Titans GM Jon Robinson entered the 2017 NFL Draft with three crystal clear needs on the roster: wide receiver, cornerback and tight end. We had talked about the first two on this list to no end. I think we were all pretty convinced that Robinson would end up with one of the big three receivers along with a cornerback coming out of day one. To nobody’s surprise, that’s exactly what happened.
Robinson came back and added more offense on day two with Taywan Taylor and Jonnu Smith, filling the other need I mentioned above. Marcus Mariota has to be one happy man.
I — like so many others — was a little surprised at the lack of defensive selections. I have no problem at all with what Robinson did, it just caught me off guard a bit. I think he’s trying to tell us something. Here are a few roster conclusions and general draft process thoughts that I’ve drawn based off of Robinson’s draft results.
1. Johnathan Cyprien is a full time player. For better or for worse, we are going to see a lot of Cyprien on Sundays in the fall. There was some thought that the Titans were going to add another safety into the mix and have Cyprien play strictly in the box. They worked out several safeties that could fill either role and were supposedly in play for Jamal Adams with the 5th pick. They passed. Da’Norris Searcy took a paycut and likely figures into this equation heavily, but odds are you are going to see plenty of Cyprien in coverage, which hasn’t been his strong suit to this point in the league.
2. The Titans are high on LeShaun Sims. I really thought the Titans would be drafting two corners fairly high. They took Adoree’ Jackson with the 18th pick, but that was it. It’s unclear where they’ll play Jackson, but it will likely either be he or Logan Ryan in the slot for the majority of the reps. This would mean Sims is your other starter on the outside. I’ll take an extended look at Sims later in the Summer, but Jon Robinson is putting a lot of faith in the 2nd year cornerback.
3. Production is still king for Jon Robinson. After preaching that we’ve only seen one draft class and we don’t have Robinson totally figured out, he went all production once again this year. We don’t have him totally figured out, but if you don’t produce at the college level you won’t be a Tennessee Titan. This is why the OJ Howard 1st round talk was ridiculous. Two of his top picks this season were 1st and 15th in the NCAA record books for all time receiving yards. We should have a good idea of who Robinson will like each year by just looking at the numbers. It’s why I was all over Corey Davis since last Summer.
4. Jon Robinson’s main objective has been help for Marcus Mariota. We saw it going back to last year. Robinson knew he couldn’t trot out an inferior right tackle for Mariota again, so he traded up and spend the 8th pick on Jack Conklin. He got DeMarco Murray and patched holes up front to give him a rushing attack. Now this year he gives Marcus three new weapons for the passing game. Mariota is good enough to win with just about anything, but giving him supreme talent at skill positions could sent this offense to the next level.
5. The Titans are going to get their guys in the Draft. We’ve seen it for two years in a row now — it doesn’t matter where the Titans are picking. If Jon Robinson and Mike Mularkey want a player, they’re going to go get him. Period. We saw it with Conklin last year. They stood firm at 5 despite having offers on the table and took Corey Davis. They moved up twice and got Taywan Taylor and Jayon Brown. It’s a refreshing process after sitting through so many Ruston Webster drafts with minimal movement. Robinson is a gunslinger and a budding front office star. He’s been the main reason for the Titans revival in my eyes.