NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans‘ top two picks from the 2020 NFL Draft—tackle Isaiah Wilson and cornerback Kristian Fulton—still have a ways to go in their development because of just how much practice time they missed out on due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s so hard to be able to recreate those reps they missed, those live reps of being out on the grass, that it’s going to be our challenge to continue to make them up and get the players ready,” head coach Mike Vrabel said.

One of the ways that Wilson and Fulton are aiming to make up for the lost time is by leaning on their veteran teammates.

“I’ve been talking to everyone on the O-line,” Wilson said.

“Anyone else that’s willing to help me get better to help the team, I’ve been trying to listen to them, talk to them, pick their brain about certain things.”

Wilson and Fulton both have established, former Pro Bowlers within their position groups, many of whom have already emphatically stated their willingness to help the young guys come along.

“I honestly feel like as a veteran it’s our job to try to help these guys come along,” guard Rodger Saffold said.

“I’m all about bringing the younger guys with me. I love seeing everybody succeed.”

So far, Wilson and Fulton are doing their best to take advantage of the olive branches that their teammates are extending to them.

“I feel like I’m definitely making progress each day, talking to the older guys just to see what I can do better or what I can get better at,” Fulton said.

Titans All-Pro safety Kevin Byard has already taken notice of Fulton’s efforts.

“The guy’s really smart,” Byard said. “He can pick up on things pretty fast. It’s still an adjustment. He’s a rookie, a lot of different things that he has to learn in our defense. We do a lot of stuff.

“As far as what I’ve seen from him so far, he’s a very smart guy, very intuitive, asks a lot of questions, and I think over time, like he said, he’s going to do better.”

The lack of offseason practices has created a tough environment for rookies all across the NFL, but the Titans’ rookies are equipped to rise to the challenge because of the help they’re getting from teammates.

“It certainly helps. I think we’ve got a great culture,” offensive coordinator Arthur Smith said.

“They help each other. That definitely helps. They can’t help the situation that they’re in, but they’re going to have plenty of opportunities. They’ve got to make the most of it.”

Cover image: George Walker IV / USA Today


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