Titans agree to deal with fourth-round pick Lowry

Updated: July 16, 2006, 4:33 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Tennessee Titans have reached agreement with fourth-round draft choice Calvin Lowry, a strong safety from Penn State, on a three-year, $1.445 million contract.

Lowry is the fourth of the Titans' 10 selections in the 2006 draft to come to terms on a contract. The team earlier signed a trio of seventh-round choices -- defensive back Cortland Finnegan (Samford), linebacker Spencer Toone (Utah) and running back Quinton Ganther (Utah).

The earlier of Tennessee's two picks in the fourth round, and the 102nd player selected overall, Lowery received a $365,000 signing bonus and minimum base salaries for all three years of the deal.

An instinctive defender whose size (5-feet-11, 200 pounds) might force a move to free safety at the NFL level, Lowry was a steadying force in an excellent Penn State secondary that had three starters chosen in this year's draft and the fourth signed as a free agent. Lowry started in 26 of his 39 appearances and he posted 163 tackles, nine interceptions, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and four recoveries.

He was most effective playing close to the line of scrimmage, and is a very sure tackler, but appears to have enough range and athleticism to eventually become a good coverage defender as well.

Lowry was also used on returns. He averaged 9.4 yards on 86 punt returns and 18.8 yards on 16 kickoff runbacks and, especially early in his career, before he became a starter, was strong on kick coverage units. It is not yet known if Tennessee will use him as a return man.

Because the Titans don't have a lot of proven depth behind starting safeties Lamont Thompson and Chris Hope, it's expected that Lowry could contend fairly quickly for playing time in nickel or dime situations.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.