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Tuesday Mailbag: Titans Fans Share Thoughts, Questions on NFL Draft


NASHVILLE – The NFL Draft is now in the rear-view mirror.

Props to Aaron Garfrerick (Nashville), Ryan Gilpatrick (Indianapolis), Dave Bettlach (Chesterfield, Missouri), Brock Toney (Lafayette, Tennessee), Caleb Arthur (Des Moines, Iowa) and Kareem Rose (Charlotte, N.C.) for all correctly mocking Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley to the Titans at pick No.22.

Also, Travis Harber of Arlington, Tennessee, forecasted Pittsburgh edge rusher Rashad Weaver to the Titans on the third day of the draft.

Now, you've let me know your post-draft thoughts.

Let's dive in …

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.

Alex Wiggs from Nashville, Tennessee
Will Caleb Farley play this season, or what are the odds he will? Or at what part of season is he targeted to play on a healthy standpoint from his surgery? Thanks

Jim: Hey Alex. I'm not in a position to give odds. I just know what Farley said (he hopes to be ready for camp) and what Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel said (they'll work with doctors and trainers moving forward to get him ready to play as soon as he's ready). I feel certain the team wouldn't have drafted him if they were overly concerned about the back injury, so it's just a matter of him getting healthy. Farley said over the weekend he's feeling good and is making a good recovery. He hopes to be ready for training camp, so we'll see if that happens.

Ryan Elder from Louisville, Kentucky
Hey Jim. As both a Titans fan and a Louisville Cardinals fan for 20+ years, I was thrilled with our 4th round selection of Dez Fitzpatrick! I know Titan fans were hoping for a bigger name at WR like Elijah Moore, but Fitzpatrick has strong potential to be an amazing playmaker. He's a beast; just watch the tape!

Jim: Hey Ryan. Sounds like you hit the daily double on Kentucky Derby weekend. I think he's going to be a good one with the Titans, too.

Ken Maynard from Franklin, Tennessee
Jared Pinkney was considered a possible first round pick if he had entered the draft instead of staying another year at Vanderbilt. With a glaring need for more help at tight end, what are the coaches saying about his future as a tight end with the Titans?

Jim: Hey Ken. I liked Jared coming out of Vanderbilt myself. Jared spent last season with the Falcons practice squad, of course, and he was signed by the Titans earlier this offseason for those maybe not aware. Since there have been no offseason practices so far, Pinkney hasn't had a chance to work with his new team. I haven't seen him since the 2020 combine. But the GM did mention him over the weekend when asked why the Titans didn't address the tight end position in the draft. Jon Robinson said: "We are excited with the group that we've got back, with (Anthony) Firkser and (Geoff) Swaim and (Tommy) Hudson and adding Pinkney, who was a good player coming out of Vanderbilt, and Parker Hesse. So we'll see how those guys come in and compete, and continue to try to evaluate the players that are available as we continue to move through the offseason."

Eric Koehler from Las Vegas, Nevada
I didn't realize we were so set as a team to draft 3 back ups on day 2. Caleb Farley has the potential to be a shut down corner in this league for sure. Dillon Radunz, Monty Rice who we could have drafted in the 4th, and Elijah Molden will be back ups and special teamers this year. Please help me understand our day 2 picks? I feel like we are planning to let more of our previous draft picks to walk and bring in less talented players to replace them.

Jim: Hey Eric. The GM and the scouting staff have other things in mind for these guys. Radunz, Rice and Molden will be a big part of the future, and they'll help in 2021, to what degree remains to be seen. Heck, Molden might be my favorite pick of the draft.

Elmira Jones from Memphis, Tennessee
What a bonehead idea to waste a number one draft pick on injured player, when there's so many others whom ain't and also different positions which are in need of attention.

Jim: Have a great day Elmira.

Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Jim, after twenty plus years of being a season ticket holder, I AM DONE! Cut all the decent players. Draft terrible for two straight years in a row. Titan fans are in shock at what has been done the last two years. Do JR and Vrabel think they know something no one else in professional football does? A crippled cornerback, a drunken OT, a Division I AA OT and a sawed off inside linebacker projected to be no better than a mid third day pick. Franchise is crumbling due to Vrabel's sorry piss poor attitude. Won't be any trips to Nashville this fall but switching loyalties to the Chiefs. They are committed to winning and putting a quality product on the field. Shame on the Titans organization!!!

Jim: Great to hear from you, Donley. But I guess I am having some trouble understanding your description of a "crumbling franchise," especially since you've been around 20 years. I know the organization has appreciated your loyalty. But I've been around all that time, too, covering the team, and I remember the long playoff drought from 2009-2016 and the back-to-back years of 2-14 and 3-13 in 2014 and 2015. If it's crumbling now after the first AFC South title crown in 12 years and just two years removed from the AFC Championship Game in 2019, how would you have described things when you stuck around then? I think you're being a little dramatic. Best of luck moving forward nonetheless.

Jan Thies from Munich, Bavaria - Germany
Hi Jim. My third time writing you - I am reading every mailbag and love your comments and answers.
Interesting Draft, although it's always in the middle of the night in Germany, but I love this event, because it's super exciting. We don't have that in Euopean sports...
My question is about our 4th round pick Dez Fitzpatrick. Of course, as a German I would have loved it, if we would have picked half-German Amon-Ra St. Brown at this point. As far I have seen on social media many others as well. I have watched all videos and read all articles with J-Rob and Coach Vrabel, but maybe you know more, why we have traded up pretty expensively for Dez Fitzpatrick (honesty I didn't too much about him - in German rankings he was always a very late round pick) and didn't pick Amon-Ra? I think he would have been a pretty good fit...
Anyway, I am super excited about our class, I think we got some great, competitive guys (I loved the interviews with Elijah and Rashad)... Thank you so much and Titan Up! All the best from Germany, Jan.

Jim: Hello Jan. Good to hear from you. Fair question. I like Amon-Ra St. Brown, too. Just listening to both the GM and HC talk about Fitzpatrick, it's clear he's a guy they're extremely high on. And the trade up offered further proof. I think this whole draft process kind of reveals what teams think of certain players. The Titans were in a position to take certain guys in this draft, including some receivers, and they passed. And, as you mentioned, the team gave up some picks to get Fitzpatrick. Time will tell if they got it right in this case, and in others.

Dan Broadwater from Maryland
Hi Jim. Always a fun time of the year with new players joining the team. I think we had a good draft. A lot of people were hoping for a WR a little higher. My questions are about 2 picks. Monty Rice didn't make much sense to me where they picked him. Hope he turns out, but he seemed to be a player they could've gotten much later. Are they looking for Evans replacement? Dez Fitz was our first WR. Again, hoping he is a good player, but they traded up to get him when he didn't seem to be projected anywhere near to be the next WR taken. What do they see in him that nobody else did?

Jim: See above on Fitzpatrick. As for Rice, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised by that pick myself. But the Titans really liked what they saw from Rice at Georgia, and keep in mind inside linebackers Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown both have expiring contracts after 2021 after the team elected not to pick up the fifth-year option on Rashaan's contract on Monday. Depending on how things go in 2021, the team could try and re-sign one, or both of them. Keeping both, of course, will probably be tough. So Rice can help this year, and he's a player who could have a big role in the future.

Ryan Gilpatrick from Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi Jim. Overall I was very satisfied with the Titans draft. I know some people didn't like that we didn't pick a wide receiver until the fourth round, or a tight end at all, but I trust what the team has planned. People thought we should have drafted a tight end last year, because all we had was some guy named Jonnu Smith, and look how that turned out. However, about the wide receiver position, does the lack of early picks there mean the Titans are confident in their bid for Julio Jones? Or just that they didn't think any receiver was the best on the board before Fitzpatrick? Thanks.

Jim: Hey Ryan. Props again for getting Farley right. I can't speculate on where things are with Jones, or if the team is in contention to get him. The GM didn't want to go there when asked about it over the weekend. I do think the Titans had interest in other receivers in the draft, but things just didn't unfold right to pick one. Are the Titans done adding receivers this offseason? Personally, I don't think so.

Jarid Smith from Nashville, Tennessee
Hey Jim. First, congrats to your Daughter. I know you were a proud Papa. Second, I really enjoyed watching the draft. I think overall, we came out really well. I do however think we made one misstep. I think our second pick should have been Terrace Marshall. We could have gotten a tackle later on and it would have kept us from trading 3 picks to move up for a WR. Hindsight is always 20/20, but our draft could have been:
22 - Caleb Farley CB
53 - Terrace Marshall WR
92 - Monty Rice LB
100 - Elijah Molden CB
126 - Dan Moore Jr. OT
135 - Rashad Weaver Edge
166 - Cornell Powell WR
205 - Damar Hamlin S
215 - Trey Smith G
232 - Kylin Hill RB
All of these players were available when the Titans were on the clock at the respective position. That doesn't mean the Titans had a good grade on them. Maybe Dan Moore is a big drop off from Radunz. Maybe Marshall can't block downfield. I'm just a fan with an opinion. I believe the professionals knew what they were doing, just would have been nice to have 2 additional players. Having said all that, if Farley is healthy, we had a great draft! Looking forward to a great season. Titan up!

Jim: Thanks, Jarid. And you're right – I am proud of my daughter, who graduated from the University of Alabama over the weekend. She's going back to Tuscaloosa next year to get her Masters – and one more football season. The way you had things potentially playing out is interesting, but I know folks are really high on tackle Dillon Radunz, who ended up being the second-round pick.

Have a great week everyone!

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