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Hot Topics From Titans GM Ran Carthon at the NFL Combine


INDIANAPOLIS – Titans General Manager Ran Carthon spoke to reporters on Tuesday here at the NFL Combine.

Here's a look at some of the biggest topics from his availability:

-On the strengths of the 2024 NFL Draft, Carthon said, "I think we're really deep at receiver in this draft, and o-line as a whole, which are two areas we're going to be focusing on. But it's a really deep class, a lot of talented men and we're looking forward to meeting with them throughout this process."

-Running back Derrick Henry's contract expires in March. Carthon said he had a good conversation with Henry on the way out, "and he knows where we are, and we know where he is." "I think you guys that have been around know that we don't really talk about a player's contract status in public," Carthon said, "but we'll be well positioned to do whatever we need to do, and when those conversations need to be had, we'll have them with Derrick and his team."

-The Titans currently have the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft. Carthon said, "I like 7, but I am open. We have to listen to any offers that may come." Carthon said the long-term goal is to build the football team into a consistent winner, "and the way you do that is build it through the draft and off of that you need draft picks to do that. I would definitely be willing to listen, but it has to make sense for us." The Titans are scheduled to make eight picks overall, and while Carthon said he's happy with the eight, he'd considering adding more (via a trade).

-Carthon said the Titans are looking for a different type player with new head coach Brian Callahan, as opposed to former coach Mike Vrabel: "It's going to be a little bit of a difference. I think there's going to be some carryover on defense, just in terms of structure. But the style will change a little bit. I think offensively it will change, which is where you have to give our scouts grace – they've gone from post-draft last year throughout the entire fall of scouting for one scheme, and then now we're asking them to flip at the drop of a dime to adjust. … We're giving them the leeway to kind of go back and adjust their grades a little to talk about guys that under the previous regime might not have fit, but they now fit us."

-Carthon acknowledged the Titans have a lot of cap space available, "but we have to spend wisely," he said. "We don't want to just load up and spend money. Again, we are trying to build a long-term, consistent thing, and you can't do that spending all $90 million out front. We have to be patient, and we have to position ourselves, (knowing) there are going to be guys that come free in June and July, like when we got D-Hop, that we have to have the space for and be able to afford it." Carthon said, "We plan to be active, but we are going to be patient and let everything come to us."

-Carthon raved about running back Tyjae Spears, the team's third-round pick a year ago: "He is very passionate about football. He loves the game, he's a hard worker. … Tyjae is one of those guys that is always in the building. Those are the types of guys we want in our program."

-Carthon said new offensive line coach Bill Callahan and the experience he brings as a talent developer "gives us a little leeway to bring some guys in and him having a plan to develop those guys and get them on the field."

-Asked about the team's receiver position, and the need to improve, Carthon pointed to the Bengals. "If you look at where Cally comes from, you have three to four guys that are in there a lot," Carthon said, "and are producers. The receiver room is where we're going to continue to look to add some playmakers. Like I said before, we are looking to add playmakers on both sides of the ball. We need to have people that can put the ball in the paint, and score points for us, and we need people who can take the ball away and create more opportunities for us to score."

-A lot was made out of Carthon declining to provide the team's vision before the team named a head coach. When he was asked the question again on Tuesday, Carthon said "there's an acronym I like to use: FIT. And where, applicable, we want to be fast, instinctive and tough. … We think those are the three things we are going to need to build a good football team moving forward. Either being fast, instinctive and tough, or fundamentally sound, instinctive and tough."

-Asked about the No.2 QB spot, Carthon said the team will bring another quarterback in at some point, whether that's through the draft or in free agency, to compete. Carthon said Malik Willis has developed, but still has a ways to go, as does Will (Levis). "I think you saw growth from his rookie year to his second year," Carthon said of Willis, "and just the way he goes about his business, and how he prepares."

-Carthon wants to give cornerback Caleb Farley another chance, and he thinks Farley wants it. "I think the big thing for Caleb is being able to turn it loose, and feel comfortable," Carthon said. "Trust me, there's nobody that wants to be out there more than him, and I've had conversations with him throughout last season, throughout this offseason even. He has been in town, and he's been working. He wants the opportunity to show people that he can be healthy, and we want to give him as much leeway and as much space to do that and finally get him on the field."

-Receiver Treylon Burks has been training with DeAndre Hopkins and some other receivers across the league, Carthon said, "which will be good for him to see how other pros prepare and get ready for the season, so he can add that to his game." Carthon said he's seen some clips of Burks training and running routes, which is encouraging.

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