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Titans GM Jon Robinson Likes Team's Draft Position

Posted Jan 17, 2017

Armed with two first round picks, Titans GM Jon Robinson likes his position.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A year ago, Titans general manager Jon Robinson headed into the offseason armed with the No.1 pick of the NFL Draft.

This offseason, Robinson has two first-round selections – No.5 and No. 18 – in his arsenal of draft picks.

But just like last year, when Robinson traded the first overall pick to the Los Angeles Rams, anything is possible.

Sticking and picking isn’t a given this time around either, Robinson said.

“It would be a mistake (to assume that),’’ said Robinson, who will attend Senior Bowl practices next week in Mobile, Alabama. “We will evaluate all options that we have for the team and try to put ourselves in a position to do what is best for the team. It is knowing, A, the players that you want to draft that you think can help this football team and having them evaluated correctly. And it is knowing the teams around you, what their needs are, and whether you can move or navigate to still get one of the players that you want and maybe pick up some extra draft currency. Or are you going to have to get ahead of a team because you know they might like the same player you like and you have to move and get them?”

It’s safe to say the wheels are spinning already, and the NFL Draft is still three months away.

In his first season as general manager of the Titans, Robinson orchestrated five trades, starting with the acquisition of running back DeMarco Murray in a trade with the Eagles in March.

Robinson then made a huge splash in his first draft as GM. He parted ways with the No.1 pick and two other picks in exchange for six selections, including the 15th overall pick, a pair of second-round picks in 2016, a 2017 first round pick (which ended up being No.5) and a third-round pick in 2017.

Robinson ended up trading up to No.8 in the draft to land All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin.

With two first-round picks in this year’s draft, he likes his position.

“Draft currency is a powerful thing in this league because it gives you a chance to acquire young talent,’’ Robinson said. “They are less expensive players than guys who have played in the league six, seven or eight, nine or 10 years. So to be able to get two of those guys, or one of those guys if we trade, or three of those guys if we trade. … Whatever it is, draft picks are valuable currency as it relates to team building.

“The most important thing is getting the pick right. You can have all the picks you want, but if you don’t get them right, then it doesn’t matter.”

In addition to their two first-round picks, the Titans are also currently scheduled to make two selections in the third round (one acquired from the Rams) and picks in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

The Titans currently don’t have a second-round pick.

“I’d love to have a second-round pick,’’ Robinson said. “That is a sweet spot in the draft, those second-round picks. The first-round picks, it is good to have extras of those, too. You get an extra year on the contract, with a fifth-year option that you don’t get on the other rounds.

“If we can navigate and put ourselves in a position to pick up an extra pick, specifically in the second round, we’ve love to do that.”

Over the weekend, Robinson and the team’s scouting staff will head to Mobile for the start of week-long Senior Bowl practices. Titans coach Mike Mularkey and members of the team’s coaching staff will also be there.

The NFL Combine begins late next month in Indianapolis. The NFL Draft is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

The search for more impact players like Conklin is underway.

“Jack did a nice job,” Robinson said of Conklin. “He came in, he meshed well with the system, bought into what we wanted to be about. He fit our mindset of tough, dependable, team-first guys and he came in and worked hard and improved during minicamps, training camps and throughout the season.

“I think if we continue to draft players that fit our style of football, and go out and perform at a level Jack performed at, we should win some football games around here.”