Caleb Farley

Titans’ Caleb Farley Cleared To Practice

Titans rookie Caleb Farley passed his physical, clearing the way for him to return to the practice field (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Titans took a bit of a risk by taking Farley in Round 1, but the cornerback is on track with his pre-draft medical timeline. 

Farley has undergone two back surgeries, with the most recent one coming in March. It all started in 2019, when he suffered a herniated disk in the gym. Somehow, he played through the pain in ten games for Virginia Tech that year. His first surgery did not completely address the issue, leading to a second one earlier this year. And, before all of that, Farley missed his true frosh season with an ACL tear. If not for all of that, Farley could have been a top 10 pick. Instead, the Titans snagged him at No. 22 overall.

As expected, Farley missed Tennessee’s on-field drills during June minicamp. Then, in late July, the Titans parked him on the PUP list. Now, he’ll have plenty of time to get acclimated in advance of the season opener. When he retakes the field in September, it’ll mark his first action since ’19, due to his 2020 opt out.

Farley is just one piece of the Titans’ revamped CB corps, joining tenth-year veteran Janoris Jenkins and 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton atop the depth chart.

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Titans Place Bud Dupree On PUP List, Caleb Farley On NFI List

The Titans’ top two offseason acquisitions on defense came with injury tags, and each will begin the team’s training camp out of practice. Tennessee placed Bud Dupree on its active/PUP list and parked first-round pick Caleb Farley on its non-football injury list Saturday.

Both can be removed from these respective lists at any point during camp, and each designation was expected. Dupree is coming off a December ACL tear, while Farley missed Tennessee’s minicamp while recovering from offseason back surgery. Were Dupree to land on the Titans’ reserve/PUP list to start the regular season, he would miss the team’s first six games.

Dupree did not offer any clarity on his rehab timetable recently, and given the recovery time for ACL tears, it would not surprise if the ex-Steeler sack artist was held out of camp. Despite the injury and the pandemic-induced salary cap reduction, the Titans gave Dupree a five-year, $82.5MM deal that included $33.8MM fully guaranteed.

Farley has now undergone two back surgeries, with the second coming in March. The first-round cornerback initially encountered lower-back trouble while training ahead of Virginia Tech’s 2019 season, and after he excelled that fall to vault onto the first-round radar, the malady ended his second and final Hokies season early. Farley opted out of the 2020 season, but the Titans — as they did with Jeffery Simmons in 2019 — bet on talent and selected the standout defender 22nd overall. Farley received an NFI designation because his injury occurred before he entered the NFL.

In better Titans news, both A.J. Brown and Taylor Lewan avoided any injury-related designations heading into camp. Brown underwent surgery on both knees this offseason; Lewan is coming back from an ACL tear.

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Caleb Farley Unlikely To Be Ready For Camp

The Titans took a chance on Caleb Farley in the latter half of the first round, drafting the former Virginia Tech cornerback at No. 22 overall. Betting on Farley’s talent, the Titans will likely wait on their top draft choice for a time due to an offseason surgery.

Farley’s injury history has been well-documented. Two back surgeries, including a microdiscectomy procedure in March, affected his draft stock. And Farley continues to work his way back to 100% to start his pro career. The rookie corner likely will not be ready to start Titans training camp, Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com writes.

The high-level talent is believed to be making progress, per Wyatt, who expects a Farley return at some point during camp. But a stay on Tennessee’s active/PUP list to start camp appears likely. Farley suffered a herniated disk while lifting weights before the 2019 season, and while he put himself on the first-round radar while playing through it that year, he was limited to 10 games with the Hokies that year. That first surgery did not completely address Farley’s back issue, leading to the second one in March. That caused Farley to miss on-field drills at Tennessee’s June minicamp.

Farley, who also missed his true freshman season at Virginia Tech due to an ACL tear, represents a key piece for a Titans team that endured a brutally ineffective 2020 season on defense. The Titans have reshuffled their cornerback corps, jettisoning Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson, and made Farley their top 2021 investment at the position. Farley joins 10th-year veteran Janoris Jenkins and 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton as the key Titans corner cogs. Offseason addition Kevin Johnson retired in June.

Tennessee bet on Jeffery Simmons‘ talent two years ago, when the potential top-10 pick was recovering from an offseason ACL tear, and has seen the 2019 first-rounder grow into one of the league’s top young defensive linemen. The organization is certainly hoping Farley will follow suit at cornerback.

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Titans Sign First-Round CB Caleb Farley

The Titans have agreed to terms with first-round cornerback Caleb Farley (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Per the terms of his slot, he’ll receive a four-year deal with $13.495MM fully guaranteed. 

Before the draft, agent Drew Rosenhaus insisted that Farley would go in the top 20. He was almost right — the Titans scooped up the Virginia Tech product at No. 22 overall. If it weren’t for his multiple back surgeries, Farley could have been a top 10 pick. Farley hasn’t played since 2019, but he’s mostly recovered and believed to be on track for training camp.

After playing quarterback in high school, Farley committed to the Hokies as a wide receiver. Then, an ACL tear wiped out his true freshman season. When he returned, he was asked to move to corner. It turned out to be a good move for Farley, who notched four interceptions and 12 passes defensed en route to First-Team All-ACC honors.

Farley’s medical history may have scared off other teams, but the Titans believe that he’s well worth the risk.

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Titans Draft Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley

With the No. 22 pick, the Titans snagged Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. He wound up lasting beyond the No. 20 pick – despite agent Drew Rosenhaus’ prediction — but he still landed in Round 1 despite the medical concerns.

If it weren’t for his multiple back surgeries, Farley could have been a top 10 pick. He hasn’t played since 2019, but his surgeon says he’ll be cleared before training camp in late July.

Originally a quarterback in high school, Farley committed to the Hokies in 2017 as a wide receiver. Then, an ACL tear wiped out his true freshman season. When he returned, he was asked to change positions again — this time, to cornerback. By 2019, he was a star defender for the Hokies, racking up four interceptions and 12 passes defensed en route to First-Team All-ACC honors. He also allowed a completion rate of less than 50% on passes thrown in his direction.

Other teams were scared off, but the Titans believe that Farley is well worth the risk. It also helps that they’ve had success in this area before. Two years ago, they took a gamble on Jeffery Simmons after his ACL tear. Now, he stands as one of the Titans’ most talented defenders.

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Saints Looking To Move Up In First Round?

The Saints are motivated to add a cornerback in the draft, and the team would consider moving up in the first round to get it done. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans is “weighing a potential move up” in the first round. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson previously reported that the organization was looking to move up for Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley (via The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode on Twitter).

[RELATED: Saints HC Sean Payton Says Team Has To Add Cornerback]

The Saints probably won’t be willing to give up the ammo it’d take to trade up for cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II or Jaycee Horn, so it’d make sense to switch focus to Farley. Robinson notes that the Saints, who are picking at No. 28, believe they may need to jump the Titans at No. 22 if they want to select the Virginia Tech product. For what it’s worth, agent Drew Rosenhaus previously insisted that his client will be taken somewhere in the top 20, so the Saints may need to jump close to 10 spots if they want the cornerback.

Farley hasn’t seen the field since 2019 thanks to a pair of surgeries, but his surgeon told clubs that the player should be cleared prior to training camp in late July. Even though Rosenhaus’ estimation should be taken with a grain of salt, that’s excellent news for Farley in advance of Thursday night. While Farley’s stock already took a small hit after sitting out the 2020 campaign, he saw another slide after irritating a joint at the base of his spine. There was some speculation that he could fall all the way to the second round, but recent reports point to him going in the first.

Originally a quarterback in high school, Farley committed to the Hokies in 2017 as a wide receiver. After an ACL tear wiped out his true freshman season, he was asked to change positions again — this time, he moved to cornerback. By 2019, he was a star for Virginia Tech, racking up four interceptions and 12 passes defensed en route to First-Team All-ACC honors. He also allowed a completion rate of less than 50% on passes thrown in his direction.

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Drew Rosenhaus: Caleb Farley Won’t Last Beyond No. 20

If it weren’t for his back issues, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley would likely be a top 10 prospect in this week’s draft. But, despite the medical risk, agent Drew Rosenhaus insists that his client will be taken somewhere in the top 20. 

I’ve had multiple teams tell me that in the middle of the draft, they are going to draft him,” Rosenhaus told NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). “I don’t expect him to make it to pick No. 20. I’m convinced, based on my discussions, that he’ll go in the first 20 picks.”

Farley hasn’t played since 2019 and he’s gone under the knife twice since then. His most recent operation came in March, but his surgeon has told clubs that Farley should be cleared before training camp in late July. Even though Rosenhaus’ estimation should be taken with a grain of salt, that’s excellent news for Farley in advance of Thursday night.

Originally a quarterback in high school, Farley committed to the Hokies in 2017 as a wide receiver. After an ACL tear wiped out his true freshman season, he was asked to change positions again — this time, he moved to cornerback. By 2019, he was a star for Virginia Tech, racking up four interceptions and 12 passes defensed en route to First-Team All-ACC honors. He also allowed a completion rate of less than 50% on passes thrown in his direction.

In 2020, Farley opted out due to the pandemic. Then, while preparing for the draft, he irritated a joint at the base of his spine. Rosenhaus seems to think that Farley’s potential will vault him into the top half of the first round, but it’s not hard to imagine him sliding to Day 2.

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Latest On Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley

For a consensus first-round prospect, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley has had an unconventional rise to the top of NFL draft boards. A high school quarterback, it became clear during the recruiting process that he would probably not be a passer for a top collegiate team, so when he committed to the Hokies in 2017, he did so with the intention of becoming a wide receiver.

But an ACL tear wiped out his true freshman season, and when he returned to the field in 2018, he was asked to play cornerback. Despite the usual growing pains that could be expected with such a position switch, he showed plenty of promise as a DB, and he was tremendous in 2019, racking up four interceptions and 12 passes defensed en route to First-Team All-ACC honors. He also allowed a completion rate of less than 50% on passes thrown in his direction.

He had intended to return to college in 2020, but he opted out of the season due to COVID-19. That made sense, as he didn’t have much left to prove and already had a first-round grade.

The only real concern was the back injury that ended his 2019 season prematurely. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes, Farley underwent a microdiscectomy procedure in March, which is the same procedure that Rob Gronkowski has undergone three times in his career. But according to agent Drew Rosenhaus, Farley “did well with his physical regarding his back and is still expected to go in the first round” (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).

Of course, physicals are a little different this year due to COVID-19 protocols. Per Volin, the team doctor and head trainer from all 32 teams were able to meet with the top 75 prospects in this year’s draft — along with an additional 75 players with medical red flags — a few days ago in Indianapolis for in-person physicals. That event was critical for the evaluation process, as teams were not allowed to bring their doctors to a prospect’s pro day this year and could not host pre-draft visits at team facilities.

Farley was one of the lucky 150 to be invited to Indianapolis — other prospects were reduced to virtual “physicals” — and if what Rosenhaus says is true, then the 6-2, 207-lb defender should certainly hear his name called within the top 20 picks. He might even have a chance to slide into the top-10, and teams like the Cowboys, Patriots, and Cardinals could all have interest.

He might still be a bit raw, but his size, speed, and physicality should be enough to get him a starting spot right away, and he could develop into a true shutdown corner down the road.

Credit to Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network for details on Farley’s recruiting history and scouting profile.

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