2021 NFL Draft: Titans swing for the fences, select Caleb Farley

2021 NFL Draft prospect Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With the 22nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.

Heading into the draft, there were rumors that the Titans were interested in Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore; however, they elected to go with an explosive cornerback with incredible upside.

Caleb Farley is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Although he is extremely talented, there were a lot of concerns because of his health. In 2019, he injured his back while deadlifting, which forced him to undergo two microdiscectomies in two years. Despite the two surgeries, Dr. Robert Watkins, the surgeon who performed Farley’s second procedure, told teams that Farley should be ready to go by training camp.

The Tennessee Titans were in desperate need of a cornerback, so they took the most athletic one in the entire draft. If you were to build the perfect cornerback, you’d probably end up with something similar to Caleb Farley. You don’t see guys his size move as fluidly as he does very often.

Although Farley is extremely talented, he needs to clean up a few issues in his game. His technique in press-man coverage is very poor and may lead to him getting beat consistently in the NFL. He doesn’t use his length as well as he should, and he opens up his hips way too early, which gives opposing receivers a free release.

Nevertheless, Farley has unbelievable physical tools and can be a star at the next level. He has the speed to keep up with anyone while also having elite acceleration. His ability to stop his backpedal and explode on underneath routes is exceptional. This skill makes him one of the best off-coverage cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Caleb Farley definitely has some things to work on, but his athleticism gives him a chance to be a special cornerback in the NFL. Even if he doesn’t clean up his technique in press coverage, he’ll likely find success as an off-coverage corner. If he does hit his ceiling, though, the Titans may have just found their own lite version of Jalen Ramsey. That’s how special of an athlete Farley is.