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Takeaways from Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel’s Draft Week Press Conference

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Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson sat down with press on Monday to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft.

NFL: Tennessee Titans-Press Conference Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Week is upon us.

Tennessee Titans General Manager Jon Robinson and Head Coach Mike Vrabel took questions from the media on Monday about the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, which of course kicks off Thursday night in Dallas.

Robinson performed his typical “say nothing using as many words as possible” routine, but he did drop a few useful tidbits and hints concerning what we might see later this week.

On Evaluating Prospects with his Staff

When asked about the evaluating prospects, Robinson was sure to note how inclusive their process is, mentioning that he sits down together with Vrabel, the coordinators, and the position coaches so that they can “merge” their position specifics and critical factors for potential draft prospects.

Robinson said they didn’t “shuffle the board” by much, but that some guys moved around after their conversations.

Mike Vrabel answered a question later about the most important thing to learn about a prospect. He said for him, loving football is above everything else.

We’ve heard that echoed from Jon Robinson before, as well.

On the Importance of Meeting with Players

PK pressed Robinson a bit on the importance of Top 30 visits, and on player visits and meetings with players in general. Robinson explained that the visits can serve a variety of purposes; some are medical, some are to get clarification on questions they had about the player that arose at the combine or all-star games, some are to get more background info, and others are just to get to know the player better.

Robinson elaborated by explaining that the point of the Top 30 visits is to find out if certain players fit their culture and their football team. If so, he said, they remain on the board.

The biggest hint revealed here was, upon further questioning from PK, when Robinson said that he would not consider all the players they’ve met with to be “viable picks for the team.”

On the Possibility of Trading Draft Picks

Not sure if this quite counts as “breaking news,” but Robinson spoke about his expectations in regards to potential trades near the top of the draft. This could be based on things he’s seeing, hearing, or just his own speculation...

Jim Wyatt asked Robinson if he is okay with his six draft picks. The response was expected.

Not sure if this means anything or if it’s just “media-speak,” but as we get closer and closer to draft day, my expectations for a trade out no. 25 continue to increase.

Robinson was asked if he’ll be the one on the phones or if he’ll be sitting back and fielding calls. His answer? A little bit of both.

Robinson talked a bit about where they could find “value” in this draft. He mentioned the mid-rounds. It seems likely to me that Robinson will try his best to acquire more picks in this range.

On This Week’s Rumors and Reports

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but we are now in the deepest throes of “lying season.” The credibility of reports coming out this week is near zero.

Robinson is likely hosting his own “smoke and mirrors” party, as the Titans are reported to be one of the tighter-lipped franchises since Jon Robinson took over.

Which means you probably won’t hear much, if anything, about the Titans that is actually true. Remember when OJ Howard, Marshon Lattimore and Mike Williams were the favorites for the Titans at pick no. 5 overall based on “rumors”?

As for most teams being a “running faucet” - sometimes those faucets are running on purpose, with intentional misinformation pouring out.

And just as an aside, for what it’s worth, WalterFootball is thought to be one of the least credible sites when it comes to rumors and “sources.”

Knowing who to believe is very difficult, so I tend to lean towards believing nothing that is reported within two weeks of the draft. That includes Monday morning’s allegations that teams are taking Josh Sweat off their draft boards due to concerns over his knee.

I will say that sometimes, the rumors about the very early picks can provide some insight. It was widely reported that the Bucs would go with Winston and that the Rams would take Goff with their respective first picks. Last year, we knew Myles Garrett was going to be the first overall selection.

This year, it seems like Josh Allen or Sam Darnold could be the top guy. It sounds a lot like the Jets love Baker Mayfield and that the Giants love Saquon Barkley. Many teams are rumored to be in the trade-up-for-a-quarterback market.

It will be interesting to see which of those reports, if any, hold true on draft night.

On the Status of the Depth Chart

Vrabel was asked if the team has created a depth chart for the team’s OTAs, and if they have one going into the draft.

Vrabel said they need something on paper just to coordinate practice and know how many bodies they’ll need for drills and such.

Takeaways

As usual, we have to read between the lines to glean any amount of actual information. The biggest things that stood out to me were:

  • Robinson is expecting trades to happen at the top of the draft
  • The Top 30 visits are important but not crucial
  • Robinson wants to acquire more draft picks

Again, not groundbreaking information, but nice to know as the draft approaches...

Watch the full 25-minute press conference HERE.