NASHVILLE (WSMV) - The Tennessee Titans selected eight players in the 2021 NFL Draft, beginning with Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, who they took with the 22nd overall selection.
Farley had back surgery in March, but believes he’ll be ready to contribute by Training Camp.
As for the class as a whole, General Manager Jon Robinson says he’s pleased.
“These guys that we selected this weekend, we love watching those guys play football,” says Robinson.
How they contribute remains to be seen.
Robinson continues to overhaul the defense.
The team drafted five guys on that side of the ball.
“I feel like they got a steal,” says Rashad Weaver, an Edge rusher/Outside Linebacker who the Titans took in the fourth round from the University of Pittsburgh.
“I thought I would go on the second day, but that didn't happen. I think they got a great value pick and I'm gonna prove that to them."
“I’m just ready to learn the playbook completely and make an impact wherever that is," adds third round selection Elijah Molden, a cornerback from the University of Washington.
That's the expectation for all of them, whether it be on special teams or in skill positions.
Tennessee still needs to address the tight end situation, after not drafting one.
The Titans also waited until the third day to pick up a receiver, another position of need, trading up in the 4th round to get Louisville's Dez Fitzpatrick.
"They said they were really impressed with my reps in the Senior Bowl in the slot and my early years in Louisville showed that I can play inside and outside at my size," says Fitzpatrick.
It'll also be interesting to see their plans for 3rd round pick Monty Rice, an inside linebacker out of the University of Georgia.
“I can call the defense. I can run, I can hit, I can cover. I can do what a three-down linebacker needs to do," says Rice.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel agrees.
“He kept showing up, kept making plays. This is a confident player who’s willing to lead."
What does Rice’s addition mean for current Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans?
Jon Robinson has until Monday, May 3rd, to decide whether to pick up Evans' 5th-year option on his rookie contract.
It's also worth noting that three of the team's draft picks played a combined one game since 2019 because of opt-outs or COVID issues.
“That was one of the things we had to work through this season was the opt-out guys. You can't just take guys who played this year when you look at the skill positions. You just have to go by the film that you have and the Zoom calls and make those decisions," says Robinson.