Former Kentucky inside linebacker Avery Williamson has been selected with the 11th pick of the fifth round (151st overall) by the Tennessee Titans. Williamson is the first Wildcat to be drafted since Larry Warford was chosen in the third round in 2013, and will likely be the only Kentucky player selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Williamson, a native of Milan, TN, joins a Titans team that finished 7-9 (2-4 AFC South) in 2013. Tennessee posted the 14th ranked defense in the NFL last year, allowing 225.8 passing yards and 112.2 rushing yards per game. Williamson’s 100+ tackles in both his junior and senior seasons were good for second-best in the SEC over the past two years. What’s interesting about Avery Williamson’s landing spot, however, is that he will join former Kentucky middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Titans last March.
After failing to hear his name called in the 2008 NFL Draft, Woodyard was signed by the Denver Broncos, where he spent the first six years of his professional career. During his time with the Broncos, Woodyard recorded 434 tackles, 8 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 5 interceptions. It was during his last two years in Denver, though, when Woodyard was joined by another former Kentucky linebacker, Danny Trevathan. The Broncos selected Trevathan in the 6th round of the NFL Draft in 2012, where he played alongside Woodyard (who by then was a Broncos defensive captain) for his rookie and sophomore seasons. Denver’s Woodyard-Trevathan linebacker combo headed a defense that helped the Broncos reach Super Bowl XLVIII, before eventually
falling crumbling to the Seattle Seahawks.
With Williamson’s professional career now kicking off in Nashville, it will be up to Woodyard once again to take an unexperienced linebacker from his alma mater under his wing and guide him through the ins and outs of the National Football League. Fortunately for Williamson, Woodyard has already proven to be worthy of doing so.
Go ‘Cats and go Titans!