The Tennessee Titans are adding a weapon to their secondary: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
The Titans selected Farley with the 22nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, putting him in line to join Kristian Fulton and Janoris Jenkins as the Titans’ starting cornerbacks.
Farley is a really talented corner. In his January big board, Dane Brugler of The Athletic listed him as the tenth best player in the draft.
However, Farley has fallen down teams’ and analysts’ draft boards over the last few months due to some medical concerns. Farley has a lingering back issue that prevented him from working out at his Pro Day.
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) April 30, 2021
On Wednesday, NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright reported that multiple teams believe Farley will need additional surgery to correct the problem.
With that in mind, Farley’s value to the Titans depends entirely, at this point, on whether he’ll be able to play in 2021.
If he is, and the back problems don’t pop back up, then there’s a chance that Titans general manager Jon Robinson found a top-ten talent at pick No. 22.
If Farley can’t play in 2021 and his back becomes an issue, it could wind up being difficult for Robinson and the Titans to justify this pick.
After losing a lot of talent in free agency, the Titans have several major roster needs. And, while the future is important, they’re going to have to play 17 games in 2021.
The theme of the 2021 draft for the Titans should have been finding players to help them fill holes in the present. Farley may very well do that, but there’s also a chance he doesn’t.
What isn’t up in the air for Farley, though, is his talent. At Virginia Tech, he notched six interceptions during his two-year career. As a redshirt sophomore in 2019, he led the ACC in pass deflections with 16.
“He projects as a press-man starter with Pro Bowl upside if healthy,” Brugler wrote.
Unfortunately for the Titans, it appears that “if healthy” may be a pretty big “if.” Still, the jury will be out on this pick until Farley’s level of health becomes clearer.