NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Titans brass spent first and second round draft picks, respectively, the last two years trying to find their next right tackle to no avail. But they may have found help in this year’s NFL Draft with the third round selection of Nicholas Petit-Frere.
The 6’3, 315-pounder out of Ohio State has come to St. Thomas Sports Park, worked hard through rookie mini-camp and now OTAs, and is looking to make the most of his chance to fit into the starting five on the offensive line.
“Nothing’s guaranteed, nothing’s predicted,” Petit-Frere said after practice Wednesday. “All we can do every single day as we learn from Vrabel and the culture here is that you play your butt off every single day and go as hard as you can.”
Petit-Frere is winning over his new coaches and teammates off the field as well. The 22-year-old possesses a maturity not always seen in rookies. In fact, he organized a dinner for all the other rookie (undrafted) offensive lineman after they arrived in Nashville, picking up a bill of more than $800.
After the 2020 first round selection of Isaiah Wilson that turned into a complete bust, and with last year’s second round pick Dillon Radunz seemingly still adjusting to the NFL, the addition of a hard-working, no-drama player like Petit-Frere is welcome.
“He’s come in, he’s worked hard, tried to study and taken advantage of the opportunity he’s gotten,” Vrabel said before adding that they’ll be able to learn a lot more about Petit-Frere and the other rookies when training camp begins, the pads come on, the speed cranks up and jobs are truly on the line.
He’s got a long way to go to earn a starting job, but with Taylor Lewan absent this week for voluntary OTAs Petit-Frere got the opportunity to run with the first-team offense at left tackle. It’s an experience he won’t forget.
“I was so grateful that I got the opportunity for me to get more reps,” Petit-Frere said. “And for me to try more things and for me to be out on the field even more because that’s the best thing when you’re a rookie, or at any level, is trying to get as many reps as you can for you to learn.”
Scouts say Petit-Frere has elite footwork, and he demonstrated in college that he can play multiple positions. He even played left and right tackle in the same game for the Buckeyes.
Now he says he’ll play anywhere the Titans need as long as it helps the team continue its winning ways.
“It’s one of the best cultures that I’ve ever experienced in sports,” Petit-Frere said. “From high school to college to now I’ve been blessed to have the right cultures and right coaches every step of the way, and I’m grateful that I have an opportunity to be a part of a great culture and a great team.”
Petit-Frere believes this is an organization and a city he could be in for a long time to come. As part of his draft celebration, he bought his mother a two-tone blue pendant, which just happens to be both of their birthstones as well as the Titans team colors.