NASHVILLE – Titans General Manager Jon Robinson and Head Coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Thursday, one week before the start of the NFL Draft.
Here's a look at some of the highlights:
-Robinson thanked Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk at the start for the renovated facility. He proceeded to then thank Vrabel, trainer Todd Toriscelli and his staff, all the assistant coaches, Director of Player Engagement Chic Ejiasa, Coordinator, Organization Life Enrichment & Team Chaplain James "Mitch" Mitchell, Vice President of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden and the entire personnel department, from Director of Player Personnel Monti Ossenfort to Director of College Scouting Jon Salge to Director of Pro Scouting Brian Gardner before thanking Vice President of Football Administration Vin Marino.
-Robinson said this year's draft class is deep on the offensive line, and "there's some good edge rushers, there's some good receivers, there's a group of backs that are pretty good, some quarterbacks that look kind of promising." Robinson said the team has identified players it likes at every position.
-Asked specifically about quarterbacks in this year's draft class, Robinson said the team "has spent a little bit of time" with some of them. "The quarterback position is a hard position to play in the National Football League, and there's a lot that goes into that position," he said. "I think all the guys that are in this draft that we've talked to certainly seem capable and willing to learn and put the time in to make that transition."
-A week before the draft, Robinson said the Titans are still comparing players – "this player vs that player" – while trying to predict where players might go during draft weekend.
-Receiver A.J. Brown was a hot topic at the start, with several questions asked about his contract situation with the team.
"We've had some discussions with his reps, and when (A.J) was here a couple of weeks ago I talked to him," Robinson said. "We are working through that. I am going to get into any details regarding contract negotiations – I never have really done that. But we have made it public about how we feel about A.J. and how we want him to be a part of this football team."
Brown's rookie contract expires after the 2022 season. Robinson said at the NFL Combine in February and then at the NFL owners meetings in March the team has engaged in preliminary contract extension talks with Brown.
Asked on Thursday if the Titans might consider trading Brown, Robinson shot that possibility down quickly.
"I do not foresee that happening," Robinson said. "I've talked about where we're at, and I've talked to A.J.'s reps," Robinson said. "A.J. knows how we feel about him, and how much he means to this football team."
-Vrabel was asked about Ryan Tannehill, and he made it sound like the quarterback would be in Nashville for the team's offseason program in the not-so-distant future. "I have had communication with Ryan," Vrabel said. "As the head coach, I want every single player here. I would love to see that happen. I have had communications with Ryan, and I am comfortable with where those are at. I expect him back here pretty shortly."
-Robinson said this year's tight end class is talented with "dual players" who can play on the line of scrimmage as strong blockers but also athletic with a lot of ability in the passing game.
-Vrabel's son Tyler, an offensive lineman from Boston College, is a part of this year's draft class. Vrabel said he hasn't even talked to Robinson about the Titans potentially drafting him. "I think there's 31 teams that are evaluating Tyler," Vrabel said. "I don't think that is good for anybody."
-Robinson and Vrabel both raved about cornerback Caleb Farley, the team's first-round pick in the 2021 draft whose season was cut short last year because of a torn ACL. "Caleb is working hard," Robinson said. "He has gained some size, and he is continuing to learn and work and how to be a pro and make that transition to try and help our football team. … He is dedicated, and he is on the right track." Vrabel said Farley won a quiz competition on Thursday. "He had a good first week, I'll tell you that," Vrabel said of Farley. "He is light years ahead of where he ended, not just rehab but from a mental perspective, being in those meetings and having them answer questions."
-Robinson declined an opportunity to name the best position for offensive lineman Dillon Radunz, a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. "Dillon has shown he can play tackle, and he has worked at guard and has played guard," Robinson said. "I think there's some versatility with him as a football player. But at the end of the day with the offensive line, it's trying to get the right five guys up there that can block their guy on a consistent basis."