DaQuan Jones finally has landed on his feet.
According to reports, the Carolina Panthers have signed the veteran nose tackle to a one-year deal.
The 29-year-old spent his first seven seasons with the Titans after they selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. This past season, he was the longest-tenured defensive player on the roster.
His statistics do not tell the full story. In Tennessee, Jones was not a defensive tackle who disrupted the backfield much. He has nine career sacks and no more than four tackles for a loss of yards in a single season (18 total).
In the Titans’ scheme, his primary job was to occupy blockers so that others, particularly the inside linebackers, could run free and make tackles.
Among Tennessee players who played at least 200 snaps in 2019, Pro Football Focus rated Jones fourth-best overall on defense (fifth against the run, fourth in the pass rush).
As a Titan, Jones hardly missed time due to injury. He played and started in 16 games in five of the last six seasons, with the exception being 2017 (12 games, 12 starts).
Once Tennessee acquired defensive tackle Denico Autry in free agency, it was hard to envision Jones coming back. Autry effectively replaces Jones in the starting lineup beside Jeffery Simmons in the interior defensive line.
Jones will bring a veteran presence to a young Panthers defense. He will be a depth piece alongside 23-year-old defensive tackle Derek Brown, who the Panthers selected at No. 7 overall in last year’s NFL Draft.