Remember The Titan

Tennessee, a team searching for help on its defensive line, scooped up Iowa tackle Jared Clauss Sunday. The Wonderlic Kid likes the idea of going to a winner and a blue collar organization. He also feels like there is a real good opportunity to make the club. Read more about Jared's draft day in this HN.com premium feature.

A few short hours after being chosen in the NFL Draft Sunday afternoon, Jared Clauss was celebrating like most of the other 200 plus college players snapped up in the selection process.

He was washing his car.

Well, maybe Jared stood alone in his celebration technique. But anybody that followed the career of the Iowa defensive tackle should not be surprised by his business-as-usual attitude.

"Yeah, I don't know what to do except for the same things," Clauss said of his Turtle Wax moment. "I had to wash my car, so I'm doing it."

The Tennessee Titans grabbed Clauss (6-4, 294) in the seventh round, the 230th pick overall. Seven selections later, the St. Louis Rams chose Hawkeye tight end Erik Jensen (6-3, 259). Fred Russell and Mo Brown, two Hawkeyes that some experts thought would be drafted, never heard their names called.

Clauss said that his life seemed pretty unchanged Sunday. The guy from West Des Moines who outdid every college player in the country with a score of 45 out of 50 on the Wonderlic intelligence test expressed that his journey remains unfinished.

"Well, I haven't made it yet," Clauss said. "It's nice, obviously. I'm not complaining. But there are a lot of guys like me coming in during camp trying to make the team."

Tennessee drafted another DT in the third round, Maryland's Randy Starks. But two of its picks were used on pure DEs Bo Schobel (TCU) and Antwan Odom (Alabama). And the Titans roster boasts just three other DTs.

"When you get drafted, obviously they want you," Clauss said. "I'm not saying they don't want free agent guys. I just have less choices to make."

Clauss and his agent spent much of Sunday analyzing NFL teams and where the Iowa senior might fit in best in free agency.

"Then Coach (Jeff) Fisher called and said, "We're going to take you with the next pick,"" Clauss said. "I'm excited. It's a good opportunity for me. It's a blue-collar organization. I talked to the D-Line coach (Jim Washburn) a little bit, and he sounds like a good guy."

Since moving from Houston to Tennessee in 1997, the franchise has sat among the AFC Super Bowl contenders almost every season. The Titans reached the Super Bowl in 2000.

"(Washburn) didn't get into much detail," Clauss said in terms of what the Titans expect of him. "He really hadn't seen tape on me until last week. He said that he liked what he saw."

The Titans play a 4-3 defense.

"It's a good opportunity," Clauss said. "I'm sure they're going to bring in some free agent guys, and I'm going to have to work. It seems like a good place for me. It's a team that's well respected. It's a coaching staff that's well respected. They've been close to the Big Dance."

Tennessee surprised Clauss with its interest in him. The Titans didn't talk to him at the combine or the East-West Shrine Game.

"I guess Coach Fisher tried to call (Iowa) Coach (Kirk) Ferentz a couple of times this week," Clauss said. "I started getting worried because I knew that Coach Ferentz was going to be out in New York with Robert (Gallery). I was thinking he was not going to get his calls. But it worked out for the best."

Clauss won't have to wait long to impress his new team. Tennessee opens its rookie camp on Thursday.

"I'm ready to get that playbook and start learning," Clauss said.

Clauss said that he was surprised that Russell went undrafted.

"He's a hell of a player," Clauss said. "We've all seen it at Iowa. He's got a work ethic like you wouldn't believe. He's going to get into camp with some team and make it because he's got a lot to offer. He's a unique type of player so he's going to find a spot."

Clauss felt like St. Louis did a wise thing in picking Jensen.

"He was a different type of tight end," Clauss said. "He was a fullback playing tight end. But he showed during those pro days that he can run and catch and he's agile enough to come out of the backfield. All of the that stuff combined with the fact that he can block, he's one of those guys that people are going to take a chance on. They're going to get a lot of good out of him. He's a hell of a player."


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