Since Jon Robinson was named the Tennessee Titans General Manager just over a year ago, he tripled the Titans win total and shaped them into serious AFC South contenders. He did this with a few impressive moves.
Who Should Jon Robinson and the Tennessee Titans Draft?
He began his time with Tennessee on a high note by trading for DeMarco Murray – a unanimously praised move. From there, Robinson traded the No. one pick to the Rams for No. 15, No. 43 (Austin Johnson), No. 45 (Derrick Henry), No. five in this years draft, and a third-round pick — another very good move. He continued still by trading back into the top 10 with the Browns, and taking Jack Conklin at No. eight – another smart move.
Those were a few impressive moves made for the Titans.
Now, in his second offseason at the helm of the Titans, he has made it clear he’s going to build this team through the draft, not free agency. Outside of the Murray trade, the biggest move(s) the Titans made last year was adding Rishard Matthews and Ben Jones. Despite having the fourth-largest amount of cap space this offseason, Robinson refused to overpay (like the Jaguars have done the past two seasons) and there’s good reason for that.
Robinson filled a massive need for the Titans by signing former Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan to a three-year, $30 million dollar deal. This helped the league’s third worst pass defence in a major way. Prior to Ryan, the Titans agreed to terms with strong safety Jonathan Cyprien, formerly of the Jaguars, on a four-year, $25 million dollar contract. Cyprien had 100 tackles in each of his four seasons in the NFL. He is a physical safety who attacks the line of scrimmage. The addition of Cyprien will allow their ball-hawking sophomore, Kevin Byard, to sit in single zone coverage over the top and make the plays he became known for in Middle Tennessee.
Robinson has set the Titans up for a promising future and with two first-round picks in this year’s draft; it’s only going to get better for Tennessee.
So what do the Titans need? Their secondary still needs some improvement. Getting Marcus Mariota a weapon on the outside is important, and an inside linebacker is also a need. Luckily for the Titans they can fill any two of those three with their first two picks.
Round One, Pick Five:
Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, Ohio State
Lattimore established himself as the best corner in the draft with an excellent combined, in which he ran a 4.36, 40-yard dash. That speed matched with his physicality and size (6’0, 193Ibs) makes him an ideal cover corner that can play opposite to Ryan in the Titans’ secondary.
Jason McCourty’s contract runs out after next year, so drafting Lattimore at number five gives them depth at a position they are, and will be, in desperate need of. The duo of Ryan and Lattimore would allow the Titans to play more man coverage, giving Dick LeBeau the versatility to blitz with his the front seven. And if you want to do something right, it’s give LeBeau as much free range you possibly can.
Round One, Pick 18
Corey Davis, wide receiver, Western Michigan / John Ross, wide receiver, Washington / Mike Williams, wide receiver, Clemson
The Titans know they can’t go into next season with Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe as their one and two on the outside. This means Tennessee needs go with the speedster out of Washington, or the strong route runner from the Tigers. If Corey Davis somehow falls to 18, he would be an ideal fit due to his ability to block— a vital skill considering the importance of the run to Tennessee.
Adding any one of these three wideouts would give Mariota a legitimate weapon on the outside, and a redzone threat to boot. This move would also help the run game by preventing teams from filling the box, resulting in less pressure on an offensive line that was ranked No.one in 2016, per PFF.