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Titans GM Ran Carthon, HC Mike Vrabel Discuss Day 3 of the NFL Draft and More


NASHVILLE – The 2023 NFL Draft is now officially in the books.

On Saturday, the Titans drafted Cincinnati tight end Josh Whyle in the fifth round, Maryland offensive lineman Jaelyn Duncan in the sixth round and Tennessee-Martin receiver Colton Dowell in the seventh round to close out the draft.

Earlier, the team drafted Northwestern lineman Peter Skoronski in the first round, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis in the second round, and Tulane running back Tyjae Spears in the third round.

Titans General Manager Ran Carthon, Coach Mike Vrabel and Assistant GM Chad Brinker met with reporters at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

"We wrapped up today, and (we) feel really good about the guys we brought in," Carthon said in addressing today's picks. "Josh is a guy we think can come in and compete for a spot, a versatile guy. We think he can play Y, we think he can play F. We got him as a contributor. And then Jaelyn Duncan, he's played some left tackle and a little bit of right tackle. He's a guy we envision as having a ton of upside, really, really athletic, has some high-end traits that we'll love to work with and develop.

"And then to close out, our man C.D. from UT-Martin, he's a kid that's put it all on tape. We had a chance to visit with him on local day, and he was really impressive, so we're really glad to get him. We think he has a ton of upside as well." 

Some of the snippets from today's presser:

-The Titans didn't take a defensive player in this year's draft. Carthon said the team was just playing the board, and the way it was ranked throughout, the offensive player had the best value each time the team was on the clock.

-Vrabel acknowledged his familiarity Whyle made the selection easier. Vrabel is friends with Whyle's former coach at Cincinnati, Luke Fickell, and he met the player on several occasions. "I have followed his career," Vrabel said of Whyle. "He's been consistent, and the versatility is something we're excited to work with." Vrabel said Whyle has the possibility to put on even more weight to his 6-7 frame (he's currently 248 pounds) and "absolutely him and Chig (Okonkwo) can play on the field at the same time."

-Carthon said Duncan was a player the team brought in on a 30-visit before the draft. Carthon said the team also met with him at the Senior Bowl and built a good relationship with him throughout the process.

-Vrabel mentioned the undrafted free agent possibilities, saying "there's a large group of players we're excited to work with, whether that's skill players, or defensive linemen and we do think there are some players that can run and ultimately play speed is what's critical." Vrabel said the team is in the process of communicating with players in the post-draft process.

-Vrabel said the rookies can be in town for a rookie minicamp starting a week from Thursday. The players will undergo a physical, meet, and then the rookies will practice for a few days before being incorporated into work with veterans in the offseason program.

-Vrabel said the Titans will continue to explore other options over the next few months, at all positions. "Free agency is not over – they are going to let us sign free agents Monday, they will," Vrabel said. "Free agency is going to go all the way up until the season starts. There will be players on other teams that will become available Monday, and we'll take a look. And we'll continue to look for trade possibilities and opportunities." 

-Vrabel, when asked about veteran receiver Racey McMath, said "Racey knows that this is a critical point in his career, and he has to continue to play and improve and be big and fast and help us." Vrabel said McMath and fellow receiver Kyle Philips have unique skill sets and are capable of helping the team.

-Carthon said the Titans twice had teams ready to trade when they were on the clock, but both times they had a player they liked better than the potential trade back. "At each turn that we had to pick," Carthon said, "we were convicted about someone."

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