My pick for the Titans at No. 22

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tonight’s the night.

You know I’m not a big predictor, but I know my audience and you want a name to put with No. 22.

And I’m here to serve.

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Courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics

But first…

I think they could be in a prime trade-down situation. If Elijah Moore and Kadarius Toney are available, could they be happy with either of them? What if Caleb Farley is slipping because of injury concerns and Greg Newsome is still there too? How about Kwitty Paye, Zaven Collins and Azeez Ojulari? And Teven Jenkins or a preferred right tackle?

It’s conceivable, don’t you think, that they could have a bunch of those seven guys graded in the sameTitansStarDoor ballpark and still available, trade back four or five spots, see three come off the board and still be choosing between a few of them?

Jon Robinson’s done a lot of trading up and not enough trading back, and he’s got a lot of needs. I understand the reluctance to pass on the value of at least staying where you are, but this roster has been depleted by free-agent departures, salary cap cuts and some mistakes, none bigger than last year’s first-round disaster Isaiah Wilson.

I’ve bounced all over the place, and I hate when people mock players who are off the board. It’s a lot more difficult to assess who will be gone this year given opt-out and injuries and that there wasn’t a combine and teams didn’t have personal workouts or in-person meetings.

If the Titans stick and pick, I’m going with a controversial selection in Caleb Farley.

Yes, the Titans need a first-round home run after last year’s dud. But I do not think Robinson is going to tip-toe into this draft with his shoes off and pants rolled up, afraid of getting his feet wet.

He’s not going to be reckless and maturity concerns need to be top-of-mind. But if the medical information on Farley’s back checks out, the Virginia Tech corner is awfully appealing.

Farley moves smoothly for a good-sized corner (nearly 6-2, 197), who showed both patience and athleticism as a collegian. He opted out in 2020 but then had a microdiscectomy in March and that could help prompt him to be the third cornerback after Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn or fourth after Greg Newsome.

At that point, he would be quite a value.

And grouped with free-agent addition Janoris Jenkins and unproven second-year, second-rounder Kristian Fulton, Farley could give the Titans a nice group of corners in their revamped secondary.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

Here is the press conference he did on Virginia Tech’s pro day.

If not Farley I lean to Newsome, a 6-foot, 192-pounder who’s run a 4.38.

Both are expected to be first-round selections, as per odds from SportsBettingDime that cover 37 prospects' chances of being selected in the first 32 picks, without including some of the most obvious.

In the Big 10, he was a sticky, poised and composed corner who could run with vertical threats and broke up 25 passes in 21 games for the Wildcats, though he only found one interception. He didn’t yield a TD in 2020.

Pat Fitzgerald said, “he’s got a short memory and a quick fuse.”

Newsome needs to get stronger to do better against physical wide receivers and answer durability concerns but can step in and be a top-three corner for the Titans from the start, playing outside.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic says Newsome is “a route magnet with fluid transitions and natural instincts.”

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