Titans’ David Long called a ‘young ascending’ LB in PFF’s rankings. Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long has been trending the past few seasons and is set to enter the 2022 campaign as a starter once again alongside linebacker Zach Cunningham.
Long’s rise up the depth chart and his overall stellar play has gone unnoticed outside of Nashville, so it’s good to see Pro Football Focus Sam Monson showing him some love.
Monson ranked Long, who has been an outright steal since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft, as the NFL‘s No. 17 linebacker for 2022, ranking him in the “up-and-coming” tier in the NFL draft. classification.
However, Long wasn’t the only Titans linebacker to make the list. Cunningham landed even higher than Long, coming in at No. 11 at the “best of the rest” level.
Cunningham is one of the most run-focused linebackers in the game, but his degree of PFF coverage has declined throughout his career, going from average at best to outright poor over the past two seasons.
In 2021, Long appeared in 10 games (nine starts) and showed his usual solidity against the run. Long also improved in pass coverage, posting career bests in completion percentage allowed (70.7%), passer rating allowed (61.0), passes defended (six), and interceptions (two).
“His ability to be here, to work and compete, David, is a passionate player. I really appreciate that about him,” coach Mike Vrabel recently said of Long. “I feel like our relationship has gotten better every year. We’re trying to harness some of that passion that he has. It’s been good to see him grow in our scheme and understand what’s going on.”
The 2022 campaign will be a big one for Long as he is set to hit free agency in 2023. If he can stay healthy and put together another season like he has the last two, he should get a nice payday, either. it comes from the Titans or another team on the open market.