The Tennessee Titans selected Caleb Farley, the former Virginia Tech cornerback, with the No. 22 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The Hokies listed Farley at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds. Farley has great size for the position. Farley, like many prospects, opted out of the 2020 season. He led the ACC in passes defended in 2019 with an astounding 16, including four interceptions.
When watching Farley on film, you would never guess that he played quarterback in high school and came to Virginia Tech as a wide receiver. He would eventually find his home at cornerback, where he looks like an absolute natural at the position. Farley has excellent click-and-close ability. He’s long, tough, fast and physical. His ball skills are terrific. Farley has elite physical tools.
There are some obvious durability concerns here. A few days before Virginia Tech’s pro day on March 26, Farley underwent a back procedure to clean up a previous injury. The surgery prevented Farley from competing and testing throughout this predraft process. The original injury occurred when Farley injured his lumbosacral joint, which connects the L5 and S1 discs. Farley’s first back surgery only repaired the L5 disc. In early March of this year, Farley’s S1 disc began bothering him. That’s when Farley opted for microdiscectomy procedure to repair the S1 disc. Doctors expect Farley to be ready to return to the field in August.
It’s not the first time Robinson has drafted a player with injury concerns in the first round. Robinson took a similar risk on Jeffery Simmons a few years ago. That decision has worked out pretty nicely. Titans fans will be hopeful that the gamble on Farley works in a similar fashion.
The Titans released Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson, so they decided to address the cornerback position in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Farley is a smart player that should compete for a starting role immediately.
Titans current remaining draft picks:
Round 2: Pick 53
Round 3: Pick 85
Round 3: Pick 100
Round 4: Pick 126
Round 5: Pick 166
Round 6: Pick 205
Round 6: Pick 215
Round 7: Pick 232