-free more than 1,000 days later in April of 2017.

Quessenberry isn’t just filling in nicely, he’s a net positive for an offense that’s once again expected to rank among the best in the league. If Quessenberry can continue to perform at a high level, the once troublesome right tackle position will be a strength for a Titans team that’s looking to make it three wins in a row when they meet the woeful New York Jets on Sunday.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network