The Tennessee Titans were embarrassingly defeated 41-7 by the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. There are several issues that are hampering the 2022 iteration of the Titans. Two recent drafting mistakes by general manager Jon Robinson were especially evident throughout Monday’s debacle. Both occurred during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Starting left tackle Taylor Lewan was injured on Tennessee’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Lewan was eventually carted to the locker room and earned the dreaded ‘knee’ injury designation. Lewan did not return and was replaced at left tackle by veteran journeyman Dennis Daley. Daley was objectively awful throughout the entire contest. Daley allowed a team-high six pressures, earned a pass-blocking grade of 14.5, allowed one hit and five hurries on 29 pass-blocking snaps, via Pro Football Focus. Daley was routinely toyed with on run blocking snaps, too, as the Titans stubbornly attempted to run to the left despite losing their left tackle to injury.
Especially rough pass-pro night for #Titans' tackles, per @PFF:— John Glennon (@glennonsports) September 20, 2022
--LT Daly's pass-pro grade was 14.5. Allowed 6 pressures (1 hit, 5 hurries) on 29 pass-block snaps.
--RT Petit-Frere's pass-pro grade was 18.1. Allowed 4 pressures (1 hit, 3 hurries) on 30 pass-block snaps.
The fact that it was Daley, not sophomore tackle-turned-guard Dillon Radunz, that replaced Lewan signaled Robinson’s first drafting error. The Titans have all but admitted defeat on Radunz’s future as an NFL offensive tackle. The Titans acquired Daley along with a 2024 seventh-round selection from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick. Daley isn’t an NFL-caliber tackle. What does that say about Radunz?
It wasn’t Robinson’s only drafting error that held the Titans back on Monday. Sophomore cornerback Caleb Farley was primed to earn the start on the boundary in place of the injured Kristian Fulton. It represented a massive spot for Farley, who disappointingly lost a training camp battle to rookie cornerback Roger McCreary. Farley was a liability on Monday. The former Virginia Tech product played 49 total defensive snaps, which accounted for 72% of Tennessee’s defensive plays. It’s difficult to pinpoint a good rep. Farley earned the team’s second-worst coverage grade (44.8) among all cornerbacks, via PFF.
Stefon Diggs put Farley in a blender on one route. Veteran journeyman Jake Kumerow, who started in place of the injured Gabriel Davis, easily got behind Farley for a 40-yard reception. Kumerow entered the contest with three receptions in two seasons with the Bills.
Farley eventually lost snaps to rookie undrafted cornerback Tre Avery, who didn’t fare any better, and former seventh-round selection Chris Jackson, who just joined the 53-man roster from the practice squad days ago. Farley is quickly earning the bust label. Add it to Robinson’s ever-growing pile.
Stefon Diggs appreciation thread. First, putting Caleb Farley in a blender. If Diggs isn't the best route runner in the game, he's in the conversation. pic.twitter.com/sx5I9zjbXt— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 20, 2022
The jury is already out on Robinson’s 2020 NFL Draft class. It’s an objectively awful one that included Isaiah Wilson and Darrynton Evans. The 2021 class is promising to rival 2020 with Radunz and Farley at the forefront. The next two selections were Monty Rice and Elijah Molden, who are currently injured and unavailable. Robinson also drafted practice-squad receiver Dez Fitzpatrick ahead of Amon-Ra St. Brown in 2021. It would be impressive if it wasn’t so pathetic. These failures are one of the reasons why the 2022 Titans appear primed for their first losing season in the Robinson-Vrabel era.