One of the weaker units of the Tennessee Titans on defense was the cornerback position in 2017. There is one young talented corner that could be available that the Titans should go after.
New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple is widely regarded as a talented player. He was drafted 10th overall by the Giants in 2016. Apple’s rookie year went off without a hitch and it looked like New York was going to have a quality player for years to come at the position.
Sometimes, things change in the matter of just a year.
Although Apple still has a lot of raw talent, he started to become an issue for the Giants in and outside of the facility in his second season. The young corner out of Ohio State was suspended by the team for the last game of the 2017 season. He was even called out by teammates on social media and in the traditional media for his lack of maturity.
Most notably, S Landon Collins had this to say about Apple, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:
"“There’s only just one corner that … needs to grow, and we all know who that is.”"
Why Eli Apple?
Well, as the old saying goes, “an Apple a day keeps the doctor away”; meaning he can be just what the Titans secondary needs to take the step to the next level. The comments about Apple in New York and the maturity level is a deterrent. Sometimes, players need a change of scenery and a familiar face to come back to their senses. Tennessee has not been shy about taking risks on some players with character issues. In particular, the cornerback position has been a bit of a wild card at times with the different personalities that have come through. Just look at what the team went through with Adam “Pacman” Jones. Granted, this is a different regime than the one that took a chance on Jones, but the right culture may be exactly with Apple needs.
One saving grace is the familiar face of Kerry Coombs. Coombs was the Cornerbacks Coach at Ohio State when Apple was there. He was instrumental in the development of the young corner that turned into a top 10 pick. So far, Coombs seems like a no-nonsense guy that could help to get Apple back on the right track.
A lot of the Mike Vrabel era in Tennessee, to this point, has been about culture and high character guys. Vrabel himself could be important in the development of Apple as well. He comes from the Bill Belichick school of football and will bring in a Patriots-like atmosphere to the Titans. Just look at what Belichick did in the Super Bowl with Malcolm Butler. Something happened and he was not afraid to bench his starting cornerback in the biggest game of the season. Like or hate the moves, it took guts.
Is it possible?
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The Giants completely overhauled their front office and brought in no-nonsense GM Dave Gettleman. It is very possible that he will be looking to move the troubled defensive back. If that is the case, the Titans should take a chance on the talent. Now, this does not mean giving up a high draft pick for him or anything. Anything lower than a fourth would be acceptable. If the Titans got back a pick with Apple, it would be fine to give a fourth round pick too.
Apple is only 22 years old (will be 23 for the start of the season), and has a lot of potential. It would not be shocking if he was one of the best corners in football in a few years. At this point, it looks like he needs a change of scenery. Nashville is a great place that may be good for Apple. GM Jon Robinson should look into this idea if Apple is going to be available.