With the 2021 NFL draft in conclusion, the Tennessee Titans walked away with a rather interesting draft. Tennessee is set up to potentially win the AFC South for the second year in a row and was able to secure some talented prospects to help make that push for the next few years.
Additionally, the front office made a few questionable decisions, as they didn’t address the wide receiver position until the latter portion of the draft. Three of the Titans’ first four selections were on the defensive side of the ball. It makes sense considering how terrible the defense was last year. The front office has done everything they can to reshape the defense, but it seems to have come at a cost of losing pass catchers.
For that reason, the Titans have a stacked team on paper, with the wide receiver and tight end positions the weakest part of the team. Considering the NFL is a pass-happy league these days, this could be what prevents the Titans from making a deep playoff run next year.
At the end of the day, the Titans nailed the first half of the NFL draft and took a gamble on their late-round fliers. It was an overall solid draft for the Titans, as the front office addressed almost every need on the roster. Here is the Tennessee Titans 2021 NFL draft grade for every pick.
1.22 Caleb Farley, CB: A+
Caleb Farley was originally scouted as a top 10 prospect in this year’s draft before suffering a back injury. His back was the main concern for most teams in the league, as they didn’t want to risk selecting an injury-prone player. However, when Farley is healthy, he is undoubtedly a shutdown corner.
If Farley can come back healthy from his injury scare, the Titans likely walked out of the first round with the biggest steal of the draft. Farley has been a monster during his time at Virginia Tech, totaling 56 tackles, 19 pass deflections, and six interceptions. What’s more impressive is that Farley is relatively new to the position and still has room to grow.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 30, 2021
The Titans front office took a similar gamble back in the 2019 draft. Jeffery Simmons was originally pegged as a top-five prospect until he suffered a knee injury. He fell to Tennessee at the 18th pick overall and has been a beast for the Titans’ front seven since then. This franchise is looking to have lightning strike twice after taking Farley 22nd overall in this draft.
2.53 Dillon Radunz, OT: A
It would have been nice for Tennessee to not have to draft an offensive tackle this year, but here we are. Dillon Radunz blocked for Trey Lance at North Dakota State, playing left tackle as a consistent blocker. He impressed teams throughout the scouting process, holding his own against some of the biggest names in the draft pool.
— Dom Izzo (@DomIzzoWDAY) April 30, 2021
After the debacle of Isaiah Wilson, Titans fans have some PTSD surrounding the offensive tackle position. However, Radunz seems to have his head on his shoulders, which bodes well for the future of this franchise. He’s very versatile and capable of playing on the left and right sides. Look for Tennessee to ease him into the lineup, as he’ll have some competition for the starting spot.
3.92 Monty Rice, LB: C+
Monty Rice is a good linebacker. He’s incredibly athletic and has the speed to keep up with receivers and tight ends in the passing game. However, the Georgia prospect has some red flags surrounding him, as his character has been brought to question on numerous occasions.
Also, the Titans are not desperate for a linebacker and many believed a wide receiver would have been a better choice. Even so, the Titans’ inside linebacker position will be up in the air next offseason. Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown are both due to hit free agency next year. Rice was selected as insurance for the 2022 season, but won’t help the team much this coming year.
3.100 Elijah Molden, CB: A+
The Titans double-dipped at the cornerback position and absolutely nailed it. Many experts and analysts view Elijah Molden as “an absolute Jedi in the slot,” per the Titans Wire. Tennessee was one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the pass and have made moves to potentially have the best secondary in the league for the next few years. Molden will have the opportunity to learn behind Janoris Jenkins before taking the reigns.
4.109 Dez Fitzpatrick, WR: C-
Finally, the Titans selected a wide receiver but it wasn’t until the fourth round. There were other receivers available that many viewed as better prospects when the Titans traded up to draft Dez Fitzpatrick. The front office almost ignored the receiver group completely this offseason, which bodes well for Fitzpatrick’s role on the team. He’ll immediately play in the slot, which could be risky next year.
Titans are bringing in Dez Fitzpatrick to play a role, running the top off the defense.
The team badly needs a field stretcher and he’s an underrated guy with a clear path to playing time.
I view him as a low ceiling boom or bust play however.
— Jeff Bell (@4WhomJBellTolls) May 2, 2021
4.135 Rashad Weaver, EDGE: C
At first, this pick was a steal, but after recent reports of an assault charge, Rashad Weaver’s future is up in the air. Not all of the details have been released, and it seems like the Titans were unaware until after the draft was over. If Weaver is found guilty, this becomes a wasted selection. If not, then the Titans’ pass rush vastly improved. For now, we’ll have to wait and what happens with Rashad Weaver.
6.205 Racey McMath, WR: C-
Not many people know much about Racey McMath, as he played a limited role for the LSU Tigers. The good news about him though, is that he’s a speed demon the Titans offense desperately needs. Also considering LSU has been a receiver factory over recent years, Tennessee may have a solid prospect on their hands. He’ll have to earn a spot on the roster first though.
6.215 Brady Breeze, S: B-
Brady Breeze’s had a nose for the ball during his final year playing for the Oregon Ducks. Finishing his junior year with 62 total tackles, two interceptions, and four fumble recoveries, Breeze proved to be one of the Ducks’ best defensive players. He’s in a good position as he’ll have a chance to be Kevin Byard’s backup, adding depth to the Titans safety group.