Why Tennessee Titans fans should care about the NFLPA Bowl standouts

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Coloradoan)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Coloradoan) /

Despite this being one of the biggest offseasons for the Tennessee Titans in the last decade, most fans probably didn’t realize that there was a collegiate All-Star game on Saturday.

That would be the 2023 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which saw the American Team beat the National team. That sounds a little dry, but it gets a little more exciting for Tennessee Titans fans if you say that Jeff Fisher’s team beat Eddie George’s team, since those were the coaches of the respective teams.

Obviously being coached by the winningest coach in Titans history and one of their most well-known players, doesn’t mean that the Titans will favor the players in that game when draft day rolls around.

However, Ran Carthon believes strongly in having Mike Vrabel’s stamp of approval on any selection that this team makes this offseason. Jeff Fisher and Eddie George both seem to have good relationships with Mike Vrabel and it makes sense that he would reach out to those two guys and figure out whether there were any standouts that would fit in Tennessee.

Making things even more interesting is that one of Mike Vrabel’s favorite rookies from 2022 is an NFLPA alumnus, Jack Gibbens.

Vrabel’s affection for Gibbens led to a nickname and even playing time late in the season, so the Titans HC will clearly see some value in asking around about this event.

Who could the Tennessee Titans target from the NFLPA Bowl?

In Ran Carthon’s words, the Tennessee Titans are going to target players who are big, fast, and tough. Since these players will all probably be Day 3 picks or UDFAs, the Titans are probably looking for anyone that fits that description whether they have a need at the position right now or not.

According to The Athletic, one of the standouts of the week was Marte Mapu a 6’3 DB from Sacramento State who was on Jeff Fisher’s team. In a previous article, I mentioned that the Tennessee Titans might want to get bigger at defensive back considering their new DB coach, and he would check off boxes for Cathon and Chris Harris.

On the offensive side of the ball, Michael Ezeike is a 6’5 TE from UCLA who didn’t have a ton of production in college, but to be fair the UCLA offense didn’t utilize tight ends very well. Given how much Mike Vrabel loves loading up on tight ends and the recent success of Chig Okonkwo, this could also be an interesting Day 3 target for the Tennessee Titans.

While it would have been nice to find an offensive tackle or a wide receiver that could have been a potential sleeper here, it is important to remember that those are probably going to be needs that get addressed earlier in the draft and in free agency.

If the Tennessee Titans are modeling their strategies after what the San Francisco 49ers have done well, then Day 3 will be less about immediate playing time and more about scheme fits that might be able to step up in the event of an injury.