There were plenty of interesting things to take from that half-hour, but there was one thing that stood out to me regarding players the Tennessee Titans were considering in the 2022 NFL Draft.
When they were asked about offensive linemen, Mike Vrabel talked about how the Titans have a type that they look for that is specific to their scheme. His exact quote was:
"“We certainly have a scheme that we are comfortable with that we have really tried to embed and make our own and so for us, there is gonna be an element of movement and speed off the football and different angles…”"
The worst athlete that the Titans have drafted on the offensive line is Isaiah Wilson who had a 7.29 RAS score, but who was above average in both his speed and explosion grade. If he is the bar that offensive line prospects need to pass for the Tennessee Titans, then which players wouldn’t make the cut?
Players the Tennessee Titans won’t draft
Robinson and Vrabel both emphasized that versatility is a big factor in which players the Tennessee Titans look at on the offensive line. In fact, Jon Robinson pointed out that Zion Johnson (1 of the 7 players that the Titans should actually consider drafting in the first) played tackle, guard, and center (at the Senior Bowl) which adds to his value.
However, this is a three-person list of players the Titans shouldn’t draft in the hopes of filling a tackle position whether that is left tackle, right tackle, or an eventual starter.
One of the players that might surprise Tennessee Titans fans is someone that they actually spent some time with during the draft process. Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere had a lot of buzz going into Ohio State’s game against Michigan, but after Aidan Hutchinson dismantled him the buzz quickly died down.
He had a pretty disappointing Combine and even after boosting some numbers at his Pro Day he still has a 10-yard split that looks like Isaiah Wilson’s despite being 40 pounds lighter. Not great.
If the Titans were still looking to add size at offensive tackle, the first name that jumps out is Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele. He was 6’8 and 390 lb. at the NFL Combine, and he looks every bit of that on tape.
This is going to cause the Titans to really examine their “type” of offensive tackle. On one hand, he is so big that he can swallow up defenders in the run game even if he doesn’t have the footspeed to run with them. However, that does limit the wide zone that the Titans employ and he would basically be useless as a play-side tackle unless you cover him up with a tight end.
If they stick to their type, then Faalele won’t be on the Titans roster next year.
The last player I want to talk about is Cade Mays.
Tennessee Vols fans are amazing, truly the best people in the world (full disclosure this is being written by a Vols fan). However, the fandom is wrong if they think that Mays is going to be a tackle at the NFL level.
Sure, he was a right tackle in college for the Vols and he played a few games at tackle for Georgia, but his best position in the NFL is guard and his Combine numbers proved that.
Unlike Jauan Jennings or Trey Smith, this is a time where the numbers aren’t lying and the Tennessee Titans would be wise to stay away from Mays as either a guard or a tackle despite having the perfect disposition to play offensive line.