MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Tennessee Titans ended David Long’s long draft wait, taking the West Virginia linebacker in the sixth round with the 216th overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Long was the 2018 Big 12 defensive player of the year, finishing with 111 tackles including 19 for loss and eight for loss. His slip to the sixth round likely had more to do with size than talent given that his 5-foot-10, 223-pound frame is smallish for an NFL linebacker.
Long is confident he is entering the league at the right time as his position continues to evolve in favor of speedier players.
“There’s a lot of smaller backers that are in there making plays because the game’s changing,” Long said. “Size is not an issue. I can play football.”
Projected as a fourth-round selection by NFL.com and CBS Sports, Long suffered an ankle injury at the Senior Bowl. That limited his performance at the NFL combine and West Virginia’s pro day, especially when it came to showing off his biggest asset — speed.
The Titans play a base 3-4 defense. Long’s size makes him a likely fit at one of the inside linebacker spots for Tennessee, one of which is currently occupied by 12-year veteran Wesley Woodyard. Long’s speed and nose for the ball make him a potential immediate contributor on special teams units.