The 2017 NFL Draft was an all-timer for Titans fans, at least in terms of draft prep and debate. Not only did the team hold the 18th overall selection, but the Jared Goff trade from 2016 awarded them the fifth overall pick from the Rams as well.
The team had two clear needs — receiver and cornerback. The only question was which order to take them in. Marshon Lattimore was the perceived top cornerback prospect, while Mike Williams, John Ross and Corey Davis were all a toss-up for the top receiver spot.
Robinson opted to go with Davis at No. 5, perhaps a bit of a reach, but he clearly knew that top tier of receivers would be gone by the 18th pick. Robinson came back to select Adoree’ Jackson later in the first round, knocking out both needs. Davis and Jackson have both turned into solid players, but neither one has lived up to the expectations of their draft slot.
So what if you could run things back and try again? That’s what the ProFootballNetwork did this week, redrafting the first round of the 2017 event. In the redraft, the Titans took Tre’Davious White with the fifth selection. White has turned into one of the premier cornerbacks in the league, landing on the all-pro team in 2019.
With the 18th pick and cornerback no longer being a need, the Titans took receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. This pick was initially made to help Marcus Mariota, and Smith-Schuster certainly exploded onto the NFL scene quickly. However, would he have made that same difference in a struggling Tennessee offense at the time? As we’ve seen now, Smith-Schuster has since fallen off in production, and is set to hit the free agent market this offseason.
Other big changes in this redraft include Patrick Mahomes going No. 1 to the Browns, and Deshaun Watson going No. 2 to the 49ers.
It’s always fun to look back and see what could have been. In Tennessee’s case, there weren’t any crippling blunders here. The Titans exercised Jackson’s fifth-year option, but are set to let Corey Davis hit the open market this offseason. We’ll see what happens with Davis, but Robinson has at least gotten decent return on investments in both spots, though it certainly could have been better.