With two corners in four picks, Titans set up competition and depth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A second cornerback in the first three rounds for the Titans was a good value find, and Elijah Molden rounds out a completely revamped cornerback group.

“That was one we checked off pretty quickly and said, ‘We're all set with this guy,” Mike Vrabel said. “We asked him about school and he gave such a genuine answer. He said, ‘I don't really love school but I love to learn.’ That really, I think, sunk in.

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Courtesy Washington athletics

“He was just intelligent. Talked ball. He knew about our football team. He had prepared for the interview by watching our football team. He spoke highly of how we played and the effort and finish which we play with. …This is going to be a fun guy to coach.”

Picking Molden at No. 100 meant the Titans came out of the draft’s first two days and first three rounds without addressing receiver, tight end or edge.

Last year’s top five corners, when healthy, were Malcolm Butler, Adoree’ Jackson, Desmond King, Kristian Fulton and Tye Smith/Chris Jackson/Breon Borders.

This year’s will be Janoris Jenkins, Caleb Farley, Fulton, Molden and Kevin Johnson, with Jackson and Borders still in play.

That’s a massive shift, with first-rounder Farley and third-rounder Molden bumping Johnson into a better range given his play for Cleveland and Buffalo the last two seasons and his career, really.

Tennessee showed last year a team can never have enough corner depth.

The Titans relied on Johnathan Joseph and Chris Jackson, a seventh-round rookie, early on. Adoree' Jackson missed all but the last three games and the playoff loss. Fulton only played in six games. Borders started five times.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

Combining the thinned-out group with the often non-existent pass rush made for a historically bad third-down defense that gave up conversions over half the time.

Vrabel said that short of knowing they have people who can play inside and out, the Titans aren’t close to the scheming part of the process.

Now Molden's presence may not only shove Johnson further back but could put Fulton on some notice that he will really have to fight for a significant role if and when everyone is healthy.

The Washington product was a nickel and safety for the Huskies.

Odds seem good that Jenkins and Farley will be the top options outside.

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