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The One Player the Titans Won't Draft

Coach Mike Vrabel says he does not want to be both coach and father to tackle and son Tyler Vrabel, who is available in the 2022 NFL Draft.

NASHVILLE – When all is said and done next week, 262 players will be selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

There are roughly 400 total prospects, and any of them could end up with any team.

Well, almost. There is one among that group who will not end up with the Tennessee Titans.

Tyler Vrabel, a tackle out of Boston College and the son of Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, is not on team’s draft board, the elder Vrabel said Thursday.

“[General manager] Jon [Robinson] and I haven’t even said it, but I think that there’s 31 teams that are evaluating Tyler,” Mike Vrabel said. “I don’t think (Tyler on the Titans) is good for anybody.

“… Excited for him to see where his next opportunity will be, and [I] try to support him any way I can.”

The younger Vrabel (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) was a three-year starter in college who showed the type of versatility Tennessee typically covets. He played left tackle in 2019 and 2021 with a season at right tackle in between. In all, he started 33 of the 35 games he played, allowed seven sacks and was flagged for 11 penalties.

He declared for this year’s draft despite the fact that he had at least one remaining year of eligibility. Questions about his technical consistency and the absence of elite athleticism have him projected as a third-day pick or an undrafted free agent who needs time to develop. Dane Brugler of The Athletic rates him 26th among all available tackles. Some even believe he could be better suited to play guard in the NFL.

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The Titans lost a starter at guard (Rodger Saffold) and at tackle (David Quessenberry) in free agency and aging starters at two other spots (Taylor Lewan and Ben Jones). The future of the offensive line, therefore, is very much an issue with this year’s draft.

One player who undoubtedly occupies a prominent place on the Titans’ draft board is Boston College guard Zion Johnson, a first-round prospect who played all five offensive line positions in college. Additionally, he was Tyler Vrabel’s roommate for a time, but the elder Vrabel even has distanced himself from that connection and any insight it might have provided during the pre-draft process.

“They probably didn’t say a whole lot,” Mike Vrabel said. “Tyler doesn’t say a whole lot, and Zion doesn’t say a whole lot.

“… Obviously, (Johnson) played next to Tyler. He’s an excellent player and an excellent person, a really good person.”

Tyler and Mike Vrabel were together for the 2020 NFL Draft, which was conducted virtually. The scene at the Vrabel household when Tennessee was on the clock in the first round – which included Tyler and other family members in the background – became one of the more memorable moments of that year’s selection process.

The 2022 draft, however, will separate the two professionally, which is exactly how the father wants it.

“It’s taken me a lot of years to be more dad than coach, and I’m trying to do a much better job of that,” Mike Vrabel said. “And I feel like I have.

“I’m just excited for Tyler and his next opportunity. That’s really what I’m trying to do.”