Titans select Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley with No. 22 pick in 2021 NFL Draft

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

Author: Justin MeloSenior Writer, Interviewer and Podcaster for Broadway Sports covering the Tennessee Titans and NFL draft. For more than five years, Justin Melo has professionally covered all things NFL draft and Titans for The Draft Network, SB Nation and USA Today. Best known for his Interview Series with NFL draft prospects, Justin has interviewed more than 500 NFL players. Co-host of the Music City Audible podcast alongside Justin Graver (@titansfilmroom).


  1. Hmmm. The good: big, fast, the kind of speed that could keep up with guys like Tyreek Hill on a go route. The bad: doesn’t turn to look at the ball, not polished, can be easily put out of position by standard NFL WR tactics, relies on out-athleting his opponents, not the best hips, injury issues, didn’t play last year and has small snap count at the position.

    He’s a bit of a project that if it works, could make him a huge asset. Or he could fail to grow and be yet another lost 1st round opportunity.

    Right now, I’m not a fan. I think he could have been had in the 2nd round.

    1. I agree 100%. I love JRob but this obsession with players that are injured and coming off surgery is really making me start to wonder if he’s the guy. Our biggest FA signing Dupree is coming off knees surgery and we have him a big contract. Our 1st round draft pick is coming off multiple surgeries and is a very under developed player with only one decent season under his belt.

      When you sign or pick a player coming off a surgery you expect to get a solid discount. We didn’t with Dupree and honestly 22 is about where I would have taken Farley without the injury issues. He’s just not NFL ready from a technique standpoint. I honestly would have rather drafted Asante Samuel JR.

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