Titans GM Ran Carthon, HC Mike Vrabel Discuss Day 2 of the NFL Draft


NASHVILLE – The Titans turned some heads on Day 2 of the NFL Draft when the team traded up to take Kentucky quarterback Will Levis in the second round.

Also on Friday, the Titans picked Tulane running back Tyjae Spears in the third round.

At the end of the day, Titans General Manager Ran Carthon and Coach Mike Vrabel discussed the moves.

Some of the highlights from Friday's presser:

-Vrabel said he talked to Ryan Tannehill to let him know the team was planning to pick Levis. Vrabel said Tannehill will be the starting quarterback on Monday, Malik Willis will be the back-up and Levis will be the third QB. "And what I've told them is whatever happens after that will be up to the players," Vrabel said of the competition. "That's what it has always been here, and that's what we always want it to be." Vrabel said there's a scenario the team could keep three QBs this season. Vrabel said he anticipates Tannehill to compete "just like Ryan has done every day that he's been here." Vrabel said he expects Willis to take a similar approach.

-Carthon said the selection of Levis was a "value thing" early in the second round. "I'm happy we were able to move up to get a player like Will." Carthon called Levis "a diligent worker who is extremely smart and extremely bright" along with being "hard-wired and tough." "Will is here, and our coaches are going to work their asses off to help him improve," Carthon said, "and we think that he will improve."

-The Titans didn't take a receiver on Friday, and the team hasn't used a pick on a receiver so far in the draft. "What's behind it?," Vrabel said. "It's taking a look at our board and seeing where things are. We know we have needs. We come into each stage of player acquisition with needs. It's certainly something we're going to continue to target. What the roster looks like today and what it's going to look like the first part of September is probably a little different." Carthon said the team is eyeing receivers on the final day of the draft.

-Carthon and Vrabel both discussed the selection of Spears, who ran for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2022 for the Green Wave, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. "He's a three-down runner," Carthon said. "He can run between the tackles. He's elusive, and he can make guys miss as well as contribute in the passing game. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, is a good route-runner. Just another guy who can do it all for us, and you can put him in the game in any situation." In four college seasons, Spears ran for 2,910 yards and 31 touchdowns while also catching 48 passes for 564 yards and three scores. "He played a lot of really productive snaps," Vrabel said when asked about the running back's health. "He didn't miss much time at all. He was a full participant throughout the week at the Senior Bowl. I think both of us are comfortable with where we're at with Tyjae and what his availability will be moving forward."

-The Titans are scheduled to make three more picks on Saturday – in the fifth round (147th overall), sixth round (186th overall) and seventh round (228th overall). "Coach said it as we were leaving the draft room, talking to the staff," Carthon said. "Tomorrow is where the fun begins. Tomorrow, and to steal what coach said, our scouts, tomorrow is their day. And our coaching staff and our scouts have put in a ton of work. I feel really confident in the work that they've done, and the players they have identified for us as future picks, or future (undrafted) free agents. I feel really good about where we are in the process."

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