Settle, who graduated from Stonewall Jackson High and played two seasons at Virginia Tech, has made an impression early in camp. He is making good on some extra opportunities with first-round pick Daron Payne out with an ankle injury and Stacy McGee on the physically unable to perform list after core muscle surgery.
“I was really impressed with Tim yesterday because we had two or three guys down,” Coach Jay Gruden said Saturday. “He had to take a lot of reps, and he got stronger actually as practice went on. And this is a great experience for some of these young guys, you know.
“Unfortunately, we lose a couple of guys to injuries, but fortunately, some guys we really need to look at, we get a good look at. Like, Tim is a great example. He had a great day yesterday.”
Settle was considered a steal in the fifth round. He moves well for a 6-3, 328-pounder and has the strength to hold up at the point of attack. NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that “he has the potential to become a very good starter with a Pro Bowl ceiling if he controls his weight and maintains his conditioning.” Still, Settle wasn’t thrilled with the draft process.
“At a certain point of that you’re just so on your feet and you’re just so impatient,” Settle said. “You just want to get picked. At that point, I was like, I don’t know what’s going on. The fact that I got the call from them, I was happy.
“I’ve got to show something. I feel like I’ve got to make up some stuff and show people how I do what I do.”
Settle and Payne were brought in to bolster a run defense that finished last in the NFL a year ago, part of a decision to address the line that included the selection of Jonathan Allen in the first round in 2017.
“I’m just going with the flow,” Settle said. “My whole mind-set is to get better every day. I feel like I’m making progress. I know I’m not going to change in one day, and I know it’s going to take time for me to develop that development. I know that when it’s time, it’s going to really show. I can slowly start to feel that I’m starting to come along and everything’s becoming natural. I’m starting to be happy and confident and being myself.
“I’ve got to be consistent with [playing violent], but I have it in me. Consistency is a big thing with me. I’m starting to get my steps down. I’m still working on technique and fundamentals. I know over time it will come along. I’m taking it step by step.”