Tennessee Titans cornerback and third-round pick Elijah Molden stood out in more ways than one during the preseason and earned himself an elite Pro Football Focus grade among defensive players drafted after the first round.
According to PFF, Molden’s grade of 85.7 ranked fourth among players who fit the aforementioned bill. Only Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs (90.7), San Francisco 49ers linebacker Elijah Sullivan (89.9) and Denver Broncos EDGE Jonathon Cooper (88.6) had a higher mark.
Molden was exceptional in preseason Week 2, where he showed his instincts and ability to diagnose plays quickly after notching a sack by going under a pair of Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive linemen, and then by blowing up a screen pass that was finished off with a big hit.
Highest-graded non 1st-RD defenders in #NFL preseason
1. Nate Hobbs, Raiders CB – 90.7
2. Elijah Sullivan, 49ers LB – 89.9
3. Jonathon Cooper, Broncos ED – 88.6
4. Elijah Molden, Titans CB – 85.7 pic.twitter.com/qRIBzpsuQg
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 30, 2021
We saw the more cerebral side of Molden’s game in preseason Week 3, when he was giving out pre-snap instructions and signals, on top of sending fellow cornerbacks in motion, showing he’s way ahead of the curve for a rookie defender.
As a result of his showing, the hype is through the roof for what Molden can bring to Tennessee, even in his first season. We project he’ll be the top slot cornerback when the 2021 campaign begins.
There will still be hiccups along the way, no doubt, but for now the Titans look to have something golden in Molden.
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