How medical information in a non-combine year can complicate things for the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When a draft prospect has a big medical question, NFL teams rely on the opinions and advice of their medical people.

But with no scouting combine, those medical checks and the rechecks have not operated as usual.

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Courtesy Virginia Tech athletics

Around 150 college players went to Indianapolis the weekend of April 3-4 to meet with NFL teams, per NFL Network.

But at a typical NFL combine, virtually any team has an opportunity to tug on a questionable knee or poke at a surgically repaired back.

With these 150 -- who were slated to include players projected to be drafted in the first through third rounds and others with medical questions – it’s doesn’t seem every team got to examine every player.

“I think that there was a pool of doctors that kind of combined the information,” Jon Robinson said. “Again, I wasn’t there, I don’t know exactly how all that went down.

"But our doctors jumped around to some different rooms to visit with some guys specifically and came away and dealt with the situation as best as possible to get a grade on the guys and have a good feeling when we had our medical meeting about where we were.”

I followed up with Robinson to check on my understanding that there are certain players the Titans may have wanted to examine who they couldn’t, leaving them reliant on medical information compiled by other doctors and trainers from around the league.

“I think that’s accurate,” he said.

So if the Titans are making a major decision in the first round on Caleb Farley, the Virginia Tech cornerback, I’m curious if they examined him themselves or are left with the reports of others.

Farley suffered a torn ACL in 2017, has had some ankle issues, dealt with back spasms/ sciatica symptoms that cost him the final two games of 2019 and required surgery, opted out in 2020 and had a microdiscectomy performed on his back in March of 2021.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

It’s not as if the teams offering pool reports on prospects are going to mislead their colleagues.

But there is one level of trust in a pool report and another level of trust in generating your own report. High draft picks are huge commodities that come with huge risks, and if there is any possibility of a guy starting off with a medical concern that can turn into a problem, that’s a big deal.

If some teams have more hands-on insight into a player like Farley than others, they could be more in, or out, than the rest.

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