NASHVILLE, Tennessee. Having invested a lot of draft capital in cornerbacks over the past three years, the Tennessee Titans couldn’t expect to be in the dilemma they’re currently in.

They went weeks on end allowing Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to pass for 300 yards.

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The Titans managed a 24-22 win in Game 2, but that didn’t stop coach Mike Vrabel from getting upset with his defenders.

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“We need to find guys who can get on the field, cover, challenge and compete,” Vrabel said Sunday. “We’ll keep looking and we’ve got a few guys here that we’re going to look at again this week.”

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The Titans (1-2) are in the bottom 10 in yards allowed per game at 256.3, so their investment in three games this season hasn’t paid off much.

The Titans selected Christian Fulton in the second round in 2020 and then used a first round pick on Caleb Farley in 2021. They returned to the well in the second round in April and took on Roger McCreery.

However, when they needed a stoppage late in the fourth quarter on Sunday at 4th and 15th, only two of their high picks in the draft were on the field. Fulton was right cornerback and McCreery lined up over the slot.

Unlike the start of training camp, Farley was not in the lineup. Instead, it was Terrence Mitchell, the defenseman the Titans signed midweek.

Wide receiver Mack Hollins managed to get behind Mitchell and catch a 48-yard pass to keep the Raiders moving (0–3). Hollins jumped over Mitchell and, after a few rallies, snatched the ball out of the air and landed. Tennessee managed to stop the Raiders’ attempt to convert 2 points and secure the win.

Mitchell played 48 defensive snaps and Farley only one. The risk of starting with a guy who had joined the team five days earlier rather than a guy who was a starter entering training camp almost backfired.

Farley’s only snap came in last gear when Fulton had to come into the game with calf cramps.

Fulton missed the game against the Bills last week, giving Farley a chance to start. Farley was cut from the lineup at halftime after conceding a 39-yard completion to backup receiver Jake Kumerow. It was reinserted later when Chris Jackson suffered a knee injury.

It was a big downfall for Farley, who was considered one of the best defensemen in the 2021 draft class. A back injury undermined Farley’s prospect status, causing him to fly to Tennessee in 22nd place.

Titans general manager John Robinson was fascinated by Farley’s ability and chose him after doctors assured him that his health would not be an issue.

“Extremely competitive, great size and speed for the position he played,” Robinson said after selecting Farley. “He was a simple guy who could be judged on film and he really just checked everything for us.”

After playing just three games last season with an ACL tear in his left knee, Farley was looking to bounce back. The Titans indicated that he should have started against Fulton. Vrabel cited Farley as one of the team’s best off-season players and praised him for his improved physique and heightened football IQ.

Despite the head start, Farley conceded to a rookie during training camp. It is still unclear what exactly caused Farley to slide down the depth chart.

When asked about the situation, Vrabel mentioned that players need to “calm down doing their job and make sure they understand the concept of calls”.

Farley only played 15 snaps in the season opener because Titans defensemen chose to use a nickel package consisting of McCreary and Fulton on the outside with rookie Hugo Amadi, who suffered an ankle injury against Buffalo that left him on the sidelines. . slot.

Elijah Malden, Tennessee’s first nickel rookie, injured his groin during training camp and missed significant time before being placed on the reserve with injuries in September. Malden will be able to return to training in the fifth week.

Other options on the list include rookie Tre Avery and practice squad guard Nate Brooks. The Titans also used defensive veterans Lonnie Johnson and Joshua Kalu as cornerbacks.

There’s a good chance the Titans will have to go back to Farley at some point. Vrabel said he hasn’t lost confidence in Farley and hinted at future opportunities, but that doesn’t mean he and the front office won’t continue to evaluate the position.

Farley, meanwhile, has taken the shortcomings personally, but plans to keep working on himself.

“You can only get better by working harder,” Farley said. “Keep doing what you are asked to do. It sucks. That’s shameful. There really is no direct answer to that.”