In what might be the best value of draft for the Tennessee Titans, G.M. Jon Robinson double-dipped at defensive back to grab the versatile Elijah Molden in the 3rd round with the 100th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Pop on the Washington tape, and it is easy to see Elijah Molden because he is constantly flying into the frame.
A slot cornerback by trade, he has dealt with the best threats that the PAC-12 has to offer and his impact extends even beyond that. In 2019 he was part of the Washington defense that made life miserable on a certain quarterback from BYU named Zach Wilson who you might have seen drafted second in this year’s draft class.
The only reason he was available late in the third round is that he measured in just shy of five-foot-ten at his Pro Day and he didn’t run exceptionally well (he was clocked at 4.6 seconds). Still, he did test like a twitchy athlete and the beauty of being a slot/safety hybrid is that you are very rarely going to be asked to play on the line of scrimmage in man coverage.
What did the Tennessee Titans miss out on?
Double-dipping at cornerback with two great talents is never the wrong choice. Caleb Farley and Molden aren’t redundant at all and their skill sets will both be valuable to the Tennessee Titans defense without overlapping.
So if the question was, “Did the Titans make the right choice?” the answer would be yes. However, this question is about the opportunity cost of taking that second defensive back when tight end and wide receiver were still big needs.
Tennessee has several Day 3 picks and they will have their options of upgrading both wide receiver and especially tight end, however, if the Titans go through Day 3 without adding depth to those positions, it is going to be tough to defend this move and the selection of Monty Rice just a few picks before.
There were a lot of people preaching taking value over need in the draft, so the responses to this pick will be interesting because it is the third pick in this Tennessee Titans’ class where you could make a strong argument that Jon Robinson just selected the best player on the board. Grade: A