A year ago Jon Robinson didn’t even have a months experience as a GM in the NFL, but he came out swinging. Now thanks to his master trade craft, the Titans currently hold the 5th overall pick and the 18th overall pick. It wouldn’t surprise anyone at all if Jon traded out of one or perhaps even both picks.
Looking at their offense, they have a good mix of young talent and vetern leadership. TN feels very good about their offensive line with pro bowler Taylor Lewan and rookie all pro Jack Conklin. They have pro bowl running back DeMarco Murray and a productive Derrick Henry. Delanie Walker just played in his second straight pro bowl at age 32, while Kendall Wrights contract ends after an injury plagued season. Rishard Matthews played well (65rec 945yds 9TDs), but the Titans will definitely invest resources to bring in weapons in the passing game.
Several mock drafts have TN taking a TE at pick 18, and its possible. Robinson spent 11 years with the patriots rarely drafting WRs high and scouting guys like Gronk and Hernandez. Conversely, during his 3 years in Tampa Bay, as Director of Player Personel he had influence in the war room that drafted Mike Evans. When asked about the TE position by Jim Wyatt, Robinson said “….So I think that is another deep position group in this draft and when the right time is there we’ll see if we can add a guy.”
I expect Robinson to trade back in the 1st and add a 2nd, provided he still has two 1st. If he does pick up a 2nd, I’d look for him to draft a TE in that range. Likely drafting a wide receiver soon after. It makes a lot of sense for the Titans to hold onto the 5th overall pick until draft day. I say that because often times players with unique skillsets fall to that pick, and do you really want to pass up on a Patrick Peterson or Julio Jones?!
Look for one if not both of their 1st round picks to be defensive. Despite the defense racking up 40 sacks (T-6th), wide receivers seemed to rip right through the secondary at times. Tennessee may not have one quality starter at cornerback, and there are still question marks at safety. Combine that with the absence of true playmaking from the MLB position. I expect the Titans to add at minimum a DB and ILB before the end of the 3rd round.
At this point it all comes down to the scouting. In 2016, the Titans traded their 1st round pick twice before drafting a first team all pro rookie. I gotta say, that inspires the hell out of some confidence. We’re still weeks away from the combine, and analyst evaluations of players frequently change between January and late April. For my money, theres only one evaluation that matters, and that is Titans GM Jon Robinsons.