Do you want to read an in-depth evaluation of the Titans’ draft? Go here.
I am not going to go player by player, or round by round. There are plenty of places to find that kind of reaction. My aim in writing about the draft is much more of a gut reaction type of thing. I am going to break things down in three categories: The Pessimist View. The Optimist View. And the Middle-of-the-Road View.
The Pessimist View
The Titans were in prime position to get much better with this draft, and what did they do? The wasted some of their picks to trade back up in the first round to get an Offensive Tackle that isn’t even as good as a guy like Laremy Tunsil – who they could have drafted later. And to make matters worse, they didn’t pick a Wide Receiver or a Corner Back (two huge needs) until the later rounds. They had three Second Round picks and they used one of them on Derrick Henry. Why? They already traded for Demarco Murray this offseason. What are they going to do with two “workhorse” Running Backs? They do realize that this is 2016 right? You have to be able to pass the ball to win in the NFL. Ground and pound doesn’t work anymore.
The Optimist View
I love this draft! Jon Robinson (Titans’ General Manager) is the man! Essentially, he traded the first pick in the draft and still got his guy (Jack Conklin) in the first round, and picked up two second round picks this year, one third round pick this year, a sixth round pick this year, a first round pick next year and another third round pick in 2017. We call that winning the draft.
The rest of the draft was really strong as well. Adding defensive help early in the Second Round with Kevin Dodd and Austin Johnson filled needs and added depth and competition. The Titans added other quality players later in the draft, even picking up the final person drafted, Mr. Irrelevant, cornerback Kalan Reed, who Pro Football Focus rated out as the 54th best prospect in the 2016 draft. Amazing! And the icing on this cake is getting Derrick Henry in the Second Round. That guy is going to be a beast for years.
The Middle-of-the-Road View
Solid draft. They filled holes. They addressed needs. General Manager Jon Robinson has a long-term plan in mind. He is not making picks out of desperation, which is nice to see for a first time general manager. That tells me the ownership is seeing the big picture as well. The first five picks in the draft are all players that should contribute this season. Some might even start. All of them could start in the next few years. That is exactly what you want in a draft. You want players that will contribute. I’m still a little bit perplexed by the Henry pick, but based on everything else that Robinson has done since he took the job, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on one of three Second Round picks. I am cautiously hopeful.